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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    goal means making yourself vulnerable so you can speak to the hearts of other women I m looking forward to reading the book Grace for the Good Girl Letting Go of the Try Hard Life by Emily Freeman from Chatting at the Sky What does reaching your goal really look like 56 Comments Smart Design from a Petite Venetian Kitchen We packed our stuff to come stay in Venice for a couple of weeks and it is gorgeous I can t cross a bridge without wanting to take a picture but I know you ve seen photos of the canals so what I want to show you today is the kitchen in our apartment and its clever use of space We re staying in the quiet Dorsoduro district of Venice and the grocery store is a five minute walk away The food is fresh and with the exception of a slice of artichoke pizza for me we mostly eat meals at home What I like best about this kitchen is that it has exactly what we need without a lot of the extras to take up space Read more 71 Comments Date Night Roasted Asparagus We don t get to go out to eat very often but when we do go I have a habit of ordering something without knowing or asking what it is I ll order something with an Italian name that looks easy to pronounce and if something on the menu is followed by della casa or alla Fiorentina then that s usually what I want to try When the waiter brings it to me I m usually pleasantly surprised Not always I thought trippa was seafood like a type of fish Yikes The asparagus at dinner was excellent though and the next day we made it at home This was easy to do I m not an advanced cook just so you know Doug usually does the cooking and I do the cleaning up It s great team effort when we both feel like we get the better end So yes this was easy and good for you Much more so than the big bowl of tiramisú I ate for dessert That next morning after our date Doug went to our favorite corner store to buy the asparagus It was early so when he asked for asparagi they took him outside to get it off the small white truck that was still delivering the fruits and vegetables I cannot even describe how huge this asparagus was We just had to laugh Early spring is the peak season for asparagus I learned that from the book Animal Vegetable Miracle which has one entire chapter devoted completely to asparagus That s food appreciation Did you know one asparagus plant can produce for twenty years That s a little bit of trivia So after we stood there gawking at and taking pictures of the asparagi it was time to cook Roasted Asparagus with Prosciutto 1 Rinse the asparagus and

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/51/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    though I tried to be creative and use what I had in different ways Now that I stay at home I get by with fewer pieces and I can wear my favorite outfits many times without anyone else noticing My tastes have gradually changed toward having fewer but better articles of clothing I want clothes that I can wear for many seasons and will always make me feel great If I were to go back to work outside the home again I think I would stick with this strategy and not worry so much about having variety Maybe as I grow older I am more confident and not as worried about what other people think and I ve also developed more of a sense of my personal style more classic and not trendy Over the last five years I ve let my clothing collection dwindle smaller naturally by buying less to replace what has worn out My current wardrobe is the size that most people take on vacation Boxed up in storage I do keep other clothes that are not in my current size In the last two years I have been so many different sizes Let s see there is what I consider my normal size and then there is mid pregnancy late pregnancy post pregnancy and nursing and even a smaller gluten free pants size It s entirely possible for me to go through all of these sizes again but I don t want to buy a new wardrobe each time I think people who tell you that you should only keep clothes in your current size haven t considered pregnancy and all that comes along with it It s important that my clothes fit me well Actually how they fit is more important to me than how many there are which is why I make do with less variety I keep fewer better clothes in each of my sizes and this helps to manage my wardrobe costs for the sizes that I may transition through for only a few months If you keep just the best clothes they really shouldn t take up much space For me it s one box stored away to give me a good start no matter what size I am in clothes that were specially chosen for me Tips on keeping clothes in other sizes Keep only the clothes that you ll be happy to see again Keep the best stuff not everything Don t save any clothes that are worn out The maternity pants that you wore every day during those last weeks because they were the only pair that still fit and therefore have drops of chocolate ice cream stains on them not that I m speaking from experience or anything can be thrown away You want to keep them in a box in your storage space not in useful closet space with your current size Go through them every year or so to see if you can size down

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/52/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    it right there We ll share more small space solutions this month and if you have any specific requests just ask 50 Comments The New Year Thank goodness there s a week of holiday from Christmas to New Year s because I am not ready to go back to real life yet Since nobody else is doing anything either I can coast along with an oversupply of chocolate and a week full of get togethers We went to the park and played on Christmas morning after opening stockings and gifts Lane wore the tutu I made for her gift I had plans to take it easy for the new year My only resolution I had in mind was to drink more water and maybe drink less root beer Because that seemed simple But then we found out we re having a baby And suddenly my year looks so very different This picture is 36 hours after learning the news I m thinking I can just put this baby in a sling and keep on going Doug is wondering if he ll worry this time as much as he did last time We ll be moving soon from the small apartment we have now to a slightly bigger apartment We don t know where it will be yet I ll consider my resolution to drink more water as checked off the list done That was easy And now on to new goals of planning packing moving and growing this family we started I love to get organized in January Love it So stick with me because I ve got plans to do some serious sorting and organizing The plans oh the plans Be still my heart 118 Comments The Secret to a Good Self Photo My favorite family photos are always

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/150/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    doesn t give someone the incentive to save money It s not really supposed to A budget is a tool It doesn t make you save money A diet plan doesn t lose weight for you A home management notebook doesn t clean your house An alarm clock doesn t make you get out of bed All of these things are helpful but they are simply tools and you still need to find your own motivation to make any changes Sara at On Simplicity recently said Breaking a bad habit isn t about doing what s right It s also not about paying absolution It s about finding something you simply want more and weighing that cost whenever you re tempted When you want to make changes the motivation has to be big enough that the long term reward is greater than short term satisfaction That s why bad habits are so hard to break because we love instant gratification and we usually don t see the consequences until later So what is it that you really want Or what do you want to avoid If I want to drink more water then a water bottle might help but my vanity s desire for pretty skin will motivate me to use it If I want a clean house my desire for peaceful surroundings will make me clean up more than a posted schedule will If I want to save money then I need to think about my reasons why because a budget won t do the work for me Overcome a big goal simply by getting started Things often seem too hard at the beginning but if you get started you gain momentum Just take that first step Keep your motivation reminder close by whether it s on a post it note or a photo or an inspiring quotation What is it that you want and what are you willing to give up for it Just think about it for a little while today 18 Comments Good Reads Looking Back at 2008 Photo by Solar ikon This was the year I started blogging and the year I found so many of the blogs I enjoy reading When I found Megan s blog SortaCrunchy I knew I wanted to be friends with her She writes with such sincerity and openness and just when I think she s written her greatest post ever she tops it with another Secret Genius remains one of my favorites the one I get excited about when I see a new post in my RSS reader I like how Jill tells such a good story with just a photo and a few words One reason I relate to her posts is we both have little girls I don t want to gush too much lest she think I m stalking her Sarah from Life in the Parsonage might tell a style secret that helps my wardrobe and also share a thought provoking post that sticks with me

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/149/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    in the children s bedroom They open to the balcony that overlooks the street I m glad we live in a quiet neighborhood We don t hear the late night crowds and revelry just the occasional horn honking and Vespa zooming by How about some links for weekend reading I m a contributor to the blog Alphamom and I wrote about Create Your Family Soundtrack Draw Your Story The Illustrated Journal I bookmarked Dreamy Practical from Salt and Chocolate I think we all need a dreamy practical list for this weekend Evening Prep for an Easier Morning from Simple Kids No Pantry 8 Tips for Keeping Counters Clutter Free from the Kitchn Have a good weekend I can t even tell you how happy I am that spring has come We re going to do some sightseeing See you back next week 9 Comments The Bathroom Tour and Being More Grateful for Hot Water It is an unusual thing to post pictures of my bathroom on the internet Hello new readers I promise I normally don t do this But this is no ordinary bathroom It s been such an integral part of my transition to living in Italy that I just had to show it to you and talk about it First it s a generous size for a bathroom in Florence We looked for a long time to find a rental apartment that had a tub for our kids The last time we visited Florence we stayed in a place where the bathroom was so small the toilet was in the shower You could simultaneously use the bathroom and take a shower if you wanted to multitask in that way We re very grateful to have a nice big bathroom but the size is not what makes such a significant impression It s the water I was talking with an expat mom last week and we both agreed that what we miss is steady hot water I don t want to generalize and say all apartments in Italy are this way but taking a shower here requires a lot more thinking and planning than back in the states where all I have to do is turn a knob and get a full dose of hot water that I can stand under just I don t know standing there rinsing Because of the low electricity supply we can only turn on one appliance at a time which includes the apartment s heat and the hot water heater We have to turn off the heater before we can turn on the hot water heater and the bathroom happens to be the coldest space in the apartment The weather outside is key During winter when it was so cold and rainy the bathroom was so cold that it was unpleasant to be there wet and shivering after a shower The pipes were cold too so any hot water lasted only briefly We have two hot water heaters a small one and

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/53/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    to me as much as I m putting into it like my citrus tree 2 Was I just interested in learning about it Am I done now and ready to move on 3 Am I more interested in the finished result than the process I feel this way about knitting I like the idea of knitting but mostly I just want a finished baby hat Someone else who enjoys the process can make it and I can buy it from them on Etsy 4 And probably the most painful question Is shopping for supplies more fun than the real hobby The lesson we learned last week was Just because I could doesn t mean I should This week s lesson can be Just because you started it you don t have to finish it It s perfectly fine to move on from a hobby to free up your time for something new in life Let s discuss What hobbies are in your life right now and what changes have you made 93 Comments Cleaning for Spring as if that makes it come sooner The weather this winter in Italy has been hard to predict unless I predict drizzle and then I m right sixty percent of the time I ve found that the best way to know if the day is going to be nice is to look across to my neighbors and see if they re hanging out sheets tablecloths and more laundry Then I know we ll have nice weather at least for a few hours Otherwise I ll be drying my laundry inside over the bed rails It has been so cold living in this old building We have radiators but we don t control the thermostat and we have a couple of electric heaters but we try to be conservative with them What a difference modern windows and caulk can make We ve piled and stacked up our blankets and pillows around the door frames to keep out the cold wind and that did help I used to gaze enviously at vintage windows with architectural charm and think how grand they were With the weather being cold I now look at our arched windows and all I can think is drafty My life is going to change with the spring It starts on Sunday you know that right I can t wait I can t wait to throw open the doors and windows every day without thinking about losing precious heat I want to air everything out This is the vacuum we ve been using Just like everything else in our apartment it has its own personality The hose is held on by masking tape It rolls around on wheels like a little robot It works much better now than it did before since we took it apart and cleaned out the inside Do you know how to make your vacuum work better You need to clean it out at least once a year It makes

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/54/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    Soft Place to Land Learn Practical Skills We Made Butter from Heritage Acres Farm I want to make butter like my friend Chas Make Smart Money Decisions Paying Off the Mortgage Early a guest post by Ashley from Wide Open Wallet featured at Remodeling This Life Enjoy Peace How to let your toddler type on your computer without fear of him deleting all your files or performing Google searches AlphaBaby I use this to let Lane safely type on my beloved Mac CrazyLittleFingers for Windows via Lifehacker What did you do this week that you re proud of 19 Comments How to Save the Day from a Bad Morning Photo by lepiaf geo Is it one of those days You wake up and it s not even light outside but a little face is standing three inches from you needing food You step in something wet on the way to the kitchen face last night s dishes in the sink and you re still wearing yesterday s shirt I know from experience Some mornings are better than others It s tempting to give up and say you ll deal with it all tomorrow If your morning gets off to a bad start don t give up just yet There s hope Are you clean Do you have time to get a shower Did you brush your hair and teeth Get dressed all the way like you re going somewhere even if you re not Don t lounge in your housepants Did you eat something Coffee or coke doesn t count You need breakfast even if you ve conditioned your body to go without it Eat a meal with some protein and carbs like an egg and toast or a smoothie with fruit and protein powder Take care of yourself Take

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/148/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    my stuff for me I would be worried he would give or throw away something that mattered He feels the same way Even though our tendency is to want to clean out each other s stuff it s better to spend more time focusing on our own Even after all that it s still just stuff right People always matter more 23 Comments Declutter Your Home Declutter your home and find space to breathe again Decluttering is hard but the resources here at Small Notebook will help you cut back the clutter and have a more peaceful home Top 10 Rules for Decluttering Start with the big stuff Remove oversized clutter like old furniture broken appliances and empty cardboard boxes to make the biggest impact for your space even if you never get around to the smaller stuff Recognize what is really trash Charities spend many volunteer hours and dollars sorting out the unusable donations Don t donate items to charity that should be thrown away Be realistic about monetary value Avoid spending too much time trying to decide if it s okay to declutter an item that might be worth four dollars Don t declutter your family s stuff without their permission No one likes to discover their stuff is missing For kids How to Simplify Declutter the Toys For spouses Declutter Peacefully With Your Spouse Don t play matchmaker Are you waiting to find someone who will really appreciate your stuff Don t call all your extended family just to see if anyone wants your old mugs Find a charity such as a women s shelter that accepts most general household goods Storage units should be temporary Offsite storage can be useful in some instances but if you rent one you should have a plan for when you won t need it anymore If the years go by the expenses will far exceed the value of what is being stored Get a motto and stay motivated My motto right now is I want this gone by the time we move Set deadlines for when things need to go If you want to sell something on eBay or have a garage sale set a date for when it s time to switch to Plan B to donate it in case your stuff is still at home Know the source of your clutter Do you upgrade your stuff frequently Do you buy too much because it was on sale Have an idea in mind of what is causing most of your clutter so you can avoid bringing it home in the first place Don t keep something out of guilt You do not have to keep something that you do not like just because someone gave it to you It s okay to appreciate the sentiment of the gift without actually keeping it You don t have to keep things associated with bad feelings What to do when other people give you clutter How to deal with negative keepsakes What

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/147/ (2016-02-10)
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