Happy Friday everyone! It has been one week since I issued my Spring cleaning challenge and it's time to check in and see how we're doing. I told you that my goal was five tasks a week and that is what I have done for this first week.

1. Clean microwave and oven. Check.

2. Clean dishwasher and appliances. Check.

3. Wipe down pantry. Check.

4. Scrub down fridge. Check.

5. Organize and toss expired food. Check.

The above picture represents the organizing part, not the tossing part. I was actually quite proud of myself that I only threw out one thing, which means I am doing good at being less wasteful. So that was a happy thing to discover.

I'm also proud of myself for doing so well in week one! How did everyone else do? Even if you didn't complete all five challenges, share which ones you did complete! I'm excited for how clean my kitchen is getting and I can't wait to finish it off next week.

Challenge for next week, complete the next five tasks.

6. Clean kitchen sink and under the sink.
7. Wipe down walls and wash garbage can.
8. Clean stove top, kitchen surface areas, and floors.

9. Clean medicine cabinet and storage.
10. Trash expired items and declutter.

We can do this!

I almost totally forgot about doing my simple pleasures this month. It just slipped my mind until earlier this week when I was trying to think of posts to fill the remainder of the days in April and I thought to myself thought I "Simple pleasures!".

So here you have it, a few things that cheered me up this week.

Cranberry-Apple Crisp

New muffin liners from Vicky

Friends has arrived!

Sunlight streaming in the bedroom windows

Cereal in my new pottery bowl
Have you slowed down this week to appreciate the little things in life? Are you finding joy in everyday? Tell me something that has made you smile this week.

Since it's still cold and snowy out there, I've decided to share some photos we took a week and a half ago and pretend that we're having the weather we were then. One of our projects for this summer is to build a bigger deck off the side of our house/sunroom. The previous owners had built a mini deck that served no purpose. See picture below for an idea on size.

The only one of us who used it was Mia, who slept there on sunny days. But mostly, it just served as a giant step out of the sunroom on that side.

So on our first sunny weekend, we decided it was time to rip it out. See how well prepared I was?

Dan and I worked together, removing nails and screws and boards. It actually went pretty quickly and was easier than I thought it would be.

We were soon left with a pile of boards and an area of dirt.

Part of the reason why we wanted to remove the old deck before we were ready to build a new one is so that we could start digging down along the foundation. We're hoping to reseal the foundation all along the back wall and hopefully prevent any more leaking into our guestroom.

We started digging by hand, but after a couple hours of work like that, we decided we'll be renting/borrowing a mini excavator to finish the project.

I realize that this post isn't all that exciting since it just talks about the destruction of our deck and not about building anything, but I wanted to share it with you while it was still fresh. Plus, now you can wait with me until we get a new one built! The plan is to  build one bigger that we can actually put a patio set on, but we'll see if that changes over the summer.

I hope everyone has a good Wednesday and that the weather is better than yesterday.

I am feeling in a blog slump lately. It's that awkward time of the year where we're transitioning from indoor projects to outdoor projects but neither of them are really happening. I know it's mostly my fault for not getting anything done but unfortunately I don't have much to blog about right now.

Although today I have something to blame it on.

The weather is not motivating me. At all.

I can't believe it is snowing again! The last few days have been so nice and warm and all the snow had melted. And then we wake up to rain, which turned to freezing rain, which then turned to snow. It's still coming down steadily too, the camera just couldn't capture it.

I am grumpy about it.

I think i have to work on my grumpy face.

But in happier news, I got my hair cut yesterday and I love what my stylist did with it. The soft curls looked so nice yesterday!

It also still looks half decent today. Which means I shall never shower again and have beautiful hair forever. Kidding. Tomorrow the hair will get washed and that will be the end of my beautiful hair. It's too bad I couldn't get it styled every day.

Anyways, enough of a rambling post for today. What's the weather like where you are? Did you wake up to snow too?

Welcome back to the second post in my new series, Memory Monday. Today I am sharing a bit about the friendship between my sister Cora and I.

We are almost exactly 2 years apart and have been friends since the earliest I can remember. When I came home from the hospital that day in April, she was immediately my new best friend.

There are five kids in my family, consisting of 2 girls, a boy and 2 girls. Due to this set up, we were referred to as the "little sisters" and we stuck together through thick and thin. We grew up playing Barbies, Playmobile, Lego, dolls, old fashion and dress up, always together.

We had a new set of rules, being spoiled together. Often times the older sisters will be shocked to hear what we got away with, saying they were never allowed to do that. I guess parents change and slack off in some ways. But in other ways, we didn't always have it better. The older siblings did stuff that we never did, so I guess it kind of evened out in the end.

We shared a room for the first 8 years of my life and I have many memories of sleeping in the bunk bed, whispering to each other late into the night. Or of cleaning the room together, which usually consisted of Cora doing all the work and me getting distracted by something I had found while cleaning.

Even when we did move rooms and each had our own space, it was still kind of like sharing since the dividing wall was only 5 feet tall. It was nice to have our own room but still be able to talk or throw things over to the other person. We even had our own secret good night saying.

I remember one summer, when my parents house was especially busy with guests, Cora and I spent most of our time living in the hiding place. Since our room was needed to host all the guests, we moved to the hiding place, which was a small secret loft space in my parents room. It was fun and secretive to live up there a whole summer, but it was still very nice to get our room back in the fall.

We did everything together, including visiting our grandparents house and walking to school together. I remember when we were little, we'd visit Nanny and Grandpa (who lived across the field from us) and stay until they had to invite us to for lunch. We weren't allowed asking to stay but if we were invited, it was okay. They always fed us Kraft Dinner, which was a special treat for us. Or we would play Skip-Bo with them in the evenings and would get chocolate bars as prizes. Even if we didn't come in first, we'd still get a chocolate bar.

Cora always supported my dreams and even encouraged me in my quest to become an author and used one of my "books" to base a movie on. The Runaway featured me as the main character with many supporting actors found in our friends. We also performed circus acts and murder mysteries, all caught on film. Cora even made a few cooking shows. :::giggle giggle:::

I have so many wonderful childhood memories that involve Cora and I doing stuff together, the best of friends. And as you can see from all these pictures, we were pretty darn cute.

Even though many years have passed since these were all taken, Cora and I still have that special sister bond. We are different people now, going different ways with different views, but we are still sisters and we will never lose that glue that sticks us together.

She is still one of the first people I tell when we have big news, such as pregnancies or miscarriages. She can sit around with me and remember all the good times we had as children. She still makes me laugh pretty dang hard and encourages me to think more and do more. She is still my big sister and my best friend.

I love you Cora. Goodnight, I love you, i-n-g, ing ing ing. *kiss*kiss*kiss*'


Memory Monday Mini Series

Week 1: Birthdays
Week 2: Little Sisters

Alright readers, it's time to pull out that vacuum and mop and get to cleaning! Seriously though, now that it's Spring I am feeling the need to clean my house from top to bottom.

This is the first time I've lived in the same place for over 2 years (coming up on 3 now) and it's time for me to do a deep clean. Not just a quick once over with the vacuum and the occasional mop, I need to actually wash walls and baseboards and inside cupboards. It's time.

But since we all know that I'm pretty lazy and lacking in the motivation department, I thought it would be fun to do a Spring cleaning challenge together! So I challenge you, dear reader, to join me in this quest to clean our houses! (I'm looking especially at you Amy.)

Let me say something quick though. If you're one of those people who always have a clean house or who have already done their Spring cleaning, no need to read further. We are proud of you but also slightly jealous. Although... if you want to come over and help me clean, feel free!

I have found a schedule on Pinterest that I thought looked relatively straight forward and not too complicated. I'm not one of those people who is going to spend 4 hours house cleaning each day so I needed tasks that were quick and easy. According to the blog where I found this schedule, each task should take between 20 minutes to an hour. Not bad, right?

Now I realize that the writing on this list is kind of tiny so feel free to go to the actual Savvy Sugar blog to read more about this challenge and find links and tips for some of the tasks. You can also print off a copy to hang on your fridge to keep you motivated.

Okay, now down to the nitty gritty. We all know that the chances of me completing this list in a consecutive 30 days is slim to none. I'm not going to kid myself by thinking I will actually do a challenge each day, 7 days a week. My goal is going to be to do 5 tasks a week, I can choose which days. That way, if I have an especially busy Thursday, I don't need to stress about completing the task by midnight, I can just choose to catch up on the Saturday!

I also plan on doing an accountability post every Friday, telling you how I am doing with it and asking you how you're doing with it! What do you think? Does that work well?

I know that deep down we would all love to have clean houses and this is the perfect way to get a start on that goal. So please join me in this challenge and let's kick it off by cleaning our microwave and oven! Who's in?