Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Full Plate

This last week for us has been an unexpected (and I'm talking really unexpected), busy ride...and of course, we're loving all the doors that have opened up and the possibilities of some next steps in life. There's truth in that statement that 'when you're not looking or not thinking about something, it happens.' And things are happenin'. I'm kinda loving it. It sure blows the regular planned and scheduled things out of the water!

What I love more is that I now have secrets. Hard to believe since I tell all on here, but believe it. Some of those secrets are only kinda cool, some may be revealed in the next month (if all goes well), and some may not be let loose until the end of the year. And you all thought you knew EVERYTHING about us! ☺ But seriously, all of you who can keep secrets...props to you! I like you all for that. I only feel partly cool because I just now have a couple secrets since I clearly can't seem to keep my own half the time!

Well this part isn't a secret, just one of those things added to our plate I can share. I've been asked to join a Celiac Disease research study. It will soak up much of my leftover time in the day, but for all we know maybe there will be some added benefit in the end for all my Celiac friends! From what I know, so far they've seen some results in previous studies. Of course, I fear that whatever I end up having to take will be the end of me with this new product but I'm praying that won't be the case. I'll keep you all posted if anything grand comes from it!

Now that our plate is more full than it has ever seemed to be, I've decided I need some time off from blogging. If I'm dying to blog, I'll do so. Otherwise you'll just have to follow us on instagram @cstan512. Until next time...

♥The Stanleys

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thursday's Fun Facts

Whether or not they're truly fun facts, I'm not sure. I definitely can't say these are the most exciting facts I've ever told you, but I'll let you be the judge.

1)  I get slightly motivated by these daily e-mails I get from a gluten free website...kinda weird that a gluten free website motivates me, but it happens. Sometimes it's a quick minute of inspiration and then I move about my day. Other times, they stick with me and I run with them. And by run with them, you can only imagine my brain running through all sorts of my 'next ideas'. Anyway, they're well worth that minute (or more) the motivation/inspiration lasts. My most recent quote that's been sticking with me is...

If that doesn't motivate you, I'm not sure what does. Kidding. Totally kidding. It just hit home
and I've got some things stirring in my brain that relates to it so I'm super into it.

2) I stayed up until about 530AM the other day cleaning out the basement, organizing, and reorganizing. I've officially packed up about 7 bags for a garage sale and one bag of garbage...
not too bad, right?

3) Spring break is in a few weeks, we're trying to get the bods into shape, lookin' forward to hittin' some hot sunny beach, and party, party, party!...Ya right. We're not. Doesn't sound like us anyway, does it? And let's be honest, what's really going to happen is the two of us cruisin' in our old Honda through Oregon or California (Yosemite). It's more like a Stanley car party since we'll be living in it for a week. We've got two ideas below, so vote on which trip we should go on. Or, if you've got some other suggestions, we're all ears!

(photo credit: top-traveloregon, bottom-alpine shop)

4) Ty's done with coaching boys basketball. Poor guys weren't very good this year. Better luck next year, right? I'm orienting to a new department AGAIN at work. This time to outpatient infusion. Just trying to tack on another job to my resume apparently. I seriously can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to different hours, a change in pace, and getting to know patients. Unfortunately, it's only temporary until they get someone hired and trained. I'll soak it up until then.

If you work a 4 10's schedule, give me some info on your thoughts...
do you wish you worked 12's, pros/cons, I want all the details!

5) Massage Envy is the place to go. Best. Deals. Ever. Where else can you go to get a membership plus a massage for only $60/month? Did I mention you get member priced massages (the 1.5 hour massage is the way to go!) My brother hooked us up with gift cards and I immediately became a member after my first massage (I've had two different therapists who have done an amazing job!). Now I want you all to do the same. I'm on a Massage Envy high. It makes it that much more affordable and I'm more apt to going several times a month for those prices! Plus you get to take advantage of all their other membership deals. I can't stop talking about it, but I will for everybody's sake at the moment.

Everything you wanted to know. Thank goodness for Thursday's fun facts, right?
Oh happy day!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hair For Dayzzz

There's no real secret. Pretty sure it's just in the genes to have horse-like hair. Thick, lots of it, and at one point it was coarse. Not sure why it's not anymore and I don't care to figure it out either. We all know it didn't come from my dad (for those of you readers who don't know my dad, he's a good looking bald guy). My mom on the other hand, she's got the best thick, curly hair she never wears curly. I try to talk her into wearing it scrunched and she declines. Fair enough.
She's a grown lady, she can do what she wants.

Here they are...I get to call these two special people Mom & Dad!
And I can thank Mom for my full head of hair.
photo cred: Christie Engstrom

Seriously though, I get the same questions...'How early do you have to get up every morning to do your hair?' or 'How often do you have to do your hair?' or even 'What sort of products do you use to get your hair like that?'

Well, hate to break it to you all but there's no big secret to any of the questions I often get. I don't get up early in the morning to do my hair. Some days I'll set my alarm to get out of bed, make sure it's "good enough" to get by for the day, and then get back into bed for an extra 20 minutes of sleep if I'm good to go. I rarely brush my hair. A couple times a week is good enough for me. And washing it...that only happens here and there. Not long ago I made it 8 days without having to wash my hair. Sounds gross, well maybe it is gross to some of you. I clearly haven't cared and won't care even if you say anything to me. What happens is that I have this horse mane for hair and it takes forever to get greasy. So why waste the hot water on the hair when I can just stand in the hot shower for my own comfort? You feel me?

Here are a few tricks to my mane...

1: i don't wash it everyday.

2: i try to avoid heat as much as possible.
that means curling it one day and letting it get more and more flat everyday without
using any additional daily heat.

3: let it dry naturally, even if it means you look a little frizzy.
it will be good for your hair plus it will give you the new 'natural' look, like it or not do it.

4: braid it when you exercise and/or are out on a humid or rainy day. 
it makes it more manageable and easier to fix afterwards.

5: part your hair differently.
for some of you greasy hair people, it can cover some of those greasy spots.

6: wear it down for a few days. after a few days, pull it back for a "new look".
after a few more days, wear a headband...it hides the greasy roots.

7: i use cheapy shampoo and conditioner (Garnier) to wash
and no products when I use heat on it. you do what you want.

That's all I've got. Like I said, there's not much to it and some of them aren't real secrets either.
I've got no special product to convince you to buy or even a great hair tool. And maybe that's the secret...nothing really at all. All or none of that will be useful. If nothing at all, you've got the inside scoop on my horse mane. Just what you wanted.

And just so you know...I may not wash my hair very often, but I swear I shower often.
You'll just have to trust me on that one.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Just A Cup O' Joe

Sometimes I spark up little conversations with people in waiting rooms, especially if they look like they're older than old. Call it nosey or a bit awkward initially, but I'm so interested in their life, how they think they've lived to be their age, keys to success, etc. Recently, I found two of my favorite...

*A 98, soon-to-be 99 year old fella. Completely with it although pretty hard of hearing. (And who says that's a bad thing...especially when, at that age, you've probably heard it all). He told me the only thing wrong with him now is that he's "not as strong as he once was." He blames it on having a back
surgery 10 years ago (not because of his age apparently). I also got to meet his wife while we were
all waiting for our massage appointments...he said that one thing about living to be his age is that
"you get to be married about 4 different times when you outlive your wives." This gal was
in her early 80s so I figured he chose her for the long haul this time. Well, maybe.
For all I know, he may be outliving her too.

*A 91 year old man who lives with his wife of 70+ years, walks faster than I do, and
meets his buddies every day for some Burger King coffee...and PS-he walks 2 miles (the "long
way" he says) to get there and then walks 1 mile back home ("the short way"). He just recently 
gave his bike riding up a few years back. How great. I'd like to be him in 64 years.

I'm not sure in my brief moments with these two men that I truly learned anything from them,
but how cool to have a little conversation with those who have been around that long.
It makes me wonder...if we want to live that long, is it that walking that keeps the one man
going or is it the friends and a cup o' joe?

I've never been a big coffee drinker, but apparently I may start only because I want to be the bike riding 90 year old. But I seriously don't like it for many reasons really. None of which are that
important, but I'll tell you anyway.

1- it makes me sweat so bad. Not normal sweat, weird sweat
2- it makes me more of a spaz
3- it stains teeth and I refuse to have that
4- I'd rather smell that lovely coffee smell than drink the awful bitterness
5-trips to the bathroom become more frequent than they already are. Yay.

Ty on the other hand loves it. I'm pretty sure we'd have no money if it weren't for our Keurig! It's great he can make it whenever & however without wasting a sip. However, I may have recently developed a little liking to a hint of coffee with some grown-up chocolate milk. On occasion we splurge and get ourselves chocolate almond milk. Not completely paleo, we know. But that's exactly why it becomes more of our splurge here and there.

Make 1 cup of coffee, split it into two cups to share with someone special. Pour your chocolate
almond milk into your coffee and heat it up to your liking. Mix together, kick
back, relax, and enjoy!

*Side note: 
Cane juice is not paleo and happens to be in this chocolate almond milk, but I guess if we're going 
to let loose better this than other alternatives we can think of!

How about an almost PALEO MOCHA with your breakfast or a cup to
go with a good book this morning?

Happy day to you all!

♥The Stanleys

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Finds

I have nothing but good to say about these three things. Hot sauce with everything and dessert all the time. Ok fine, not all the time. I just wish it was all the time.

We initially had the Hail Merry pies a year ago in Colorado while visiting friends and I can remember telling Ty that I would be in heaven if the desserts ever came to the NW. Apparently I missed the one store that had them and now we're back to being in heaven again. Thank goodness. But now we also
have our own local paleo treat that is spendy but worth a try...Divine Pies. Straight from good ol' P-town! Check out the ingredients below and be stunned with healthy desserts (if desserts can truly be healthy, these are the ones).

This lovely company is family owned and operated. How cool? Go to their website & check out their story! Tessemae's also carries another hot sauce I'm dying to try and several dressings/marinades. We
have so many oils and vinegars of our own we haven't gotten through that we haven't bothered with Tessemae's quite yet. For those of you who test them out, let us know what you think!
(I was unable to find Tessemae's at the Bridgeport Whole Foods, but the Vancouver WF had it.
Varieties are limited, but you can always purchase them online)

Divine Pies. Mmmm. Look at those ingredients. People are so smart, making up desserts out of
raw, whole ingredients. I don't plan on reinventing the wheel, so I'll just buy these instead.
(Again, found at Whole Foods)

Hail Merry. I'm so glad you made it to the Pacific NW. For all I know you may have been around longer than I've known, but I'm glad you're around. Ty thanks you too...this one was his favorite which is a surprise to most of us since he typically goes for the berry desserts (he chose the choco-mint over the berry cheesecake, that crazy guy!). Rich in flavor, worth every penny.
(Whole Foods)

You'll definitely drop some cash on just these three items, but who doesn't when you go to Whole Foods anyway? Add them to your grocery list and then don't eat for a day. You'll live.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

5 Ways To Be Efficient & Productive: Check Off Those To-Do Lists!

Some of us have the wonderful ability to be satisfied with what is accomplished in a day. I envy each and every one of you for that and for those who don't pressure themselves with to-do lists. I am unfortunately one of those who pouts if I don't get a few things checked off my list. Sometimes I stay up late instead, thinking I'm accomplishing more. Then I realize that I'm losing out on precious hours of sleep when I get up super early to do more of the dumb list. It's a vicious cycle. I'm still learning
some life lessons, ok. Here are a few of my favorite ways to be productive, efficient, and check off
all my lovely boxes on my list!

Wake up early.
Nothing better than getting up with the birds, making a to-do list, and having part of it done before most people are up (mainly Ty). But let's be honest, those of you who have kids it makes it tough getting things done while they're awake. So why not beat them to the punch and have it all done before they even crack an eye? Ty is like my child in that scenario, just clearly not a real child. For some 
retarded reason, I love that when he rolls out of our bedroom I can say I did this, this, this and this. Kinda dumb.

Make a to-do list & prioritize.
I am a queen of to-do lists. Most of the time they have about 37 items I'll need to check off in the hours I'm even awake in a day. And somehow they all can't seem to get done. No surprise by most who think clearly and realistically, but in my mind I think I should be able to do EVERYTHING. The other important piece to this is writing them down. You can see all that is accomplished, all that still needs to be done, and indirectly make you realize you don't have all day to worry about one of those things. It's a great motivator and all you have to do is write it on a sticky note!

Turn off electronics.
I definitely have an advantage to this. I don't have a smartphone so I have never had any issue with getting distracted by my phone. So for all of you who ask me how I do "so much"...it probably has a lot to do with the lack of electronic devices as well as my poor technology ability. But guaranteed most of us attempt to be productive, but somehow our phones or computers get in the way. We tell ourselves that we just need to look up a quick way to organize on the computer and next thing you know you're browsing the world wide web for who knows what! True statement or what? So turn those darn things off for some time, make a plan to accomplish specific things, and get after it without placing a finger on any sort of electronic device. You'll be surprised how much you can get done!

Set a timer or plan a stop time.
It's as simple as that. For all those competitive individuals like me out there, set a time or plan a stop time for whatever it is you need to complete. It becomes not only a race with time, but a competition
for yourself. I mean, who doesn't like to make up games like who can sweep the floors fastest,
how quick can the dishes be put away, or how many items can you cross of the to do list in a day.
Great games. Really great.

Take breaks.
With enough work in the day, you have to find a little time to rest. Do I do this? No. But you should.
These bad habits of mine can't be broken after 27 years. Why would I take a break when I know I could be getting something done while the rest of the world is taking care of their body?
I'm learning. And in the meantime, take the advice...take some breaks between every task you accomplish. I mean, you kinda deserve it.

What type of things do you do to stay on track, be efficient with your time, and check off those to-do list boxes? Would love to hear some more suggestions!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Making An Old Room "New" Without Paying a Dime

Sometimes we need change. Not a big change, something minor is always nice. And free is always a good thing too. So we decided to change the scenery in the living room (well we did this a while ago, but who said I had to blog real time?). We turned the open space into a nice, close and cozy area with the new couch arrangement. Plus it's in a great spot for kids to jump off the side of the couch near the wall, do some flips onto the couch, and see how many pillows they can jump over. It's a great game as an Auntie, just don't take your eyes off of 'em. Just be sure to remind them they shouldn't do
it at home or else you may not have Auntie privileges again.

Welcome to the "new" room!

I sure cleaned this place up nice, didn't I? Figured I probably should before posting a picture of our living room on the internet. In fact, I think I striped the room of a few things so it looks practically bare
at the moment. Now that we've done this whole rearranging deal I'm getting the bug
for some updates...I know, I know. After I go and tell you all about "free" ways to make a
new room, now I want to make and buy a few things to mix it up even more. I suppose this will just have to be an intro to whatever I can come up with next! I'm thinking some homemade pillow
cases and a new centerpiece for the coffee table. Maybe some mini indoor plants will be necessary
with spring coming upon us, who knows!

Until then, go rearrange something for a new spring change.
Get creative, have fun, and if you have to, go spend a few bucks!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

For A Little Babe: A Gift Idea

It's so fun finding mini sized anything....clothes, shoes, hats, toiletry items, etc. Something about anything in a smaller version makes it a million times better. Would you not agree?

So when I went hunting for a little something for a new babe, I came across a mini leather jacket. I couldn't help myself. Seriously. I kinda got giddy like I found myself a leather jacket. And maybe because I have one, I kinda wanted this special little babe to be a trendsetter for her age at 9-12 months. Not sure if they can be trendsetters at that age, but I'm going with it. With a new book, leggings, 
and a leather jacket...a few Stanley homemade items were necessary.

*a hand knit 'worldly' beanie*
*a homemade heart onesie*

So who did I have way too much fun shopping for? One of the best lookin' mammas out there and her soon-to-come babe, Jordan Amani. You'd never know Emily was pregnant from the backside. Not that I was checking her out from that side, but seriously, she looks amazing. She glows as she always has and her little belly is just about the cutest thing!

Apparently at each ultrasound, each tech says the same thing to Emily and J..."Wow, look at her hair."
I had no idea you could tell a babe has that much hair. Who would've thought? 
Jordan, we look forward to meeting you, watching you grow in this big world, and to see 
all this hair we hear about. Congrats to the soon-to-be Mom & Dad!

A big thanks to all of Emily's sisters who put on a wonderful shower and let me be a part of
the family gathering!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Purchasable (Favorite) Whole30 Approved Treat

Guess what we got our hands on? And guess what you don't have to put any time into making? 
Unless you can see the pictures on your screen already, you won't guess. In fact, you have no idea and I don't blame you. Scroll down and check it!

Sometimes it's the simple things in life...and it just so happens to be these Go Raw cookies.
Many of you already know about these wonderful cookies, but two things are new for us:

1) They now have them at Chucks. Awesome.
2) We had no idea they had the chocolate flavor. Bonus.

I could do without the gingersnap flavor. Not exactly my fav. But the rest, you can't go wrong!
You can find a variety of flavors in the Couve at Chuck's and Fred Meyers.

It's encouraged to avoid Larabars as they compare them to eating a candy bar while on the Whole30 challenge. So during our January challenge we never took a bite out of one of those bars and instead, found these Go Raw cookies for a wonderful substitute! (Although, we chose other flavors since we did not eat any chocolate, cacao, or cocoa powder during that time) 

They are perfect for those sweet cravings or a crunchy snack. 
For 5 bucks, you get a full bag...You can choose how long they last! Consider yourself lucky.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Celebrating 2 Years Of Life!

Look who turns 2 today!

It seems like it was just yesterday that Uncle Ty was your worst fear. Thank goodness for
a whole lot of Friday dates because I was able to bribe you to liking me better anyway.
I guess we can cut Uncle Ty some slack seeing that I was able to one up him all this time!

We wish you the happiest of all birthdays Miss Evelyn Marie! We love you so much!

♡Uncle Ty & Aunt Cori

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Quick Weekend Getaways: Coos Bay & Bandon

Let's be honest, not many people say 'hey, I'm going to take a mini vacation to Coos Bay.' No offense to anybody who lives there, but it doesn't scream vacation for too many. However, add a mix of a coastal drive, some old town antique shopping, and a day in Bandon and you'll be happy you got away for the weekend! Plus, when you have some friends who know the in's and out's of this place...
things get crazy and cool. Yes, both of them all at once.

Ben is a state trooper, so let's just say we got the true in's and out's, all the dirt, and of course, all the best of this little town from Meg! With the views from CB and Bandon, some great food at the golf course, and a wonderful stay at a cute B&B...you can't resist a weekend getaway to
the Southern Oregon coast! Check out how you can get away for the weekend to a place you most likely would not have decided to travel to otherwise (unless you're a golfer, of course).
This little town just may surprise you!

A Tour of The Coast...

Who would've thought we had blue-green ocean water like this in Oregon?!

There she is!

I spy...Can you find us above?

The Stanley's at their finest...

A Tour Through Bandon

Cranberry Sweets (featured on Rachel Ray)...

I acted 5 years old and couldn't get over the name of these chocolates...'pokies in the dark'
I'm not sorry I acted immature with this facial expression. It was great.

cheddar cheese fudge....our faces clearly state our thought.

Bandon on a Stormy Day...

Girls Night While Boys Catch Bad Guys...

Cutest B&B in Town...Coos Bay Manor
(+ they do gluten free!)

Our room..

Thanks to Meg & Ben for the insider's tour of Coos Bay, some great laughs, and incredibly late nights.
Looking forward to our next trip down to visit!
Love to you both!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Home Decor Inspiration

If we aren't working, we've been taking mini trips. Seems as though I keep ditching the blog for
our own fun. Weird. This last weekend we took to the Southern Coast to visit two people who we
could spend days and weeks with, without a minute getting old. If only we lived next door to each other...life couldn't get any better. But because that won't happen, we'll just continue to make trips so we can have an excuse to 'party' (we don't truly party, we're too old) with the Looney's
 and stay at a lovely B&B.

When we first went into their home, I about died. Meg has done such a fabulous job decorating her home. I've decided I no longer need to search the web for inspirations when you can go to friend's homes for ideas on not just style, but organizing tips.

Meg has nailed it when it comes to living in a small home, placing the most perfect decor to fit her theme throughout, and utilizing decor as a way to organize (key to success I think!). 
Take a peek into this cozy place to find some tips & a little inspiration!

Use 2 Instead Of 1.
Rather than using one chair in the living room, Meg chose to go with two smaller chairs.
Both chairs take up as much space as one lounger chair, but instead of one seat you get the bonus 
of allowing an additional guest! Great way to use space and allow for more entertaining.

Throw in Some Words.
Anybody can get away with putting a couple candles on a shelf and call it good on their decor...
but why not throw in a little 'extre'! Find quotes, design it in a document (or cheat and use etsy or pinterest to have it ready for you), and frame them in some fun frames. It gives it that much more dimension plus another reason to draw people closer to each shelf!

Colors, Shapes, Textures, & Objects: Mix 'em up!
Meg has a way of using a variety of textures, colors, shapes, and objects that make a wall stand out.
She brought in decor from her wedding (great way to reuse ladies!), bits and pieces of their personalities, and various heights (use books to add height) to allow certain decor to pop.
This is one of my favorite decorated shelves ever (above)!

Buy Mini Versions.
So your house isn't big enough for that fire place? Maybe it isn't big enough for a big buffet. Well guess what, there's ways around it. Check out this cute, mobile fireplace! It pumps out plenty of heat, so it may not be necessary in the winters to use up your gas bill when you've got one of these. And how clever...turn it into a way for decorating as though it's a mantle! No reason to buy expensive decor either. When you can go out and pick your own lavender, let it dry, then go ahead and use it in your home for decor. You'll probably pay less than you would at a store. Great way to use various 
heights (above). Take some notes people!

Storage as Decor.
One of my favorites...utilizing a dresser for decor. What a perfect way to highlight the end of the hallway (without taking up space down the side of the hallway) and allows you to organize the drawers however you want. For all I care, put your undies and socks in it if you have no space in your bedroom for it. Or organize your craft items in the drawers. Nobody has to know, seriously. Such a great way to utilize a small space for organizing! And PS- can I have that dresser?

They are super popular right now, I know. But what a great way to save some space! Use a fun basket, personalize it for the dog, and put it on the top of the dog's crate. For one, it organizes all the dog's stuff. Two, it reminds you that you can only have/keep enough "stuff" for the dog that fits into the one basket. And three, placing it on the crate saves you from having an additional storage container lingering in the house or garage!

Who says you can't use a drying rack for a new coat rack by the door? I love this idea! His and her coats hang on the hangers, outdoor necessities in baskets for easy access, 
and a little decor to spice it up. Perfect!

We all live in smaller homes, so finding ways to bring in organizational decor is like a million bucks!
Meg, you have done such a wonderful job (and Ben, you've been great support too) on making your house a beautiful home. And as I said before, be sure to pay close attention to your friend's home...
there's always something to learn from others!