Changes on the Horizon.

I’ve been lazy that last couple of weeks, a little lethargic, a little depressed. This year has been really tough on my family, and it’s about to get a whole lot tougher. In October last year I lost my job, (due to budget cuts with the Non-Profit that I was working for) and our family income got cut by 1/3. Our family owns and runs our own business, and my husband works full time to manage it…but again income has declined so we’ve had to really hunker down and get back to simple living. As you know, we’ve got another baby coming and that’s putting a lot of pressure on us too. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not about to be homeless or anything…but the Hubby and I have got some real life changing adjustments to make over the next year or so in order to get back into a groove of comfort again.

Today is proving to be hard for me, as have the last few weeks. I feel like I need to do something to improve our situation…but being 6 weeks away from delivering baby #3 there really isn’t ANYTHING that I CAN do. Or that’s how I feel anyway, and it’s really starting to wear on me. I’m a do-er, and being in a state of realizing that I can’t do anything TODAY or even tomorrow to help us is really tough. I’m feeling helpless. Over the last few months I’ve taken on a few projects, most in an attempt to work towards some type of income that I can contribute to our family…but I have a tendency to take on a lot and things get VERY complicated. I just have this NEED to do SOMETHING…especially when our situation needs improvement.

So, this morning I woke up and decided I need to cut myself a little slack. I definitely need to work towards trying to help our family, and work towards a career of some sort. But, I’ve been doing that actually…for the past two years…I’m only a year away from completing the degree that I started and that’s pretty big. That can help to change our situation DRASTICALLY, I just need to finish and be open to the opportunities that it will bring us. I’ve had all of these expectations of how my life would be…sometimes I get so caught up in trying to MAKE the future happen that I lose sight of what I’m doing TODAY, so today I’ve decided to let go a little bit. There’s no getting around it, this is year is going to be hard. REALLY hard. But I need to streamline a bit, focus in a little more, let go of a couple of things and hone in on what’s really important. I need to focus on finishing my degree, being a good wife, a good Mom, and having this baby. Everything else needs to take a back seat for a while, because that is what my family needs. That is what I need. I need to stop taking everything so seriously, not EVERYTHING needs to be turned into an opportunity to make money. Some of my talents I need to just enjoy for myself and not be so focused in on how it can be turned into a business, or how I can get paid to do this. I need to get enveloped in our current financial situation, and make it work. Be confident that the things that I’m spending my time on WILL improve our lives…that it just may take a little time, and that NEEDS TO BE OK.

So, here’s to a new life and new opportunities coming our way. I actually feel a little lighter, so I thank you for helping me lighten my load.

Now here’s a little fun! I’m still working on that 52 week photo project (something I’ve been taking for granted a little bit!), and this weekend I tried to get Jo to do a little photo shoot with me. Things got interrupted, and complicated (GO FIGURE!!) so I couldn’t get the shots that I actually wanted…but I DID get this one and it’s one of my favorites EVER of little lady J.

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Hope you all have a great weekend, and will join me on my journey to simplify a little bit! What areas of your life could you afford to loosen up on?

Multi-functional Burlap Holiday Wreath.

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I’d LOVE to decorate for every Holiday, but unfortunately I don’t have enough space to store all the massive amounts of boxes it would require, to store those decorations! So, I got to thinking last week and found a really fun way to have 1 decoration that could be used for EVERY Holiday. Since Easter is right around the corner, I decided to start with a Spring/Easter Wreath. I saw these super easy burlap wreath DIY’s all over Pinterest, and decided to use that as the neutral background that could be used with any type of embellishment.

Here’s what I used:

1 Medium Straw Wreath

Burlap

Easter Eggs

Artificial Flowers

Felt

Command Strips

Hot Glue Gun

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First, I hot glued one edge of the burlap to the wreath and wrapped the entire wreath twice. I then trimmed the burlap, and secured the end with more hot glue.

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Next, I arranged my flowers and eggs together the way I wanted, using dabs of hot glue to make them stick.

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Then, I stuck a piece of felt to the back. When deciding how much felt to use, I just tried to get a piece that wouldn’t show but would be substantial enough to hold the flower arrangement.

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Next, I stuck the command strips to the felt just using the sticky back of the strip.

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I peeled off the other side and stuck it onto my burlap wrapped wreath. Once the placement was decided on both the felt and wreath, I reinforced the strips with hot glue.

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Once the glue is dry you can secure your flower arrangement to the wreath using the command strips. You do need to push down slightly for it to secure properly, and when removing…be sure to peel away at the “velcro” slowly…otherwise it will just rip right off of the burlap.

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I’m pretty pleased with the finished product, and just imagine all of the different embellishments I can make!! I can’t WAIT to make a new one each Holiday. I can even make new ones EVERY YEAR and still be able to store this with minimal space. I’m thrilled!

Spring Photos (Photo Project 52).

So I’ve been lagging on the picture project…I envy those of you that can actually keep up with these things, especially you 365 people! I swear I feel like my kids are NEVER sick, and then all of a sudden we get hit with a wave of viruses that take us down like typhoid! Two weeks ago they had ear aches and fevers, this week they had the stomach flu. (Well, Ms. J and the hubby did!) Luckily Jeffrey and I have remained untouched, but KNOCK ON WOOD! I can’t imagine being 32 weeks preggo and coming down with the stomach flu! No joke, throwing up is the worst feeling EVER!

Anywho, I did finally get the kids outside for some spring time shots a couple of days ago and it reminded me that I need to refresh the photos hanging in my house! I haven’t framed any new ones in over a YEAR!

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Hope you like these, I think they came out pretty cute myself! I’m off now, to refresh our photo wall, Spring always inspires me to update the house a bit!

Homespun St. Patrick’s Day Sign.

I’ve been gettin’ crafty this week, and St. Patrick’s Day has given me the excuse to do it! That and sick kids over Spring Break…means Mommy needed to keep us busy! One of the projects I just finished was a cute little festive sign I thought I’d share with you!

I had this little wood plaque that I bought at Walmart a few weeks ago. I don’t really have St. Patrick’s Day decorations, or really that many for Easter either, and thought it would be kind of fun to make my own! I painted it white, added some gold chevron, and some scrapbook paper shamrocks, and it turned out really cute!

Here’s how I painted the chevron.

First, I did a coat of white paint. Then, I measured my board (which was 10×13 ‘ish) and measured straight down the middle first. I wanted my points to look even, so I divided the shorter side into 2.5″ sections. I then divided the longer section into about 2″ sections. Since the longer side wasn’t as even to divid up evenly, I just got as close as I could. (This will be how thick your chevron stripes will be.) After you mark your board, you have a bunch of small rectangles drawn all over your board. Next, I sectioned each rectangle into equal triangles, rotating the direction of my line as I moved along from left to right of my board. (Or you can section the first row, then switch directions and section the second row. The point is that you don’t want any two rectangles next to each other, to have lines drawn in the same direction.

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I decided that I wanted to start my board with the incomplete chevron on top, and that I wanted to start with gold. So skipping every other zig zag line, I erased the rectangle marks drawn on my white paint.

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Now comes taping. My chevron strips were a TINY bit wider that my tape, so I began by lining up one side (long side) of the tape with one line in the stripe. It’s almost impossible to get your tape to lay perfectly straight (it stretches a bit), so just fill in your lines the best you can using one straight side as your guide. I ended up using A LOT of tape…but that’s ok…the more tape the cleaner lines you’ll have! I covered everything that I wanted to stay white with tape.

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(As you can see in the picture, I even folded the tape over in the corners, just trying to match my pencil line, as well as, the rest of the tape. This helps later in the peeling process!)

Next lay your board in a well ventilated area, on cardboard or newspaper. (I did this in my garage on a large cardboard box.) Spray your board. Don’t be timid, cover it with paint! I promise…if it’s blue then the paint won’t get through! I allowed to dry just for a few minutes, then peeled my tape right away. I have found with stripes, that if I allow it to dry completely…sometimes the paint will peel up when you peel your tape. (How many different words are there for peel?? lol)

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Set your board up, to dry overnight. You can then decoupage paper or a photo onto it, paint another design on top, or even just leave it for a cool little wall art design. To do the letters, I used the chalk and ball point pen method…but really I WANT A CRICUT! SO bad! It’d be perfect for this stuff!

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It was really fun to do, and really easy! Came out very clean, and now I think I will go paint chevron all over everything!

Spring Break 2014: Shamrock Spelling Game

Hey Guys! So, it’s Spring Break at my house…and that means Spring Cleaning and bored kids! Yet again, the kiddos were sick last week. They had earaches and fevers. We ended up taking Jo to the Urgent Care and they gave her some meds, so she’s been feeling better…but she’s been cooped up in the house for days, and I can’t let her out too much until she is 100% better. Since St. Patty’s Day is next week, I’ve been trying to engage her in some festive activities to keep her busy, and the one we did today she REALLY had fun with!

A few months ago I found this:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/104990235036932033/

…and Jocelyn LOVES it! The magnets were $20 (for a set of 100), and the cookie pan you can get for $2. (I bought a new one, all of mine are pretty dingy!) And I can give her something (other than the iPad…) to keep her busy, that I don’t have to feel guilty about!

Anyway, today I made up some print outs with St. Patty’s Day words…she had a real blast with it! Yesterday we worked on some wall art together for the Holiday, so the anticipation is building up for her a bit! It’s so much fun to get into the season with your little one!

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I found that one word at a time was much easier for her to focus on. She’s been doing really well in pre-school, and I went through each of the letters and words with her. I was really excited about her letter recognition! She’s getting smarter everyday!

If you’d like to download the pages to use you can here:

St. Pat’s Spelling

Sample Page:

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