Monday, August 18, 2014

Luck has nothing to do with it

I couldn't figure out what to write about next, crafting, baking, organization, my life, something funny that happened, so instead I sat on it and waited for divine inspiration.  This morning, an article came across my news-feed on Facebook and it sparked a huge fire in me.

A Momastry article by Glenn Doyle Melton was passed around entitled Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt and it speaks to a subject us Christians like to beat like a dead horse.  Christians loooooooove to remind the world how much less others have than us.  Wow, what a concept.  There is always someone else with less, just as there is always someone with more.  There's even a phrase coined about this...Keeping Up With The Joneses.  But, for some reason, this article spoke to me on a different level.

I recently had a major life change, I had a baby and changed jobs.  I'm still a teacher, but I have been given the fantastic opportunity to teach online.  This is huge to me, to become a Work At Home Mom (WAHM).  Haha, I love that acronym.  Currently, I'm in a training, wearing my jammies, eating my yogurt, and my son is sleeping in his crib.  Every single morning I sit here and think about how lucky I am that I have this opportunity.  That this opportunity exists, that I earned the privilege, that I can do this.

In summation, her article talks about gratitude and contentment.  Specifically, she talks about the idea that we all need a new kitchen.  Tile, backsplash, appliances, cabinets, flooring, it all needs to be new and needs to be flashy.  I can identify with that.  I'm a renter, have been a renter my entire adult life.  I also have a pretty unhealthy addiction to HGTV and all these remodeling/flipping shows they have going on.  My husband and I will watch the shows and talk about what we want in our dream home, even go as far as to get on the Zillow app and noodle around homes in our area.  Of course I pick out the $500,000-$600,000 homes because they're PRETTY!

Her article made me think about my own situation.  I have gone through a rough patch, but, it was only a few years.  I came out stronger, but even better, I have a lot.  I'm not talking about my stuff.  I have a healthy family.  A unique family, but a healthy one who has been blessed over and over and over again.  I have a beautiful son who is the answer to years of prayer and truly a miracle from God.  I have a home, I have working cars (yes plural), I have the ability to fill my fridge with real food whenever I please.  WHENEVER I PLEASE.  That blows my mind.  I spend a lot of time in the grocery store, or any store really looking at what I "can't" buy.  Can't being defined as "we have bills to pay, so no, I can't go bat---- crazy buying whatever I want, but I don't need it anyway, so really it's not a loss."  I have what I need and no one should really have the opportunity to spend unlimited funds.  It's healthy to experience want, especially as Americans have no clue what "want" really means.  Even our air is healthy to breath.

Now here's my human side, I like nice stuff.  Like, I really, really like nice stuff.  I don't want to stay in my junky kitchen just because.  I don't want to carry around a raggity purse just because.  I don't WANT to.  I do agree that you shouldn't run out and replace an item just because of a tiny scratch, but I also like things to be shiny and new.  I think the key is making sure that new, shiny, and modern isn't becoming an idol.  Asking yourself WHY you want the new.  Is it to replace something worn out?  Is it because Mrs. Jones has a prettier one?  I guess the key is to make sure your heart is in the right place and all your bills are paid first.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hi, welcome back!

So I haven't blogged in years.  YEARS.  It's something I actually miss, something I want to get back into, so here I am.  A lot has happened in the last 2-3 years, most noteworthy is we had a baby.  Finally.  I have a lot of things I'd like to blog about, all my fun sewing projects, how I'm keeping our crazy family of 5 organized, getting back into cooking, infertility and it's total impact on the family, adventures we have, being a working mom.  I have no idea how often I'll be able to post, but here's hoping for some kind of regularity!  I noticed I'm still getting pageviews, so that's pretty exciting!

Here's our little family.  Well, part of it.  My husband and our son on his dedication day at church.  We also have two teenagers in the house, but I won't be talking about them much unless they want me to share something.

So here's to re-dedication of this blog.  New times, new direction, new stories to tell.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Anonymous commenting

Just as a heads up, I turned off anonymous commenting. The only ones I was getting were spam and I am getting tired of babysitting the comments. If anyone has any questions or doesn't have an OpenID to comment, feel free to email me a milkinmymartiniglass at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

iPhone must-haves, part 2

I'm back with another list of apps I have on my iPhone, but don't use as often as those found in part 1.  Again, all the apps I download are free, or I chose the lite versions.

Banking apps-I use my banking apps often.  I love being able to deposit checks quickly, check balances, etc.  It's so very convenient.

 T.V.- We don't have cable, but we do have a Netflix and Hulu Plus subscription, so I have the apps on my phone.  I don't watch things on my phone often, generally on the TV or my iPad.  The only times I watch on my phone are when I'm away from home and wireless.

 Pandora and I have a love-hate relationship.  Sometimes she is on point and plays all the good stuff, other times I've used all my skip allotment in the first 15 minutes.   I use this app several times a week.
Flip-I am starting to love this app.  You can choose different channels and "flip" through the stories.  The ones you want to read, you just tap on and open it. I especially use this to read People and US Weekly.  I have read some amazing photography articles through Flip and get some great gift ideas!  I used to read through this every once and awhile, but it's starting to become more routine.
 Pink Pad-this I use to monitor my lady-stuff.  I have tried a few different apps and this one I like the best.  I like all the options I have under the free version and it's the only app that hasn't crashed on me and lost all my data.  This has been especially helpful in doctors appointments.  I generally only use this one monthly.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Job search

As you all know, I am a teacher and currently applying for jobs.

It's awful.  I send out dozens upon dozens of applications, hand out my resume, but no one calls.  And those who do call, also are looking at hundreds (or thousands) of other applicants.  -__- It feels worse, because I'm in a specialized, high demand field, so it takes a tole on your conficence when you hear, "Oh, you teach special education? You'll have no problem finding a job!"

I did get a call though, and even got an interview with the principal.  I found out that out of hundreds applicants, she only interviewed a handful.  I am in the top 5% of the applicant pool!

I felt great about the interview. I was calm, excited, not nervous at all.  But once it was over, I felt that overwhelming feeling of dread.  Now I have to wait for 2 weeks to find out if I got the job or not.  I want so, so, SO badly to have this job.  Not only do I want a job for my family, but I miss teaching.  I miss the classroom, I miss making a difference in children's lives.

So, now I pray.  And wait.  And hope that in 2 weeks I get a call welcoming me to the team.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How to Paint a Washer and Dryer--a Follow up

A few weeks ago I did a tutorial on How to Paint Your Washer and Dryer and it's a pretty popular post (thanks!). I wanted to do a follow-up to let you know how things have been going.

First, I'm so very glad I sealed in the paint.  Because I had used flat paint (off the reject paint shelf), I wanted to be able to wipe down any gunk that built up.  It has been a great blessing! I love being able to take a paper towel and some cleaner and wash down the lids and such.  We also recently switched to Tide Pods for our laundry soap and that has also helped to keep soap from spilling everywhere and caking on it.

Second, the paint looks exactly as it did back in May.  No chips, so scratches, nothing!  Granted, the machines haven't moved at all, so there hasn't been much opportunity, but bumps and attacks from laundry baskets are just fine.

Last, I still love the paint job.  I was afraid after all that work, I'd hate the pattern and want to redo everything.  I do have a new stencil idea in mind, but I have no desire to bust out the drop cloth and paints again anytime soon.

I do get compliments on it, but most people who see it, think it's pretty dumb.  Most wonder why I wasted my time painting them, but everyone agrees it's cheaper than buying a schmancy new set for a couple of grand.

Did anyone else paint an appliance?  How did it go?  Does anyone else think you've lost your marbles?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

iPhone app must-haves

Most people today have smart phones, so I'm always asking people what their favorite apps are.  I've discovered some sweet apps this way!

I have an iPhone 4S, Siri and I are BFF.  I found that our first month was pretty rocky together, we almost broke up a few times, but once she got used to my voice, we were golden.  Voice texting?  Oh, greatest invention ever.  

So, here are some of my favorite apps and how often I use them.  I should note that I always download the free version.  I have yet to pay for an app and have been very happy this way.  I start with the free app to see if I even like it before paying to upgrade and have yet to feel the need to do that.  I will note one or two apps that I am considering this though.

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram- typical iPhone user.  I'm on these all the time.  Waiting in line? Let's check Facebook.  See something hilarious?  Report it to Twitter.  Most of my Instagram is food, haha, I'm trying to get away from that!

FeedlerRSS-I just downloaded this a few weeks ago and I have no idea why I waited so long.  I can read almost all the blogs I follow on it and its quick!  The only downside is sometimes it acts up and the only way I can fix it is to restart my phone.  It's not bad enough or often enough to really annoy me though. I use this daily.
Grocery IQ-this app is awesome!  You can create lists for multiple stores, download coupons, it saves your products which makes creating lists faster, and you can link with another Grocery IQ user and share your lists.  This has been great for my husband and I.  I'm able to put down specific items (brand, size, amount, flavor, etc.) and it pops up on his phone.  I'm on this app everyday, adding things as we run out around the house, but only grocery shop once a week (ish).
 I especially love this for Instagram!  I take a ton of photos everyday, and until recently, I took all of them on my phone, so organizing them into one photo and uploading just that instead of 5 or 6 images.  You can export a Pic Stitch image directly to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or you can choose to save it to your photo album.  I use this almost daily.
 Relaxing Melodies-oh how I love this app.  I use this nearly every night!  You can mix your own melody, choosing not only the sounds you want (and there are a wide variety), but you can set the individual sound level. So, for example, my Oceans soundtrack has waves all the way up, water drops down low, and rain in the middle.  You can save soundtracks to your favorites, you can even set an alarm!  The drawback to the lite version is it doesn't run in the background, hence me only using it at night.  This is an app I am strongly considering upgrading to the full version (only $2.99)
 Ringtone designer-this app was introduced to me by a friend and I can't believe I never had it.  You can use this to make free ringtones/text tones using your iTunes library!  When you open the app, it reaches into your music library and asks you to choose a song, asks you whether you want to make a ringtone or a text tone, then lets you clip the right part and save it.  You do have to go on your computer to complete the saving process and download it to your phone, but there is a YouTube video that takes you through the process and it is very clear.  Love this one!  I used the mess out of this in the beginning, but don't need any new ringtones right now, so it's been awhile.

WhatsApp-this app was another one introduced by a friend and is pretty awesome.  Its basically a text program, but it doesn't count against your texting plan.  Also, you can create chatrooms (all members must have WhatsApp).  I love how quickly the messages send, that you can use the EmojiFree keyboard (all those smilie faces and pics), and it's used on your data plan/wireless.  My husband and I use this when he's at work, since his wireless is spotty.  I always know we can keep in touch.  We use this app several days a week.

 HeyTell-oh, this is sweet.  This is basically a walky-talky for smart phones.  You can record a quick message and it will send to your contact (they must have this app too).  If HeyTell is open, it will automatically play, otherwise it alerts you and you just have to hit play.  This is great when your hands are full and you can't type a text and don't want to voice-text.  I only have one friend who has this app, but we use it often.
Pair-this app I found by reading an article.  This is for you and your honey, especially if you guys spend lots of time apart (or your honey is working on his PhD and it *feels* like you spend forever apart).  You can chat, draw each other pictures, send a "thinking of you" message, send a photo or video, draw pictures together (if both of you have the program open together), or (my favorite part) thumbkiss.  This is totally cheesy, but I love it.  Both of you open up thumbkiss, and when you push on the screen, a thumbprint image pops up on your honey's.  They push the same spot and the screen turns red and your device vibrates. I love it, Honey loves that I love it, and when I was travelling a lot this past year, I loved the thumbkisses.  I don't use this one too often, because Honey has this downloaded on his tablet and he hasn't been using the tablet as often lately.

This is another app I found from reading an article.  The California Academy of Sciences has a 24/7 live feed of their penguins and OMG THEY ARE ADORABLE!!!!  They have feeding times at 10am and 3pm (California time) and you can hear the audio feed of the keepers talking to the crowds.  I use this app several times a week, something about watching penguins waddle around is so very relaxing lately.  People make fun of me for this app, but the ones who make fun the loudest, generally are the ones who steal glances at it the most.  My dad laughed really hard when I showed it to him, but carried my phone around his house for a while watching "his penguins play" and protested loudly when I asked for my phone back.

These are the apps I use most often, I will be doing another post soon on apps I use less frequently, I just didn't want to make it too long!  What apps do you use?  What apps should I add?