Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top Three Life Events After Marriage {Guest Post: Hillary}

 My guest post this week comes from my home state of New York! 
Hillary and her husband have been married a little over a year and a half and currently reside in New York (yesss...I'm a tad jealous). They are VERY excited to be expecting a little new addition to their family in February. Her blog post is perfect for Young NASA Housewife as she discusses the top three life events after marriage.


 Top Three Life Events

As you age, your big life events go from things like graduating high school, turning 21, and graduating college to other events that are more adult. Here are three of the top life events after marriage.

1. Your first home. Purchasing your first home after you are married can be exciting and stressful at the same time. You need to think about not just your current needs, like commute time to work, but your future needs, such as having children. It is important to look at real estate sites like Zillow to learn about houses that are on the market, property values, and neighborhood information.

2. First anniversary.
The first year you are married is a lot of fun. You are setting up your home as a couple. You are working out new routines and going from two individuals to your own two-person family. Make sure you do something special to celebrate your first anniversary. The traditional first anniversary gift is paper, so think about having your wedding invitation framed with the types of flowers that were in your bouquet or boutonniere. Or think about writing an old fashioned love letter to your new spouse. The romantic gesture will not be lost!

3. Having children. Many parents say the most amazing and life changing moment in their lifetime was having their children. Your whole life changes when you have a child. You now need to provide for this wonderful little person and you want to do everything perfect! We all know, however, parents aren’t perfect, but they will always do their best. What is most important is to make sure your child has a safe living space. That means making sure you “baby proof” your home and that you have a safe baby crib. While many people want to use a crib that has been passed down through the family, unfortunately, that isn’t always safe. In recent years there have been great advancements in baby crib safety. So it ultimately makes the most sense to get a new crib. There are plenty of places to check out for the newest trends in baby cribs, but I especially like the variety of Bambi Baby.

These are just three of the many memorial life events that will take place as your long and happy life together continues to take shape. Just make sure to enjoy all of them along the way!

A special thanks to Hillary for sharing on Young NASA Housewife! Make sure you follow her on Twitter @hillaryfarr!

How I Stay Organized {Personal Management Filofax Update}

Not too long ago I posted my first How I Stay Organized blog post and since then I have been doing a few here and there every now and then. Well since that first post about how I organize my personal home management I have updated my Filofax.
My Filofax is my obsession. I can not live without it. That's not true. I could live without it; but my life would be disheveled and I would accomplish things in bits and pieces with no plan. For me, I just can't have that. And because I just keep adding things to my life and day-to-day (I know...just wait till I have kids!), I felt I needed something bigger.

The A5 Finsbury by Filofax. I love it! This is much bigger than the personal sized Filofax I had prior.

I really like having the extra space to write everything down.
I keep I few important items in the front pockets.
My favorite Martha Stewart Color Coding Labels that I have talked about a crazy amount on this blog, are kept in the front pocket here. I use these for color coding specific tasks throughout the month. I also keep the smaller squared Post-its, if I need to create an extra list or note. Additionally, I have my little Post-it flags and a few paper clips. Most of this you have seen before.
My A5 Filofax came with the ruler that you see. I use that to keep my pages in line. But I also like to keep my older pages in the Filofax. I know some people like to rip out the used pages as they go, however I like the ability to look back over the weeks.
So you can see that the Filofax diary here is a Week on Two Pages. I'm not a fan of this because I like to have wwaaaayyy more room to write things down. This is what is comes with, which is nice. They also sent me the 2014 and remainder of 2013. However, because I like more room, I also order the Day per Page Diary. This, however, comes for 2014 already. So until 2014 I will be getting by with the Week on Two Pages.
This is the 2014 Day per Page that I have not opened and inserted yet.
I'm looking forward to having the extra space.
My A5 also came with a few divider tabs which I went ahead and labeled as 2013, 2014, business cards and YoungNASAWife. I keep all my blog scheduling and post ideas in this section.

The Filofax comes with a few items that I removed to create some more space. I didn't feel like I needed them as well.
It came with the A-Z dividers that I just don't have the use for currently. I just removed them and set them aside if the need to use them should ever arise. I also replaced the white Filofax paper pad that came included with my own Kate Spade yellow pad. I will use the pad at some other point.
And finally I just wanted to show you my little color coding pens. I just keep these in a pouch near my Filofax to color code certain weekly to-dos. Or if my husband has an appointment, activity, or other scheduled something going on he is the dark blue color. Just helps me keep even more organized...which is always a plus.

Very happy with my new Filofax! Looking forward to the new year so that I can have even more room per day!

Remember to 'Join this Site' and follow me on social media! Thanks!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Recipe Share {Homemade Fried Rice}

While I was college I took Chinese (the language) for two years. I had the same wonderful Chinese teacher each year, and without fail she made us Homemade Fried Rice about once a semester. We always asked how she made it and she never really gave a flat out answer. It was made up of white rice, corn, peas, and a diced up meat that almost tasted like ham. I still am not sure what she used in particular, but over the coarse of my years out of school I have craved her fried rice. I finally decided to just try it once. It was fantastic!
Here is the recipe I just created to get as close to my Chinese teacher's as possible!
It is so simple and easy...you must try it!
There are recipes you can Google and look at, but I didn't even need to do that. I just gave it a go.

I have to say that I don't have a wok nor did I add egg like some recipes do. My teacher never used egg so I left it out, but feel free to experiment. 

Here's what you'll need!
Ingredients: White Rice (you could use brown if you wanted), a can of peas, a can of corn, and bratwurst. This is the meat I use. I used it the first time and the recipe turned out great so that is all I have tried. You could try ham or even something else if you choose. You will also need vegetable oil and butter. 
(I make no claims about this being healthy at all...haha)

Step One: Start cooking your rice!
I use my Aroma Rice Cooker and Food Steamer to cook my rice.  I cook about 3 cups of rice for this recipe, but it's not an exact science. Feel free to cut the recipe in half. I like to have plenty for seconds and leftovers.

Step Two: Cut up meat into bit sized chunks and put in skillet with vegetable oil over medium low heat. Let that cook for 3 minutes then add the corn and peas. Stir together and let cook for 10 minutes. Stir throughout.

Step Three: When your rice is finished add a tablespoon of butter to mix in. Put in large bowl and add mixture from skillet. Mix it all together and serve.
This is such a simple and yummy dish to make as a treat. The best part about it is you can change it up and add what you want; egg, soy, use brown rice instead of white. You can make it your own.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Concealing Dark Under Eye Circles {My Favorite Concealers}

For some reason, as of late, the dark circles under my eyes have become even more dark. I'm not 100% sure why. I have been tired lately due to busyness and possibly a bit more stress than normal, but there is nothing that really stands out. I'm pretty sure I sleep enough. I should preface this by saying I have never really had dark circles. I'm fairly young and they aren't terrible, but I feel they are more noticeable.
I have tried a few tips and tricks that I Googled to help the dark circles under my eyes.
I tried a dark circle cream.
Putting cold milk compress on my eyes.
Going to bed earlier.
Using a chilled spoon.
And more!
Unfortunately, I just don't see much of a change. It may be that I'm just getting older? Has anyone tried anything that has worked?

All this being said to say that I have gone through a many few concealers this past year, trying to tend to the dark circles under my eyes. I actually have found that a great concealer really does cover it all up as if they weren't even there.
These aren't even all the concealers I've tried. Some I used up, and others I hated so much they didn't deserve to have their picture taken. However, out of this small bunch there are two concealers that have found their place in my everyday makeup and really helped with my under eye area.
I'm not an expert by any means, but I have learned that if you want to conceal dark under eye circles it is best to use a peachy, pink undertone concealer first. You should use this pink/peach tone as the corrector. This counteracts the purple/greenish tones underneath the eye that a normal concealer wouldn't be able to conceal on its own. If you don't have really bad dark under eye circles, you may not need a corrector. You could get away with a more yellow toned concealer to mask the blueish discoloration. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics had a great article on this and much of what I learned about concealer came from here.
Needless to say, I'm still figuring this all out; but I have found two concealers that are really great.
(both picture above)
These both feel great under the eye area. Their formulas offer a very hydrating application. After dotting the product under my eye, I apply both of these with a synthetic concealer brush. I prefer to use this to my fingers or sponge. Some concealers that I have used can crease in the lines underneath the eye area. Both of these blend smoothly, and don't crease on me. I also really like the shades and have found a perfecting match in their color options. They both have a brightening element in the formula and they brighten the under eye area while still concealing dark circles and minor imperfections.

Really enjoying both of these! I'm always on the look out for other concealers I haven't tired, and I'm still searching for a way to minimize the dark circles under my eyes.

Let me know what you have tried!

Remember to 'Join this Site' and follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Habits of a Housewife {5 Important Habits}

I'm not a full time housewife. I have my own business and my blogging on a regular basis has become a joyous job in itself; however, I take my housewife role very seriously.
For me being an organizer and a type A personality, there is something about managing your home and taking care of those you love. While the housewife role is somewhat controversial in today's culture, I can honestly, and genuinely say that it is something that fills my heart with joy.

 I have discovered some simple habits that help keep the housewife life fulfilling and continuously productive. Aside from the love for your family, of course!

My Housewife Habits

1. Create a Home!
You might be thinking this is a given! Often, myself included, we can forget the joy in being able to create a stable, inviting environment. Put your heart into your home. I know you're busy, and you may even work full time. If so, make an effort to turn your heart toward the home even for a small duration. So what does it mean to create a home? I'm not saying you have to get on Pinterest and load a thousand upgrades into your home, or go out and spend tons of money. I'm saying pick up for 20 minutes, organize a bit, re-do your house's entry way so it's inviting for those stopping by, and even take some time to decorate. I promise you will feel productive and your home will emulate joy.

2. Wake Up Early

There have been several studies that say people who wake up early are more productive. I 100% agree! If you work full time, try waking up 3 hours before you have to leave for work. Use this time to read, watch the news, eat breakfast, or put a load of laundry in. Trust me you will be happy you had some time before the long work day. If you are a full time housewife it is even MORE important for you to wake up early. By making the intentional decision to wake up early this allows time for you to get a workout in, read/watch news, and get your coffee going before you have to start your household management tasks or get the kids up and going. Your days will have more time and be more productive.

3. Maintain a To-Do List
I have to admit this is probably the simplest to-do list I have ever made. My to-do lists are beyond extensive and I have a Filofax dedicated to my life written in to-do form. However, whether it is a single to-do list, or five pages with added Post-its floating around your home, this is imperative. It not only adds to your daily productivity it also allows you to reflect on what you have accomplished in a day's time.

4. Write Down your Goals
This is not a month long to-do list. Those are not goals. Well maybe they are, but I'm asking you to be specific and long term. Maybe they are goals for your family, to learn something new, or it might be a behavioral change that you see you want to change (in yourself...not your partner). Write them down, categorize them, prioritize them, and then move toward them. It just may surprise you how putting your goals on paper can actually affect them happening.

5. Continued Learning
This is important to remember. Continued learning, whether you are at home or in the work force, allows all people to focus on life-long educational self improvement. I'm not really talking about going back to school (although that would be good). I am saying read a non-fiction book, take a class that interests you (beading, cooking etc.), learn a new language, or take up photography. Whatever may spark your interest to learn, it helps create well-roundness and satisfies general curiosity.

These habits can help not only the full time housewife, but I think are also applicable to those working full time. I am by no means telling you what is fulfilling for YOU. I am just sharing what I have found to be important as I balance my business, blogging, and my housewife life.

What habits help you stay productive at home or at work? Comment below! 

Remember to follow this blog by clicking 'Join this Site' in the followers section off to the right! Thanks!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Menu Planning Project {Before & After}

I had a pretty standard way for planning my menus. I even think you were able to catch a glimpse of it during my How I Stay Organized {Personal + Household Management} post.
Nevertheless I needed a change. Mostly for aesthetic reasons; and I thought I would take you along on my little Menu Planning Project journey.
It was very basic. I would sit down and plan my meals for two weeks in advance. The ultimate help with my shopping lists and staying on budget. I knew everything I had to buy; no more, no less. I just used these lined 4x6 index cards that you can get at Staples. As you can see, I wrote the Month and Week followed by each day of the week. I would write down each meal I was planning on cooking that week in tandem with writing my shopping lists.
The functionality is there, but like I mentioned, aesthetically it's not so pleasing.
I started browsing on Pinterest and putting together an idea for something new with some 'Pinspiration' influence.

I started with the meals. I knew I didn't want to have to write all my meals down each time. Typically, while I make a few new meals a week, I do tend to repeat the staple dinners. I wanted to make little meal cards. (Free Downloadable Meal Template Here)
I knew that I was going to be tackling this project for awhile, so I saved all my meal index cards to make up several pages of meals.
I then laminated these pages with my laminating machine from Office Depot (that is the brand).
Then it was on to cutting them!
So I have my meals all set to go and now it was on to the platform to display them.
I literally purchased TWO items for the project. I had everything else in my crafting closet.
I needed a decent sized picture frame, roughly about a 11x17 size. You need it to be a FLAT frame. For this specific project you can't have one with a beveled frame. I picked this one up at my local SPCA Thrift Store (support the puppies!). Then I just needed some clothes pins. I didn't have any around my house so I had to buy them. A grand total of 50 clothes pins in this pack, but we will only need 7.

 Step 1: Take the back of the frame out to cover back and paint frame.

Recognize the contact paper? I just went ahead and covered the back of the frame in some contact paper that looks good. Then I went ahead and painted the frame a mint color by Valspar.

Step 2: Next, go ahead and paint your clothes pins any color you think will match with your frame.
I chose grey to go with my mint colored frame, and then had some cute stickers on hand to mark each one with a day of the week.

Step 3: Finally, put it all together! (Wondering how it turned out?) Glue your clothes pins on the left hand side of your frame with hot glue. Then add a title and any additional decoration or detail to the frame back. Place the back body of the frame in and secure.
It's too cute! Love how it turned out!
 I need to adjust some of the grey painting on the clothes pins.

Finally, as I plan my meals I just pick them out amongst my printed meal cards and select which day of the week we will be having that yummy meal.
Let me know if you tried this! Or have a different way you plan your meals!

Giveaway WINNERS are selected! Click Here!
Remember to follow this blog by clicking 'Join this Site'! Thanks!