MT Tribe Showcase: Motherhood and Merlot

I haven’t posted a Featured Friday Tribe Member in a few weeks so I am playing catch up this week. I cannot even begin to tell you how glad I am that today’s blogger and I “met.” Joanna of Motherhood and Merlot has become one of my best blogging friends. Together we decided to form our little tribe which has grown to 25 members and only great things are in the future. Our blogs have grown but our friendships have grown even stronger. We didn’t expect our little group to come so far so quickly and I know that without Joanna especially, I wouldn’t have made it through the tough times of being a new blogger. The best part is that we started as Merlot (Joanna) and Twins (Me), but my sweet friend just found out that she is expecting twins too!!! And I am drinking her share of merlot in the meantime! I can’t wait to follow her journey and become closer as friends.

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Here is a little about Joanna’s blog:

“A lifestyle/family blog where we are all about finding joy in the crazy! Focuses on the beauty of womanhood, motherhood and what else, WINE, along with some little tidbits about fashion, beauty and health.”

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One of Joanna’s most recent posts that I loved was her birthday post and reflections of the past 25 years on her 25th birthday. She is so inspiring and I love her sincerity and heart. Be sure to check out her post and others from the blog by clicking on the images.

And give that girl some belated birthday love and well wishes during her pregnancy on her blog and social media:

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I Resolve to Be More “Downton”

I hate New Year’s resolutions. I mean really! Does anyone ever keep all of their resolutions? In 2013 I decided to put aside the bull of the annual promises and focus on being a better person and mom. I even put up cute little sayings that reminded me that 2013 was MY YEAR. And boy was it ever. Approximately a month after I made those promises, I started dating the love of my life and everything fell into place. Here I am two years later so happy with my life. I am very content in my place. Sure I need to lose some pounds and wish I didn’t yell at my kids as much. But I learned to do the best that I can and live life in the present without feeling the burdens of my past and the pressures of my future.

However, I came into a little Downton wisdom as I was watching the first episode of the fifth season on Sunday. I decided that this year I was going to make a few resolutions. Between scenes of crying Edith and Mary pretending she doesn’t want to jump Tony’s bones, and in hearing that the future Countess of Grantham and fellow single mama has also chosen to live in the moment, I decided that this year, I want to be more “Downton.”

So here for your enjoyment I give you my 10 “Downtolutions” for 2015.

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Number One: Mind Your Posture.

If you caught the little after show episode The Manners of Downton Abbey, you will know that posture was everything in the Edwardian era. The historical adviser even mentioned that nannies would stick knives in the back of dining room chairs in order to prevent slumping at dinner. These ladies and gents knew how to carry themselves. I mean look at us now. We are slouchy and crooked. It’s amazing we don’t have more back issues than we do. Good posture is so important for so many reasons. Check out the information in the pin if you don’t believe me:

Pin: Benefits of Good Posture

Website: Greatist

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Number Two: Mind Your Figure.

This goes hand-in-hand with posture. Minding your figure is not meaning that you must diet. It just means that you need to be aware of how you look. Think about what food and drink you put into your body. Everything that is done at the abbey has a purpose down to the food they eat. I remember one character below stairs commented on the amount of food and courses that are served day in and day out. She remarked that it’s a wonder that they aren’t all huge. Sure there is a lot of food, but the food serves a purpose and is in moderation. So this year I resolve to think of every bite and to eat with purpose and moderation. Here is a great pin that will help and gives amazing tips for awareness of food consumption:

Pin: Portion Control

Website: Elle

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Number Three: Dine at Home

Edith told Gregson when they were dining out that Cora never let them eat away from home when they were younger. They ALWAYS dined at home. Now I’m not saying that a night out is horrible. Lord knows I live for evenings when I don’t have to cook and can let someone else do the serving. Obviously this is easy for the Crawley Family to do because they have a full staff waiting on them and a menu to die for, but the fact is that eating at home, even cooking and cleaning up yourself, is much better than eating fast food or at a restaurant. Not only is it much cheaper, but it is also healthier. A piece of fried chicken is better for you if cooked at home than cooked at Bojangles. Plus we treat dining out as just another meal instead of the treat that is was back in the day. I am failing at this miserably so far in 2015. We’ve eaten out 3 nights in a row this week. With our work schedules, it gets tough to eat at home especially when I am the only one who does the cooking most of the time. But we both know and agree that it is better for our bellies and budgets to eat around the dining room table. Maybe a Downton recipe will motivate me to cook this week. Here is one I can’t wait to try:

Pin: Roast and Yorkshire Pudding

Website: Downton Abbey Cooks

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Number Four: Get Dressed

Now this sounds absurd. Obviously we all get dressed every day. Or do we? I slum it in sweats a whole bunch. And there are days I venture out makeup-less and looking more like Ethel after a night of “work” than elegant Lady Cora. I always feel so frumpy and gross when I don’t look my best. So for 2015, I am going to make it a point to get myself dressed and put on a little eye makeup everyday. Take note ladies, your husbands will thank you. And for those of you who swear that making yourself look decent is anti-mom and out of the question, take a tip from the site below and get ready “mommy-style”:

Pin: 5 Easy Tips to be a Put Together Mama

Website: You Put It On

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Number Five: Get Dressed Up

I’m not saying wear a corset to your next family picnic, but every now and then I want to get really gussied up for myself and my man. I actually have a corset for the wedding, but I do not plan on reviving this ritual. It will feel really amazing to be made up for an evening. And furthermore, I want to make it a point to go out which brings me to…

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Number Six: Let the Nanny Do It

The kids don’t have a nanny but they have Nana. And an aunt and uncle a few hours away who would love to have them for the evening. I don’t want to imitate Downton life in their interactions with their children. I want to raise my children and play with them and love them without the help of a live-in. But I do want to go out on dates and have some couple time especially since most of 2015 will be spent as husband and wife. I resolve to have a date night or two and tote the youngins to my sister and eat at a fabulous big city restaurant. I can really invoke the show and call it my trip to visit “Aunt Rosamund” in “London.” You don’t mind if I call you Rosamund do you Whit? Need a date night idea and “London” is out of the question? Check out the suggestions below:

Pin: 30 Date Nights At Home

Website: The Mom Crowd

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Number Seven: Browse the Library

Have you seen that library in Downton? It’s marvelous. I can’t imagine that all of those books have been read or touched. I have one lone bookshelf stashed with novels and half of mine haven’t even been opened. I want to read more this year. I want to take time to snuggle in bed with a good book and read. I want to get lost in the pages. I want a break from the television, minus Sunday evenings of course, and really get back to my love of a juicy novel. Here’s a tip from someone who has way too many books: Check out your local Goodwill or Thrift Store. There are tons of hardcover books for super low prices. And most are practically brand new. Also audio books are an option for those who would rather listen than read. Many apps are available that have recordings of the classics for free. If you love reading and Downton, you must check out this list of books. I own copies of The American Heiress and Below Stairs and they are must-reads for my fellow Downton Crazies:

Pin: 14 Books to Read if You Love Downton Abbey

Website: Buzz Feed

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Number Eight: Take a Turn in the Gardens

Lord knows I need to exercise more. I really have been trying to get back into yoga and a few other P90x3 workouts that I enjoy and can actually do. We never see the Crawleys lift a weight or do a sitting/standing cow-dog handstand thingamajig. But they are always outside walking in the gardens or hunting or riding or fishing. They never stay inside all day. So even if I just walk down my road (we don’t have “neighborhoods” in the country haha) or play outside with my kids, I want to take more “turns in my gardens” this year. And of course my favorite walking will be down the aisle :).

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Number Nine: Speak Up

I learned from the historical adviser that the aristocracy in the Edwardian era was infamous for speaking their minds and loudly. My dad will tell you that this is no resolution that I can’t keep. I love to say what’s on my mind with my family. I have my opinions and I voice them. At work, it’s a different story. Most often than not, I stick to myself and retreat to the background rather than voicing my opinions. Or if I do speak up, it is to my small group of co-workers and not to those that matter. I feel a little defeated and settled in my job and don’t give my opinions as I used to. This year I want to say what I feel and voice my ideas to those that matter. I’m not going to go on crazed rampage don’t worry, but if I’m asked what I think, I want to have the confidence in my abilities to answer.

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And Finally Number Ten: Family Comes First

I hope that neither of my sisters asks me to carry a dead diplomat from one end of my house to the other or burdens me with the task of keeping some deep dark secret, but I do want to continue to put my family first above all else. This one is less of a resolution and more of a continuance of lessons learned when I didn’t put my immediate family first. I already spend a lot of QT with the fam, and I want to continue to do so for years to come. I love my family and am excited to take part in two weddings and a formation of a new family this year.

And if all else fails with these resolutions and I feel myself sliding on one or two, don’t worry the Crawleys only follow the rules most of the time. Also I fully expect to be served breakfast in bed daily once I am a married woman. Who can I count on to carry out that duty because J’s off to work most mornings before I get up and I’ve seen my kids try to pour a glass of juice and let’s just say it ain’t pretty.

What “Downtolutions” would you add to the list?

Hope you all have a wonderful year and resolve to live life in the present and love and not hate!

Happy 2015

It’s Twenty Fifteen Lovers!

Whooo that was a wonderful little break! I enjoyed laying around on the couch, wrapping presents, baking, celebrating, and watching Downton Abbey (yay it’s back from its hiatus as well… they really need to consider not waiting so long in between seasons. I’m not sure I can last without my drug TV show).

Now that the new year has arrived and it just so happens to be the year of my wedding… um yikes… I will probably only be posting a few times a week until after the nuptials and things have calmed down a bit. I’m so looking forward to 2015 but loved every moment of 2014. Here were a few highlights from last year:

I got engaged!

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The girls and I moved into our new home (J and R’s home) which required some remodeling.

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The girls danced in their first dance recital.

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J and I took an adults only vacation to the beach!

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We adopted some kittens from J’s papaw. They were named Rainbow Dash and Lebron James. Yeah I don’t get it either.

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I started blogging and sewing. I made tons of new blogging friends through Merlot Twin Blogging Tribe!

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The kiddles started school. R started kindergarten and the girls started preschool.

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The 49ers beat the Cowboys… that’s all the good I can say about the 2014-15 season.

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We celebrated our first Christmas in our home together.

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It was an amazing year! Up next for 2015:

Walking down the aisle and changing my last name.

Girls will turn 5 and start kindergarten.

My sister will also be getting married.

And much, much more!

What can you expect of my blog in 2015? I really enjoyed the themed months and will definitely stick with that plan. I also am going to hit wedding planning/ideas pretty heavy around February and may need to take a blogcation in May haha! I am also going to focus more on the twins and life as a mom of multiples especially now that one of my friends is expecting times two! And you better bet that I’m going to be dedicating a post a week to Downton and how I plan on living life as an heiress of my own abbey. I’m thrilled for my year and can’t wait to share in all of the excitement!

Hope yall are ready for Twin Tested, Pin Approved 2015!