Thursday, November 7, 2013
The idea comes from the girls at A Beautiful Mess.
The rules are pretty easy; choose four simple goals to reach by 2014. These goals need to be positive, activity-oriented goals that will make your life richer.
Now, I’m going to admit…I tend to be a rule breaker. My goals are not going to infuse a joyful spirit deep within my soul. But they are simple goals, things I have been putting off for too long, and will enrich our lives (somewhat).
Here they are (with horrendous before pictures to boot!):
1. Clean the basement. This picture is embarrassing. And if I’m being all honest here; I had taken care of four baskets of clean clothes before taking this photo. Sadly, this room in the basement had become a dumping ground.
My goal is to clean it up. I think the boys would love to ride their tricycles around in here this winter. This would mean that Mama can spend a little time in her sewing room, which is right through that door…..
2. Get my sewing/crafting space back in shape. I am so lucky to have all of this space, I need to pick it up so I can use it.
*This room isn’t always like this. Lately I have had to sew while the boys are awake, which means on the kitchen table. So I would have to run downstairs, find my material(s), run back upstairs, realize I needed to iron, run downstairs, you get the picture.
3. Winterize the windows. (Sorry, no photo.) Winters in Michigan are cold, especially when you live off of the bay. The windows in this house are old. To save a little money and keep the house draft free I try to put plastic up on the windows. Its that time…
4. Switch over the boys’ clothes. This is pretty simple. The boys have grown too tall for their pants. It is time to switch out the summer clothes, and move the next size in. (I started already, the pile above is the pile that needs a home in their dresser.)
Like I said, not exactly following the rules. But will benefit the family nonetheless.
Do you have any end-of-the-year goals?
Friday, November 1, 2013
Now, as a thirty year old wife and mama I long for a slower pace.
Growing up, my mom always made our Halloween costumes. (She did a pretty darn good job, too.) She was amazing, we would tell her what we wanted to be, and she would fabricate the perfect costume. (You should see the Ninja Turtle costume she made for my brother, AMAZING!)
Making my kids’ costumes is something I also look forward to every year (even if some years they are simple).
This year the holiday sort of crept up on me. I have been busy with school and other areas of life, I just forgot how close the holiday was. Sunday night I had a mini-breakdown, “I am a horrible mother…I don’t even know what my kids are going to be for Halloween…”
The hubby suggested going to the store and buying a costume. GASP! Can you believe it! What was that man thinking?
Monday I stopped at Wal-Mart on my way home from school. I had to figure a costume out now! (Thinking about it, I bet my family would have appreciated it if I had also figured something out for dinner.)
I found a pattern (I have looked and looked, I cannot find a link to this pattern anywhere) Simplicity Sew Simple 0892 ($0.97). It is actually a bear costume, I just omitted the hood, bow, and footies.
I grabbed three yards of red fleece (at 2.97/yard), two blue hats ($0.87 each) four skeins of blue yarn ($2.97 each) and two pair of red gloves ($0.87 each). I had the notions in my stash. For about $25 this is what I came up with:
I used this tutorial as inspiration for the wig. My sewing machine was not very fond of this method. Instead I looped and stitched (by hand). So sorry I didn’t take pictures along the way, maybe in the future…
I downloaded the logos from here. I printed them on printable fabric (because I had it in my stash), and sewed them on.
I am so glad I decided to use fleece. It was a cold and rainy night for trick-or-treating. The fleece helped keep my little guys dry.
This year was so fun watching the boys figure out Halloween. They were very polite saying, “Trick or treat,” “Thank you,” and “Happy Halloween costume.” Yup, you read that right. Happy Halloween costume, we may need to work on that one…
Anyways, so sorry for being MIA lately. (I still cannot promise regularity.) I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Hi folks! Its Theresa checking in. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words on my “I need a break” post!
I wasn’t intending on being away for well over a month. But I am glad I took some time.
On that particular day (August 21), we were well into potty training. The boys were doing pretty good actually, peeing in the potty the majority of the time. Number 2 was a different story.
I had been putting them in their room for “quiet time” (because they decided that naps aren’t ‘cool’). I had put a pull-up on the boys, tucked them in, and closed the door. I took a shower (because on this particular day the boys also decided to wake up two hours earlier than normal).
When I stepped out of the shower I heard laughing, giggling, and “POO-POO! POO-POO! POO-POO!”
Upon hearing chants of POO-POO, I dressed as quickly as possible, and ran into their room.
Standing there were my two angelic boys. Proud faces.
Pant-less. No pull-ups. Bare bottom except for chocolate like smears coating their chubby legs. (I’m so sorry. I didn’t react the way a blogger would, I didn’t take a picture.)
Yup. First they had decided to pull every piece of clothing from their dresser. In the meantime they pooped. Then took off their poopy pull-ups. And smeared fecal matter EVERYWHERE.
Take a few days like this (not the same, but similar) + our upcoming life changes (mama being away from home) x fear of ‘how the heck are we going to do this’ = one stressed Mama that needed a break.
Anyways, I am happy to say we are adjusting fairly well. The boys prefer to use the potty (inside, outside is a whole ‘nother story). School is going great. And the hubby has been tremendous, helping with housework, dinners, and giving Mama an empty house to study in.
As you can see, most of our life is settling into place. There is one aspect of my life that is lacking. My sewing machine has been neglected, as well as any other creative hobby I enjoy. I
want to need to reconnect with my creative outlets. I’m just not sure how to fit it in. Do I stay up late or get up earlier? Do I set a timer? Write it on a schedule? Wait until an empty slot of time opens up? HELP!
What are your tips, tricks, or methods for fitting your creative outlet into a busy schedule? Please share your secrets!
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Things are busy again. Life is about to become even busier.
The last couple of weeks have drained me. The boys not taking naps and potty training have wiped me out. On top of these parenting changes I have been trying to get everything ready for school.
My creative outlet has suffered immensely. I have learned that I have to/want to/need to create.
While I love writing here and interacting with you all, I feel like lately I have just been posting crap for the sake of posting.
I have decided that we would all benefit from a little break. I plan to re-bond with my sewing machine, spend time with my family, and get acclimated to my new workload.
I won’t be gone forever. I may even pop in sooner than planned. My goal is to recharge.
Thank you so much for understanding. Hope to see you in a couple of weeks.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I would climb our rooftop and sing praises to the heavens, if I wasn’t afraid of violating the peace. (One thing this mama should never do in public is sing!)
So what is all this celebration for?
My sweet little boys are taking a nap! (They are sweet right now, because they are sleeping.) They haven’t napped in over a week. This mama was getting tired.
Anyways, wish me luck that they are back into the groove. In the meantime, I have some hats to catch up on. So to hold you over, I wanted to share a sewing project I finished last month.
Mama’s Lunch Tote
As you know, I start school soon. Buying lunch is out of the question. Not only does our budget love when we take our lunch, so does my waistline and energy level.
The fabric, a corduroy, is from my stash, and has been in my stash for at least seven years. Oops. The lining is made from a vinyl tablecloth (bought on clearance from Target last summer). The Insul-Bright is also from my stash. I bought a zipper and webbing for the handles.
Isn’t it so bright and cheery in there?
I used this tutorial from Zaaberry. The pattern is well written and easy to follow. It would be really easy to change the dimensions to fit your needs.
I have been using this tote daily for over a month, and it is holding up great. I absolutely love how much this tote can carry. I easily fit four Sippy cups, a sandwich, applesauce, and a couple of ice packs.
I do need to make a couple more lunch bags this month, so stay tuned.
Are you doing any back to school crafting? Lunch bags are my top concern right now. Having a child with a food allergy means that I have to pack the boys’ lunch every morning too. (It gives me a good excuse to try out some other tutorials I have pinned.)
Whatever Goes Wednesday
Monday, August 12, 2013
It is that time again, another month closer to thirty-one.
The last couple weeks have been crazy. Our routine is out of order, and looks like it will never be the same again. The boys still aren’t napping. We just started trying to potty train. I have many final details to work out before school starts. And the list continues.
Anyways, here is a 31 by 31 update:
1. Paint, and decorate dining room. *I think I am focusing on the office and eat-in part of the kitchen this year. I picked out colors, and bought paint already.
2. Build a display shelf for hubby’s decoys. *Have some ideas.
3. Finish piano project.
4. Build a piece of furniture.
Plant garden. Can/preserve. *Garden is planted and looking great! I picked and froze berries in July. The zucchini, cucumbers, and peppers are in full swing. Made some refrigerator pickles.
6. Put together 31 meal binder.
7. Potty train boys. *Oh my gosh…we started this last week…what a job!
8. Go on a family vacation. *Not going to happen this summer, possibly during Christmas or spring break.
9. Make a new chore chart. *Been using last year’s, need to complete new one now!
10. Mail Christmas cards.
11. Have Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving. *I just realized I only have three months!
12. Have 12 date nights (at least one a month). *June we went to see a friend’s band play. July we picked blackberries in the rain, and are had a golf date tonight (I golf almost as good as a bowl…). August- went to local beer tent after hubby’s softball tournament, and we were so graciously surprised with an awesome gift- a babysitter and gift certificate for dinner tonight!
13. Go on a mini-vacation with hubby.
14. Go to a Tiger game.
15. Read 12 books. *I have been reading, need to document my reads.
16. Start nursing clinicals. *Start in less than three weeks!
17. Get a 100 bowling average. (Don’t laugh! I have been working on this for five years now. This IS my year!)
18. Whittle down debt.
C.N.A Recertification, start working part time.
20. Sell crafts (somehow; etsy/farmer’s market/craft fair). *Opened Theresa’s To-Dos on etsy at beginning of this month. Need to spend some time in shop. I also have been selling crocheted hats via word of mouth.
21. Clean out and organize garage.
22. Find a system for paper. Tackle paper clutter.
23. Go through cookbooks.
24. Organize photos.
25. Work on blog organization.
26. Sew everyday for 31 days, only using stash.
27. Crochet a hat a day for 31 days. *This is my challenge for August. I am a little behind- but I am giving myself grace.
28. Make a quilt.
29. Work on one photography skill a month. *I have some catching up to do!
30. Complete 31 pins. *Started planning…So many pins, not enough time.
31. Do 31 refashions. *11 done, 20 to go
Your turn, are you working on anything special, big or small? I love reading/hearing about your latest projects! This last week has been so trying. The lack of ‘me’ time due to vanishing naptime syndrome combined with potty training twin (boys!) has got me worn down.
*Maybe I can muster up a twin tip for tomorrow….Toilet Nightmares…
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
We have been experiencing naptime refusal around here. There hasn’t been a nap since Saturday. To add to (or contribute to) the nap-less-ness Zeke has learned how to escape his
cell crib. His favorite place to escape is right into his brother’s crib. Xander would like a nap.
I know most two year olds are in toddler beds, but we have been prolonging the transition. It is so nice putting the boys down for a nap/bedtime and knowing that they are safe (and the potential for them to get into mischief is greatly reduced). Yet we knew this day would come.
Needless to say, my routine has been out of whack.
Here’s a quick update on my 31 hat project:
The beanie above, and the three below are for customer orders.
These three are waiting for their “D” appliques. I used this pattern from Posh Patterns. The pink hat, and bottom blue hat is made using Caron Simply Soft, top blue hat is made with Red Heart Super Saver.
This is the Big Girl Bonnet by Karla Rae (free Ravelry download). I used Caron Simply Soft and size G hook. This hat did end up smaller than I had anticipated, but that always happens to me. (I never check my gauge.) This pattern was easy to work up, and is very cute. The pattern was a little confusing while working the brim. I believe this was due to our naptime quandaries. It was clear once I re-read the pattern a few times.
*I am short a couple of hats (five hats in seven days). I had figured this would happen, so I sourced a few patterns for ‘quick’ hats in case I had to play catch up.
Signing off, praying for naptime….