Sisters Post

Simple Matters – Living with Less and Ending Up with More” by Erin Boyle was a book I had been wanting to read for quite a while. I follow Erin’s blog and love her style of writing and the simplicity by which she lives. So I bought my sisters copies of the book and we decided to each give our take on it (although I don’t think they’ve written something up about it yet). Whether we liked it or not. Whether we agree with all, some, or none of her philosophies. I’m gonna break it down into short little notes about the few chapters in the book.

1) Decluttering. I was all about this chapter. I love to decluttering and purge. But I am also doing this constantly because I haven’t mastered “gatekeeping”; the screening of what stuff comes into your home. So for me, it’s a vicious cycle. This would probably be easier on the budget if I took the time to sell the items that are sellable and to use that money for purchases down the road.

2) Simplifying. Here Erin talks more, among other things, of her choices to be more environmentally concious of the items she uses. While I give her a thumbs up for having that dedication, I personally don’t have that as a high priority in my household. I do try, however, to be more aware of what chemicals are in stuff, and to buy items with less chemical makeup to them. 

3) Organizing. Oh how I wish I was a more organized person. I always accumulate more baskets to hide away eye sores than dealing with it and finding a purposeful spot for them. Erin does have some great simple tip here for that. 

4) Decorating. Erin’s decorating style is very clean and fresh. A simple rustic minimalism. I feel like she needs to visit my house to impact some of her organizing and decorating skills on me.

5) Bath and Beauty. One of the troublesome areas she mentions here is the bathroom cabinet. I cringe at the thought of anyone seeing the chaotic mess I have in ours. It needs some hardcore purging and organizational love. She does give a recepie here for a homemade sugar scrub that I’m intrigued to try.

6) Getting dressed. Growing a minimalist wardrobe. How simple and easy would it be to open your closet and only find a handful of carefully selected and purchased garments so versatile that you could wear them with almost anything else in your closet. In a perfect world maybe that’s how it is, but sadly my closet is packed with clothes that only go with certain  things or clothes I “might wear one day”. Erin give some tips towards working on your wardrobe and making it work for you.

7) Cooking and entertaining. Meal planning is such a calming activity for me. To open a cookbook and see delicious recepies I’d want to try. But when it comes to actually cooking the meal, talk about stressful. I do not enjoy cooking at all. It makes me a hot, worried mess. Erin gives great pointers on how to prep during the week so that dinner times aren’t so stressful.

8) Cleaning. Oh dear, another area I need help on. I do like his through this book Erin talk on how to consider the beauty and usefulness of what you use. She also gives some DIY cleaning products that aren’t so filled with nasty chemicals and her list of cleaning essentials. 

9) Thriving. Here in the last chapter of the book, Erin reminds us not to worry so much about the little stuff that we forget to relax, take time for ourselves, and just be in the now.

All in all I really enjoyed this book. Most of her topics I agree wth full heartedly, although I am not as dutiful as her in following through. You should check out my sisters’ blogs to see if they wrote their take on it. 




Stop and smell the roses

Sometimes I get caught up in the day with what needs to get done and checking things off my list that I tend to miss moments that are much more valuable than a completed to do list. 

Half the time my days go as such. Wake up. Get breakfast. “Jack quit doing that”. Do dishes. Throw load of clothes in washer. “Jack, not right now honey” Make bed. Get baby down for nap. “Bubba I’m busy”. Switch load of laundry. Pick up living room. “Jack honey go play in the other room”. Figure out supper.  And so on and so on.

But what I’ve missed to see during that day was Jack creating a shape or animal out of his food at breakfast and wanting to show off his proud work. Jack wanting me to sit down with him and play with his puzzles. Jack wanting to show me something he built with his blocks that took him a while to create. 

To me sometimes it seems like a disturbance in my busy day. But to him it’s something he’s accomplished or quality time he’s wanting to spend with his momma who he loves. And all it takes is a few seconds or minutes of my day to look and admire what he’s done, or to sit and play with him and laugh along with him at his silly antics.

We need to “stop and smell the roses” as it were. The time is NOW. Tomorrow Jack may not want me to play with him or think I don’t care about his accomplishments even though I do. 

Stop and pay attention, or you might miss out on something wonderful throughout your day. 

Sisters Post

Hey there! A little while ago I got with two of my sisters who blog and we decided to start doing a group blog once a month. We don’t officially have a name for these posts yet, so if any of you come up with a clever idea let me know. 

This month was to write about three favorite childhood books. The first two were easy. 

1) Fern Hollow books. And more specifically, The Seasons of Fern Hollow. The illustrations in this series is amazing! Half the time when I was little I would just sit and stare at the pictures.  

2) Redwall Series. When I got a little older, my cousin introduced this series to me. Every book is amazing. Again it has animals as the main characters….I’m starting to see a pattern here.  

3) This one took me a little while to think of, but I remember constantly rereading
Pilgrims Progress when I was younger. Such a great story.  


Go on ahead and check out my sister’s posts.

Rebekah: Let Me Clarify This
Leah: Just Moseyen’ Along

Baby break

Hello everyone! It’s been awhile, I know. Last time I wrote we were waiting on the appearance of Mr. Rowen. We’ll he’s here! (for about 4 months now) Blogging kinda took a back seat until life got setteled into a routine, but hopefully now I can get back to posting. I love my little squiggly squishy boy so much. If you follow my Instagram , you can see all that’s been happening the past few months. 

It’s been an adjustment having two kids, but I’ve slowly gotten accustomed to it. And now I’m loving it! (I’m still terrified though to go to the grocery store by myself with them) It’s amazing how much you forget about having a baby around. 

Right now Rowen is a whopping 20 lbs and 27 inches long. That’s 100% in weight, and 97% in height! ūüė≥ Big fella!


39 weeks, waiting on baby’s appearance. I finally have started to “nest” a little. Meaning I cleaned my kitchen after the dishes piled up so much that we couldn’t use the sink. But that kick started the whole process and now I’m on a role. One room at a time getting everything cleaned over and ready for 4 people to be living here.


(Right: Jack at 39. Left: Rowen at 39 weeks)

For a couple of weeks, Jack and I have been going to story hour at the local library. Today one of the ladies brought in this huge lizard to go along with the story we were reading about the desert. Jack was amazed! He kept saying, “Dinosaur! Dinosaur!” and would just laugh and point at it. Then after the story they do crafts. Most children go home afterwards but Jack and I like to stick around and play with the puzzles and legos they have in the children’s section. One thing I love about this library is they will put categories of books together, so each week Jack and I will check a group of them out. Last week we checked out books about “Trains”. Today the group was “ABC’s”. We also picked up the classic “Casey at the Bat”.

IMG_6423       IMG_6422


Here are a few more photos from this week.


(Brad cooking some delicious pork chops)

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Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

You know those evenings. When your child won’t quit crying and throwing tantrums. Over a popsicle. And you try everything, positive and disciplinary, to get your child to stop. And then one word ends¬†all the madness. One word makes the world a better place. One word to bring a smile to your child’s face and make mom heave a sigh of relief. BATH. And boy does this little one love his bath time.

That was our evening tonight. (I managed to sneak in a pregnancy picture while little one was enjoying his favorite activity)


38 weeks


36 weeks along. Less than a month to go. 28 days to be exact. That is, if Rowen decides to come on his due date. I haven’t really nested too much with this one. I have bought some extra tidbits that I told myself I desperately needed for the baby (even though I probably didn’t). Burp cloths and a knitted blanket from Etsy, double stroller (which i actually did need), odds and ends from little online stores. I have most everything I need from when Jack was a baby. Including tubs upon tubs of baby clothes. I’m trying to convince Brad that we need this moses basket I saw online. I have been wanting one forever but never found one that fit my specifications. I’m kinda picky. But today I found the perfect one, and it’s 25%. We’ll see if my nudging will work.

Mr. Rowen has been poking right along. Literally. No position is comfortable. If I¬†lay down I have to constantly switch sides because one side will get sore within 7 min. If I sit down, my back and bum get sore quickly. Standing is the only option for no soreness, but this pregnant lady doesn’t like to stand for very long, so I’m constantly going back and forth from up to down. I’m ready to lay on my belly again. Not that I am a belly sleeper originally, but I would like to have the option again.

I’m so curious about Rowen. What his temperament will be. If he will look more like me or Brad. As long as he is healthy, it won’t matter. We had a scare during the middle of the pregnancy when the doctor noticed that Rowen had a slightly larger ventricle on the right side. After telling us the problems that come with having a larger ventricle (which scared us out of our minds) they suggested we do some tests to check. We did some blood tests to check for any chromosome issues and also did a fetal MRI to see if there were any other problems to spot. I’d have to say that waiting on those test results was the hardest part. A lot of prayers were made from here and from back home. God did answer our prayers and we heard back from the doctors¬†that the¬†blood work came back negative for the chromosome issues, and the fetal MRI showed nothing else the matter. All in all a healthy baby with just a slightly larger ventricle. Now I won’t say that rules out everything 100%. The rest will be determined when he is born. But from the latest ultrasound, which showed no extra fluid in the brain, he seems to be developing right on tract. We are so thankful to¬†God, that He has been watching over Rowen and keeping His merciful hand upon him.

Moving, Baby, then Moving Again

Oh boy! So much has happened since I took a hiatus from blogging. The only way I’m going to be able to cover it all is if I just number them. I’ll go into detail¬†about everything in a later post.

  1. This gets a #1 position because in my option it’s the best news. We are expecting another boy! I’m 35 weeks along, which means pretty soon¬†this baby could make his appearance. I’m totally ok with him coming a little early as long as he is healthy, my belly would appreciate it as well. His name is Rowen James Irby and if he goes full term he is going to be HUGE! 8+ pounds! We had some scares along the way with this pregnancy but I’ll go into that in a later post.
  2. We moved from Arkansas to Michigan around May, lived there for 2 months, then relocated to Illinois where hopefully we’ll stay here for a couple of years. Jack has been a trooper with all this moving around. He’s very adapt at the nomad lifestyle. (Me, not so much which this whole pregnancy thing.
  3. It’s Fall finally!! (not really news but I am just so excited about this I thought it needed it’s own number)

I think that’s about it as far as news goes. I’ll have a lot more posts coming up soon with having a new baby and all. So keep checking back! Here are some pictures…

1546224_10155821006980118_8865440510375062980_nMr. Rowen James Irby

11870827_10153127401906973_3093768884829688948_nHanging out with cousins

11953008_10156081679915118_8348491489649684318_nJack’s 2nd Birthday. He never does well with the Happy Birthday song.

12004047_10203880589329098_4369739276261957220_nMore cousins.

Top 5 Favorite Movies

1) The Holiday! Great cast, great soundtrack, great plot…just love love love it!

the holiday

2) You’ve Got Mail

youve got mail

3) Monsieur Beaucaire. A Bob Hope Classic


4) Julie & Julia. This movie always makes me want to cook after I watch it! And Meryl Streep is amazing (as always)


5) Eat Pray Love. I watch this movie if I’m ever in the mood to travel.


Other Honorable Mentions…….

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

The Tourist

How to Steal a Million


The Quiet Man


Getting your Kids to try New Foods!

I’ve been lucky¬†enough to have a child who will eat almost anything I put in front of him. But that being said I know at some point his picky side will kick in and I will have to get creative with his food. So I’ve put this post together for you (and for me as well) to show some ideas of how to get your children to try new foods.

1)¬†Start Early.¬†It helps when as soon as a food is okayed¬†for your child to eat within their first year, put it in front of them, even if you dislike it yourself. I can’t stand cucumber, but as soon as Jack could eat it, I put some in front of him and he gobbled it up.

2) Distraction.¬†Some children eat better when they don’t pay too much attention to what they are eating. Try reading to them, or singing, maybe playing a little game. I would try and avoid having them watch TV¬†while they eat, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do when you’ve had zero sleep the night before.

3) Variety.¬†Give them a variety of choices. For a snack sometimes I’ll give Jack some sliced grape tomatoes, squash, and maybe some sliced grapes.

4) Add ons.¬†If your child isn’t wanting to eat the chicken you cooked, try dipping it in a little sour cream (yum). Having trouble eating celery? Use the classic peanut butter technique. Trouble with fruit? Cream cheese! But try and use your add ons in moderation. You down’t want to completely cover the flavor of the food you are trying to get them to like. And I would suggest trying to avoid any condiments on food such as ketchup, ect.

5)¬†Colors and Shapes.¬†The colors of the rainbow are at your disposal, so use them! ORANGE¬†carrots, RED¬†strawberries, GREEN¬†beans, BLUEberries, YELLOW squash…I could go on. When their food is colorful, kids seemed to be more engaged in eating what’s in front of them. You can also buy small cookies cutters here in shapes, letters, and animals. This just adds an extra fun element. (And call also become good practice in learning their shapes and letters).

6) Joining In. This one is for when your kids are a little older. Let them join in on preparing the food. Pampered Chef makes a great kids knife they can use to help slice up fruit and such *under your carful supervision*.