Halloween for Valentine’s Day?

My daughter and I both have a great love for Halloween.  She’s already been asking for months when she can go Trick-or-Treating again, and has her costume all planned.  (Owlette.)

I came across this plain black dress on clearance at Crazy 8 and it got me a’thinkin’!  So, I did what I enjoy best… sat down at my Cricut!  An hour (or less?) later and I had this cute little number.

 

Now I can’t wait for Halloween!!!  Oh, and… Happy Valentine’s Day, people!

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Posted in Costumes, Crafts, cricut, DIY, Family, Halloween, Harlow, Personal, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tap Shoe Re-do!

Harlow’s first pair of tap she’s had an elastic closure, and then a ribbon tie for show. She messed with the ribbons so much during class, that they “disappeared” quickly.

Her next pair were a big old Mom Mistake! I was so busy paying attention to the size and price, that I didn’t even think about the closure. It was just…JUST a ribbon tie. After a couple of classes with them coming untied, and her messing with them too much, I knew I needed to make a change.

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Ta-da! New elastic closures made out of mini hair rubber bands and buttons I had lying around the house!

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Happy tapping!

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Bag Lady

Oops, I did it again!  (Shout-out, Britney…)

Apparently I’m only able to make bags… but they are SO FUN!  And easy.  And cute.

Anyhoosies – here are my latest…

 

I’ve been thinking of selling these things – because… you know… I keep making them and have a bunch sitting in my craft room…  but Etsy scares me.  Is that weird?  Probably.

 

Happy crafting, and have a great weekend!

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Working Mom – Busy Schedule

Oh, fitting it all in.  That elusive concept… much like “going to the gym” or “healthy eating” or “washing my hair”.  When I first had Harlow and returned to work, I spent a lot of time and effort Googling “working mom tips” and “working mom schedules”.  I was trying to find a blog for a mother who worked 40 hours a week.  All I came up with was “stay at home mom blogs”, or “part-time job mom blogs”, or “work from home mom blogs”.  Which are great in their own way; for women who stay at home, work part-time, or work from home.  But they helped me… not at all.

So I decided to try to share some of my little time-saving tips and strategies to make time for everything, without any unhelpful advice like “get a regular massage” or “let the parents take the kids often for date nights”.  Because… I barely have time to eat, let alone get a massage, and my parents live 2 hours away.  So… real world, people!

Since Harlow is an only child, from almost the beginning, I’ve worked really hard to keep her engaged and involved.  At the moment, she takes gymnastics, swimming, and ballet.  Since we are unable to take any classes that happen before 5:30pm (extracurriculars in this area are heavy-handed toward stay at home or part-time job moms – almost all classes are during working hours) that is a LOT of running after work/school.  Which meant that things at home got even further behind.  My husband (who works ungodly hours) was getting pretty tired of hot dogs every single night for months (and years) on end.  He didn’t complain, but I knew.  So, on top of all that, I had to add cooking into the mix somehow.

This giant, wordy opening is just my way of saying, “Hey!  Here are some things that I’ve found work for me!  Maybe they’ll work for you, too!”

Car Picnics

When Harlow started taking only gymnastics classes, I’d pick her up from school, book it over to Panera for dinner, and try to make it to gymnastics without being more than 5 minutes late.  After many, many  months of that, my wallet was empty, and my nerves were beyond frazzled.  There just wasn’t enough time to eat at a restaurant, and it was really, really expensive.  It wasn’t unusual to spend around $30 for the two of us.

When ballet started, I told Harlow that we were cutting out Panera (to pay for the ballet class!) and we were going to start handling dinner another way.  Enter in CAR PICNICS!

I pack a lunch and we eat in the back of the car in the parking lot of the gymnastics/ballet center.  It is a fun bonding experience, and a huge money and time saver!  When the weather is warmer, we’ve taken it to the side lawn of the center and had an actual picnic.  Harlow loves it, I love it, and it brings my stress levels way down.

 

Cooking Tips

I’m a long-time vegetarian, and Chris is a meat eater.  Cooking for him sucks.  I’ll just say it.  I detest cooking meat (I will only cook chicken, which is bad enough).  I was always terrified of not cooking it enough and poisoning him.  Or overcooking it.  I was basically standing by the oven and checking it way too much.  Then I discovered the in-oven thermometer!  It is awesome.  I stick it in, throw it in the oven, and walk away.  I just have a cheapie like this one.

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I also hate any kind of seasoning or anything, because I have to deal with the chicken (ew).  Apparently food manufacturers are getting used to people like me, because they have all kinds of pre-packaged sauces and breadings and spice packs that are impossible to fail at.  I don’t even have to touch the chicken.  At.  All.  Bonus.  These are a couple of my favorites…  Just dump some frozen veggies in the pan with the chicken, into the oven, boom.  Done.

Campbell's Oven Sauces Creamy Garlic Butter Chicken, 12 oz.Image result for kraft fresh take italian parmesan

 

Another cool thing I’ve been loving is the ready to bake potato kits.  No scrubbing, or wondering about what to season with.  All done for you.

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Emotions

Let go of the small stuff.  If there are dishes in the sink, or laundry waiting to be folded in the basket, oh well.  You are under no obligation to do it all.  I sure as hell can’t.  You are contributing to your family finances, raising your child(ren), and still finding some time to chip away at your house needs.  You are doing great!

 

Adulting is hard.  Give yourself a break.

 

 

 

Posted in cooking, dinner, Family, Goals, Personal, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crafty Moments

I’ve been really trying to carve out tiny bits of time to work on some crafty things.  It is like meditation for me.  I always leave feeling so much calmer when I have a few moments to myself to create something fun.  Here are a few things I’ve made recently.

As you can see, I’ve been spending some time with my Cricut.  I’m so addicted to that thing, but I’m having a super hard time branching out from doing iron-on crafts.  I’d really love to figure out more of what to do with adhesive or cardstock.  I really do love the iron-on stuff, though.  Most of these I gave away as Christmas gifts.  However, I broke out my sewing machine for the first time in 5 or so years to make the hair accessory holder for Harlow!  It was pretty fun to get back to sewing a tiny (ever so tiny) bit.

Harlow has been getting really into crafting, painting, drawing, and other “art” things lately!  (You should hear her play guitar and sing songs she makes up on the spot!  It is incredible!!!)  This is one we did together for our dear neighbors.

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It is so much fun that she is starting to take an interest in something I’ve always loved so much.  She’s my light, and I’m so proud of the little person she’s becoming.

Have a great day!

Posted in Crafts, cricut, DIY, Family, Harlow, Personal, Uncategorized, Weekend | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walgreens For Christmas!

FYI, nothing I do is ever sponsored (obviously), but I just wanted to share a recent experience.

Last year, I designed an image of a Christmas tree using all of the grandkids’ names from my husband’s side of the family for my Mother-in-Law.  I ordered a canvas through Snapfish, and I remember thinking how expensive it was, even with the sale that was going on, but it turned out really nicely, so I was very pleased.

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Obviously not on the canvas yet

This year, I attempted to do the same thing for my step-mom, using the names of the kids on my side of the family.  I designed it up, put the jpeg on Snapfish, made the canvas, and hit the button to purchase… and got an error message.  After several attempts (my paypal emailed me SIX times to tell me that it was authorized to pay $46 to Snapfish once the order was processed), some time on both live chat and email with one of their representatives, and some failed suggestions, my order never went through.  Plus, the shipping time was such that I would have had to pay for expedited shipping to get it in time for our party if it ever did go through – which, I will remind you, it never did.

I got fed up and deleted my project from the cart.  Then I remembered seeing that Walgreens had canvases, too.  So I headed over to their website, made my canvas, and picked it up after work, all for $23!  Half the price, same day delivery, and it looked every bit as good as the canvas I ordered for my MIL last year.  Seriously!  I was so excited.  If I ever need another canvas, I’m not even going to try to go anywhere else.

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Tis the season!  Falalalalalalalala!

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Strong Women Project

Yellow, all!

Walmart was selling some reusable shopping bags for $4.  I thought they looked like a perfect canvas for a project!  So I bought, like, 6 of them.

One of my favorite quotes is:

Here’s to Strong Women

May we know them

May we be them

May we raise them

I was gifted a mug with that sentiment on it many, many  years ago.  I have since searched for more items with that quote, but have been disappointed.  So, I took one of the bags, turned to my Cricut, and got busy.

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I really love how it turned out.  I have been thinking about making more for Christmas gifts for Harlow’s teacher and my friends, maybe stuffed with some goodies.

I just started dipping my toe into the Cricut world, but, man… I love it.  It is so fun to have little craft projects when I find 20-30 minutes.  Usually, I have Harlow at the craft table coloring or doing her own “craft”, which makes it even nicer.

Yay for bonding over crafts!

Posted in Christmas, Crafts, cricut, Family, Harlow, Mommy Group, Personal, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment