Thursday, June 28, 2012 {Jumpin' for June}

June kept us jumping!

Here's a quick peak (Instagram-style} at some of the little moments 
that added up to one big month.

Matt's mom always sets the prettiest tables. 
The kids' table gets an A+ for cute!


Pre-K art. Seriously.
Our little blondie amazes us once again.

Oh, how I love a good closet purge
25 items. Out. The. Door.

Berry picking with the kids + a marathon jam-making session.
Moscato + strawberries.
Well, aren't we smart.

A new favorite. Try 'em.

Our adorable lemonade salespeople.
One hot summer afternoon's work and they're $27 richer.

Class lists are posted!
Kindergarten?? It doesn't seem quite right!

A Father's Day foot massage courtesy of his littlest ladies.

Any other Michigander's out there?
Unbelievably excited to see my Michigan Awesome sweatshirt arrive in the mail.
Mitten State Love + American Apparel = TLF.

One of the many reasons why I love my friends & Instagram.
I crawled back into bed one morning and social media hilarity ensued.

A Mommy/Ella Sunday evening date!
Mani's/pedi's + slip n' slide shopping + Mickey D's.

Mady's first sleepover at Aunt Katie's!
What a big girl!

{Linking Up Here}

life rearranged

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

31 Days to Clean {The Reboot}

I just finished up a mini-round of 31 Days to Clean along with my friends and cleaning cohorts-in-crime, Theresa and Lisa.

The Reboot blog series follows the same theme as Sarah Mae's original 31 Days to Clean e-book (finding the holy in cleaning), but she also experimented with some new challenges as she prepares to turn her e-book into an actual book. {My thoughts from the original 31 Days to Clean challenge here.}

In Sarah Mae's words: " is a practical part of this life, and all of life is worship, and in the cleaning there is worship as well."

She covered a variety of "Mary" (heart) challenges designed to help us persevere, focus, and be content, as well as a lot of "Martha" (practical) challenges such as cleaning out our closets and tackling our laundry piles.

The biggest take-away for me was something called a 15 minute challenge.
The idea was to pick an area to tackle, set the timer for 15 minutes, and then become a "cleaning tornado" and see how much you could get done in the allotted time. For bonus points, she suggested getting in touch with a couple of friends and completing the challenge simultaneously.

I know, I know.
TRY not to be jealous of how fun my life is.

Actual iPhone footage of a 15 minute challenge in action:

Maybe this just means my life is a little dull right now, but I found these little 15 minute challenges exciting, invigorating, and extremely productive. I also stand by my belief that just about everything is more fun when you do it in community.

Are you tired of slogging through messy counters, overflowing closets, and endless mounds of laundry?

Are you having trouble finding the joy, the love, and the life in the mundane?

This challenge is for you! It's time to put the fun back into cleaning. (Or at least make it bearable).

If you missed it, here are the links to all 13 days of the reboot:

Day 1 | Distractions
Day 2 | Sitting before doing (distractions, part II).
Day 3 | When life becomes worship (on priorities).
Day 4 | Lazy bones.
Day 5 | How to become a slave.
Day 6 | Share your why.
Day 7 | How to clean when you would rather be outside.
Day 8 | I don't want to clean (wah!)
Day 9 | How to be a cleaning tornado.
Day 10 | Do you struggle with LBS?
Day 11 | Live cleaning today!
Day 12 | There is worship in the cleaning.
Day 13 | What I would say to my younger self about cleaning.

Happy cleaning!

Living the Width, Volume II

Fire up! 
It's the second volume of {living the width}!

 In case you missed Volume I 
{last month's link-up's + great reads}, 
the idea behind {living the width} is this: 

a monthly mash-up of posts centered around intentional living, 
new experiences, celebrations, community, pushing the limits, 
glimpses of glory, and aha moments.

I'd love to read your latest adventures, see your newest projects, and share in your joy as you seek to live not just the length of life, but the width of it as well.

{Party Guidelines}

1) Please read carefully: the intent of this link party is to share posts that inspire and motivate others and that showcase your very best bloggy (& living life well) work. I reserve the right to delete links that I don't feel meet these guidelines (no giveaways or Etsy shops, please).

2) All types of posts are welcome including crafting & DIY, tips & tricks; simplifying & organizing, parties & celebrations, musings & reflections, projects & challenges, milestones & accomplishments...and everything in between. Let's applaud each other for attacking life with intention and purpose!

3) Feel free to link up more than one post if you'd like, but in the spirit of the party, please don't go too bananas. In addition, please only link recent posts that were written and posted in the month that corresponds with the party (i.e. for this month, Volume II = June 2012). Make sure you link directly to your post, not just your blog.

4) Please share the blog love by posting the {living the width} button either within your blog post(s) or somewhere else on your blog. For bonus points, follow The Terpblog via Google Friend Connect on the sidebar or "Like" us on Facebook (or do both if you really want to be a rock star).

5) Lastly, go grab a cup of coffee and spend a few minutes clicking through some links below and commenting on your favs. Let's encourage each other and spread the love!

I will feature my favorite links {great reads} mid-month, so stay tuned!

Monday, June 25, 2012

#GlutenFree Goodness

If you know me, you know I don't love to be in the kitchen, i.e. don't hold your breath waiting for recipe posts from me.

BUT I have been experimenting a bit with some new recipes in an effort to support my boys (the big one & the little one) in their month-long (maybe longer...we'll see) gluten-free endeavor.

{Our family's GF experiment is due to various health/allergy/tummy related troubles...we're looking to see what sort of difference it makes to us and if that difference is worth the inconvenience/cost.}

My super sister-in-law sent this brownie recipe my way the other week. She has searched the world{wide web} for the best GF brownie recipe, and I do believe she found it!

I'm guessing she would have posted it herself on her blog, Hobbies of a Homemaker, if she wasn't so busy thrifting, upcycling, organically gardening, and chasing my adorable 2-year-old nephew around!

Imagine for a minute that your favorite, moistest chocolate cake ran away with the best brownies on the block. Say they fell in love and got married.

Now pretend they had a baked goods baby.

Moist, chocolate-y, deliciousness, minus the gluten, the gut-ache, and the guilt.

Drooling? Read on.

#GlutenFree Brownies

2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup maple syrup
1 T vanilla
+ chocolate chips sprinkled on top {optional}

Combine butter, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. 
Add flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes in an 8x8 pan.

{+ Some More #GlutenFree Pin-spiration}
Disclaimer: these recipes work for us but if you are celiac or have a major allergy to wheat, you obviously have to be much more careful because of food processing contamination issues, etc. I do not claim to be an expert on GF!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Berry Muffins via Heavenly Homemakers

Scotcheroos (using GF Rice Krispies) via Kellog's

Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite gluten-free goodie!

Friday, June 22, 2012

First-Time-For-Everything Friday!

They say there's a first time for everything...

Another first?

Trying out a new park & splash pad in the area this afternoon with friends.


Hope you are enjoying something (or some things
for the first time this Friday too!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Currently | 6.21.12

Currently I am...


Gluten Free goodies.
Hubby and Little Man are giving the #GF lifestyle a try for a month or so.
Hardest part is keeping treats in stock.
Found a few winners recently (hope to share them here soon!)

Listening to

Needtobreathe Pandora.
AND we just bought tickets to take the big kids to a show!
This summer! Outside! WAY past their bedtime!
So much to like here.

A clean, stream-lined home.
Loving the 31 Days to Clean Reboot by Sarah Mae.
A few minutes a day spent on intentional cleaning = less stress & more time for summer fun. Less stuff to begin with = less to clean up & take care of.

As inspiration hits.
I try to do everything in my power to avoid extra stress, and I try to limit the amount of things I "have" to do (my To Do list is long enough as is). I want to keep blogging fun (& fresh) so I only write when I wanna.

Laughing at
My new Twitter crush @HonestTodder.
Best. Tweets. Ever.
Recent Favorite:
In my bed. Heard wine being corked. Are they celebrating my bedtime? Terrible.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

{Inspired to share your current happenings? Hop over and link up here}
This Amazing Day

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Living the Width {great reads} + Summertime To-Do's {features}

Summer is off to a fast start!

Fresh out of school and we've already covered a lot of ground:
nature walking, closet cleaning, pool partying, canon-balling, puppy playing, strawberry picking, jam making, cousin bonding, marshmallow roasting, wine tasting, date night-ing, VBS-ing, garage sale-ing, lemonade selling
...and a brand new way to workout.

Phew. Living the width, indeed.

You know those weeks where it looks like a bomb went off in your house and it takes two days for it to register that you are out of milk?

We had one of those.
This week's calendar is blissfully clear. The only things penciled in are my workouts which is just the way I like it.

Living the Width {Great Reads}

This month also brought with it a brand new link party here on the blog called
{Living the Width}.

The idea behind {living the width} is this: a monthly mash-up of posts centered around intentional living, new experiences, celebrations, community, pushing the limits, glimpses of glory, and aha moments.

I have loved reading through your posts, and I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites...looking for some good reads?

Read on...

{clockwise from top left}

"But, it's become clear to me that, even the things that are sometimes hard to listen to (especially the long, drawn out stories), aren't any less important. "
  {full post here}

2. Community vs. Comparison | Dana @ The Little Things
"It's hard to be authentic when we are trying to make it look so easy."
{full post here}

3. Die Empty | Lorilee @ Loving Simple Living
"I want to live (and die) empty of all the projects, and plans, and dreams because they will be created or acted upon, and I want to live (and die) empty of all the love can give to those around me and around the world. I believe that both will matter the most after I am gone."
{full post here}

4. Finding My Stride | KC @ The Real Thing with the Coake Family
"Now I run with my stride and my look. It is my look and just the way I am meant to run."
{full post here}

Summertime To Do's {Features}

I also wanted to share some awesome posts from my summer to-do link party.
I loved each and every one of these lists -
so much love, intention, and FUN woven through each list. 

These four in particular caught my eye. If you haven't had a chance to put your list together yet, the summer is still young! I hope you find some inspiration here. You (and your kids) will love checking things off as you go!

{clockwise from top left}

 content + beautiful displays! Aren't they pretty?

1. It's Officially Summer {+ printable} | Michelle @ Michelle Lea Designs

2. Summer To Do List Project | Kari @ A Grace Full Life

3. Our Summer List | Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy

4. Summer To-Do List | Theresa @ Party of Four

& A Button For You...

If you were featured, feel free to grab a button for your blog!

And come back again soon -
the next {Living the Width} party will go live near the end of the month!

The Terpblog

P.S. My fonts aren't working properly on my post titles. Anyone else having this problem with Blogger right now?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Daddy Day!

Happy Father's Day to the best Daddy in the world!
We are blessed to have you in our lives!
Thank you for everything you do for our family, day in and day out.

Thanks for teaching our boy how to fish and bike and shoot hoops and hand wash Mommy's van and appreciate the value of a really sweet car. 

You are teaching him what it means to be a boy (and someday, a man), and he has one of the kindest, funniest and hardest working daddies to learn from. 

And thank you for playing Matchbox cars on the floor with him for hours.

Thank you for showing our girls what it means to be 
loved and respected and cared for and celebrated

Thanks for oohing and aahing over their new dresses, for playing Barbies with them on the living room floor, for buying them flowers from the flower shop. 

Someday they will choose husbands based on the standard their daddy set.

We hope we tell you enough how much we love you!

We're glad we were able to take today to slow down, celebrate you,
and shower you with gifts and kind words.

{A bucket o' Daddy fun, hand-picked by the big kids} 
Including: lighters for the fire pit, a microfiber car wash sponge, new shiny fishing lures, beef jerky, chocolate covered açaí berries & Gatorade chews.

Mommy's picks (that didn't fit in the pail): 
new Tifosi sunglasses for road biking and new shorts for mountain biking.

{All About My Daddy printable questionnaires}
Dylan's was spot on: Matt does love to go to the Electric Cheetah and his current fav food is gluten-free "stuff."

I loved Ella's answers too. She listed Matt's favorite activity as selling cars and added that she loves it when her Daddy works "because he makes more money."

Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there! 
Hope you enjoyed your special day!

WINNER! {& an ad space giveaway}

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

We have a winner for the Thirty-One Large Utility Tote + Top-A-Tote 
from the lovely Beth @ Beth's Buzz.

Congratulations, Stephanie C.!
You should have an email from us in your inbox!

And if you didn't win, there is still time to take advantage of the June customer special: for every $35 you spend, you can purchase a Large Utility Tote for only $10. The Top-A-Tote is also only $10! Contact Beth here!

Also - if you're looking for another giveaway to enter, 
Jill @ I Know The Plans I Have For You is currently hosting a great ad space giveaway featuring five great blogs (including me!)

These ad spots would be perfect for promoting your shop or your blog!

I Know the Plans I Have for You

Hop over to her blog or use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Closet Reboot {tips & tricks}

A year and half ago, I completed my first major closet clean-up. {Here's Phase I & Phase II if you missed it.} I rolled up my sleeves and emptied, sorted, and prettied it up. 

I also vowed to maintain a more streamlined, simplified clothing existence.

Last week, Theresa, Lisa, and I started 31 Days to Clean {The Reboot} and one of the first challenges involved cleaning out our closets. My closet definitely needed a reboot and I was able to rid myself of almost 25 items.

A few days later, I spent a morning with my dear friend/soul sister Theresa helping her with hers. She started and then got stuck partway through the process. I offered to come over and help because I can't resist a good cleaning/organizing project... plus I knew her life would feel that much more manageable with a clean closet to wake up to each day.

I channeled my inner Peter Walsh and we blasted through her closet. I loved every minute of our organizing time together and Theresa unwittingly became the first victim client of Katie's Krazy Kloset Kleaning + Kounseling {working title}.

I'm wondering if I missed my calling...or maybe there's still time for a new career! {Read what Theresa was thinking here}. 

I would gladly come help any one of you work through your closet hangers and hang-ups, but some of you live faraway so a blog post seems more practical.

*   *   *   *   *     *     *   *   *     *   *   *   *

Interested in a closet overhaul? Here are my tips & tricks:

Do you love it? Does it serve a purpose? These are the biggest two questions on my mind during any organizational/purging project. Make it your goal to have every. single. thing. in your closet meet at least one of those two criteria.

Reframe how you think about clothes. They're clothes. Just clothes. Let them be just clothes. It's great to feel good and look pretty, but remember that your clothes don't define you and they can't save you either. It's just a shirt, not the thing that's going to make your life complete. Honest.

Be real about how many clothes you actually need. How many dresses can one person really wear? Can you make three pairs of jeans do the work of ten? Will anybody notice if you have a ten shirt rotation instead of a thirty shirt one? Do you have enough apparel in your closet to outfit a small nation? One person. Seven days a week. Factor in the number of days you usually wear yoga pants, and compute.

Let go of the past. High school was a long time ago. So was college. So was the-time-before-you-had-kids-and-you-were-ten-pounds-lighter. S-o-m-e-t-i-m-e-s fashion comes back around but that usually takes 30-40 years, and we are NOT going to wait that out. We have a life to live. Just. Let. Go.

Realize it's all connected. If you're waking up each morning to a crazy closet, chances are good that your life might feel a little crazy too. If you're seeking more order, more simplicty, more intention in your life, you're going to have to start small. Like with your closet. (Ouch.)

Use what you have. A closet overhaul does not have to be expensive. While we all want the beautiful, decked out closet from the pages of a magazine, it's not a reality for most of us to spend endless resources on storing our clothes. Look around the house for extra baskets. Pinterest yourself some DIY storage bins. Banish ugly hangers from your closet. Even if you're just using the white plastic hangers, they're better than a hodge podge of mismatched holders.

Button, zip, straighten, fold. Make like a Gap employee and do the simple things to tidy up your closet. Button a couple buttons on your shirts. Zip up your hoodies. Straighten your cardigans.  Refold your sweatshirts. It will take you a few extra seconds to do, but it'll add some calm and order to your space.

Place limits. Only allow yourself to keep a set amount of hangers in your closet. This way you'll know when you're starting to reach capacity. If you have trouble finding an extra hanger, it's time to do a refresher purge. Force yourself to contain your clothing collection within your closet (and dresser). Hint: the problem isn't that your closet is too small.

Shop smarter in the future. As you look at the pile of clothes you've removed, you might feel bad...all that money poured into clothes that you no longer wear. That shirt you bought and only wore once. The pants that still have the tags on them. File those feelings away (no guilt allowed!) and next time you're out shopping try to make smarter shopping decisions. Refer back to tip #1 and only buy new items that you either love or serve a purpose.

Make a wishlist. Now that you're intimately familiar with the contents of your closet, takes notes on wardrobe gaps (navy cardigan, pretty tanks) and organizational tools to keep an eye out for (a sturdy basket, a belt hanger). Having a plan in place will make you a smarter shopper too.

*   *   *   *   *   *     *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

My friend Jami posted this statement on Facebook this week:

Your house, your hips, your heart, and your head are all connected. 
Begin to work on one and the other will follow.

Freedom, friends. Less is more. Now, go forth and tackle that closet!

{Linking Up}
IHeart Organizing Weekend Bloggy Reading

Monday, June 11, 2012

{Memory Verse Mania}: PRAISE!

We officially kicked off summer vacation this weekend in our home!

First up on our summer vay-cay agenda: 
our memory verse challenge. 

I shared the chart last week 
& now here are the first four printables of the series: verses of PRAISE.

(All designs courtesy of LDS Printables.)

 Week 1 {June 10-16}
The heavens declare the glory of God; 
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1
Week 2 {June 17-23}
This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24
Download Praise.2 Here

Week 3 {June 24-30}
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. 
His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1
Download Praise.3 Here

Week 4 {July 1-7}
I praise you because I am fearfully & wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14
Download Praise.4 Here

I hope these printables are good teaching tools for the kids and something pretty to display for the moms. Make sure you link up below if you're working on these at home and let us know how it's going!

Look for the next four printables {verses of PROMISE} coming soon!

P.S. Here's the chart again in case you missed it last week.

Download Chart Here

Sunday, June 10, 2012

School's Out for SUMMER!

1st grade & Pre-K are in the books!

Dylan & Mady on Dylan's last day of 1st grade.
In the spirit of celebrating accomplishments, both big and small, 
we spent some time celebrating the end of the school year 
and the beginning of SUMMER this past weekend.

Our school-aged fish.
Friday morning, I put together some goodie bags for some of D & E's friends. 
My goal was to find some cute, useful and fun items for the kids to enjoy.
Bonus goal: not to pick items that mothers around the world secretly despise, i.e. bouncy balls, plastic frogs, 10 pound packs of candy.

I hit my favorite spot - Target! - for some one-stop shopping.
I settled on mini notebooks {for journaling, picture drawing, and adventure recording}, mini markers, water guns, bubbles, and summer-themed fruit snacks.

I packaged them up in clear favor bags and printed off these colorful {free} summertime celebration printables from Amanda's Parties To Go.

I think the kids loved them and I was able to do it all on a budget - 
each bag was roughly $2 out the door. Here's the finished product:

Ta-Da! Summertime goodies!
I'm a big believer in the little doesn't take much to make someone feel special or celebrated - a few kind words or a short note or a small gift.
I've heard it said, "God is in the details."
Here's hoping a little bit of God {love} is in the goodie bags too!

Great job, kiddos, on a job well done!

...and the baby. Current plan: keep her little and not send her to school EVER.
Happy Summer!

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