Wednesday, February 10, 2016

40 Places, Mommy & Me Dates and Marriage are This Week's Links From Around the Web

40 Place to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up - I want to take Molly and Maggie to all of these places! Lucky for them, we've already been to Mt. Rainier and The San Diego Zoo (well Molly, Maggie needs to go)

Mommy and Me Date Ideas - I love this list! I try to take the girls out on one-on-one dates at least a few times a month and I always need new ideas.

Mommy Is Not Happy - I try my best to let Molly know when I'm not happy or why I'm sad. I usually try to explain how I'm feeling to her and because of that she's gotten better about understanding how she is feeling.

What Marriage is Really Like And honestly I wouldn't have it any other way!

Awww, Mr. Rodger's Mom Knit all his Sweaters Moms who knit are the best!

Fun Jar I love this idea!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Video Obsession

My new camera has video ability and I've been busy exploring what it can do. I took some video last week when Molly and I went on our photo date and spent some time this week crafting a very short video.

I'm constantly inspired by my friend, Francesa's time capsule videos and have been hounding her for tips and thoughts. Luckily she's very generous with her tips and workshop ideas. She might also be the reason I settled on the Nikon D750. She's very good at helping me part with my money. I hope to share many more (and improved) videos with you in the future. I might even sneak in some video on my next 10 on 10 or a Day in the Life Photography Challenge. I just signed up for a Time Capsule class with Xanthe Berkeley but it doesn't start until March. I have a lot of deadlines between now and then so I think having to wait will be great for me. 
Monday, February 08, 2016

January Book Report

One of my goals this year is to read for 15 minutes a day and so far, I've been reading every day. Of course, now that I'm reading every day, I'm tearing through books. I read 4.5 books in January which thrills me to no end. 

I started the month with Wildflower by Drew Barrymore and I loved this book. Barrymore's breathy voice was apparent on each page and her love for her children is so robust. I also gleamed some words of wisdom from her. Barrymore put into words something that I've been struggling with. As women and as Mothers, we are told that we can have it all when in reality, no one can have it all. You have to decide where to focus your efforts and go from there. And in doing that, you can be awesome. 

I next read The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny which was wonderful as usual. I love Penny's writing and enjoy the way she both carefully wraps her reader in comfort while keeping them on the edge of their seats in suspense. I could read Louise Penny novels about Three Pines for ages. The mysteries that Chief Inspector Gamache works to solve always include the most tender of human emotions and a protagonist that is quite tender at heart.  

My third book of the month was The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and I was enthralled. I've had this book for ages and can't believe I didn't read it until now. I stayed up way too late reading this book for a few nights. I cheered for The Girl, gasped at the suspense and kept turning the pages until the end. I was sad to learn that this was Hawkins first book because it meant there weren't others to read. I will be anxiously awaiting her next novel. 

My next book was Women Are Scary by Melanie Dale. I ended up abandoning this book halfway through but I'm mentioning it here because I did read half of it. I kept hoping that I would connect because I love the author's website but I could not get past the, "Ohhh meeting people is hard" schtick. This might be an awesome book for someone who isn't great at meeting new people but I'm really good at meeting people. #humblebrag

My final book for the month was The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion and I think I may have finished this one at 11:59 p.m. on January 31st. I loved The Rosie Project when I read it last year and was so excited about this follow-up novel. It honestly wasn't as good as the first one. I still found it to be an entertaining read and quite enjoyed hearing about Don and Rosie's new adventure. 

Friday, February 05, 2016

Monthly Goal Check-In (January)


In order to stay true to my 2016 goals, I've decided to do a monthly check-in on them. I've started the year out with a bang and have already crossed two of my ten goals off my list!

1.  Complete the Barre3 Challenge from Jan. 4 to Jan. 31 - I did this! Well alllllllmost. The last week of the challenge came with a cold so I only got three workouts in instead of four but there were weeks where I did five workouts so I'm calling this a win. I've decided to adapt this goal for the year and I'm going to workout 4x a week (more is better!) 

2. Complete Whole30 in January - I did this too! I've been reincorporating some foods back into my diet this week and it's been going ok. I had a terrible stomach ache after eating some of my kid's macaroni and cheese which sucked. That was immediate feedback to really limit that kind of food. 

3. Keep purging the house with the Bowl Full of Lemons 14 Week Plan - I'm so behind on this but I've been working on the dining room and launch pad this week. Next week is the Living Room which I'm excited about. We installed some wall units last year and I need to finalize the decorating/storage options of them. I also want to address our end table situation. 

4. Complete Four (4) Day in the Life Challenges and participate in at least ten 10 on 10's - I did my first 10 on 10 in January and have scheduled our first Day in the Life Challenge on February 14th. I hope you join me! 

5. Complete TKGA Master Knitting Level I - I have not yet started back on this goal. I was busy working on Maggie's birthday sweater this past month and I'm thrilled that it is done. I'll probably start this goal in March. 

6. Grow a kick-ass Garden! Due to well winter, I haven't started on this goal yet but I will this month. I need to get more dirt and figure out what I want to plant when the time comes. Also I really need to build that chicken run so my chickens don't run away (again).

7. Read for 15 minutes a day- I have read every single day so far and I'll have a full report on what I've read next week. 

8. Volunteer with two organizations and include the girls - I've completed my orientation with Mary's Place and we are scheduled for our first shift in a few weeks. I'm excited for this opportunity with my girls. 

9. Catch up on my yearly photo books of the girls - I had kinda forgotten about this one so good reminder!

10. Get back to Blogging on a more regular basis and focus more on my writing - I've been so busy writing for other publications that this has not been as great as I want it to be BUT I'm doing it. 
Thursday, February 04, 2016

Valentine's Day Crafts and Cards For Your Kids

I love doing crafts with my kids and whenever Valentine's Day comes around, I get really excited about doing Valentine's Day Cards with them. I'll admit that I might get too excited. I've spent hours pouring over websites and Pinterest to find the best Valentine's Day Crafts and Cards to do with kids. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.

Image Credit: Homan at Home

1. Valentine's Day Candy Mice - This first one is adorable and fast! Homan at Home has designed the most adorable mice as Valentine's Day cards. Print these out, grab your scissors and start cutting. Place a lollipop inside and you have a fast and almost last minute Valentine's Day card for your kid's classroom.

Image Credit: momdot

2. Glitter Pink Ombre Play Dough - I love making play dough but I'm not a huge fan of the mess my kids make with it. Instead I pawn it off on other unsuspecting parents (my secret is out!) by making it for holidays. I love this recipe from momdot because it includes everything my oldest loves - Pink and Glitter.

3. Cupid Arrows - These are the cutest Valentine's Crafts and I can think of so many places and ways to use them. Find out how to make them on Keeping Up With The Joneses.

Image Credit: No Time for Flashcards

4. Bird Seed Hearts - I'm seriously considering making these for the chickens because it will solidify my crazy chicken lady title. In all seriousness, I love the idea of making a more natural, yet crafty Valentine's Day gift and these hit all the right marks.

Image Credit: Molly Moo Crafts

5. Melted Crayon Hearts - I LOVE this craft. In fact, I made these one year and plan to make them again soon as the broken crayons are really piling up. I also love the little cards that Molly Moo Crafts included with their crayon hearts.

Image Credit: Molly Moo Crafts

6. Pirate Valentine's - You can't go wrong with Pirates and Valentine's Day Cards. Molly Moo Crafts has some pretty grrrreat cards to check out.

Image Credit: B Lovely Events

7. Treat Toppers - These free printable treat toppers let you package your favorite treats with a real crafty flair.  Stuff some M&Ms into a clear bag and top with your favorite printable for an exquisite touch and low effort.

Image Credit: Sweet C's Designs

8. Tiny Animal Valentines - These tiny animal valentines are great because they make me laugh and yet are also totally easy to craft up. Print these up and pair with a fantastic animal toy for a card that is sure to be a hit!

Image Credit: Dandee Designs

9. Astronaut Valentine - Is your Valentine out of this world? Show them with an astronaut card! I love this design and the toy is a great touch!

Image Credit: The Imagination Tree

10. Blow Painting Heart Art - I love how beautiful these cards come out with a tiny bit of creativity. I think this would be a great activity for the older kids to craft up.
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