The Story of a Mom, a Wife a Small-Business-Owner-Hopeful (Happy Baby Designs) and a Craft Lover, trying to be present (not just exist) in my life with my children, my husband and myself. Follow along with me as I chronicle my crafting and business endeavors, my true life and some mommy moments along the way .

Friday, October 29, 2010

Meal Planning

Meal planning is something I think most of us moms struggle with. Since we (maybe just me) get bored with the same ol' same ol', I usually end up going through cookbooks trying to find something new and nutritional that my entire family will eat (no easy task). Then I have to figure out what ingredients I already have and those that I need to buy. Then comes the trip to the grocery store (where I inevitably forget some important ingredient). And forget about couponing. Who has time for that? It's all a bit of a pain and it's very time consuming!

As I was leaving my son's preschool yesterday, some of the mom's were talking about this meal planning website called e-mealz.

Apparently, for $5 a month, you get a weekly meal plan (that can be specified for vegetarian, low fat, etc...), recipes and a grocery list. You can specify what grocery store you shop at (Kroger, Wal Mart, even Aldi!) and the grocery list will also indicate what items are on sale at that specific grocery store. The only recipes they repeat are those that are tried and true favorites. And they only repeat them every 4-6 months. They are also aware that most of us are working on a budget and try to keep the grocery list to about $75 a week.

This really seems to good to be true, I just knew I had to share it with you all! It seems like it would make life so much easier. And it might introduce some new recipes into our family's rotation. Has anyone out there tried this? I really think I might give it a go.

If you're visiting from the Smart and Trendy Mom's Blog Hop, Welcome! Take a look around and hopefully you'll find something you like!

Smart and Trendy Moms

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vacuuming as Meditation

Recently a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she "hides" from her children by sitting on a stool in her pantry (totally off subject but I wish I had a pantry big enough to sit in!). She said she goes in there to read, talk on the phone, take a Mommy break. But at the time she was posting it, she said her kids were banging on the door, beckoning her to come out of hiding.

So I began thinking about my own hiding space. The problem is, (besides not having a big enough pantry) was that it doesn't really feel like a Mommy break if the kids are banging on the door...which mine inevitably would be. So I gave up on the idea of a Mommy hiding place...until I starting vacuuming the other morning.

Since my kids don't like the noise of the vacuum, they go to my son's room to play while I do it. After about 10 minutes of vacuuming, I had an epiphany. Vacuuming was my hiding place. The kids voluntarily go in the other room, and stay there. If there is any sibling bickering going on, I can't hear it and they work it out amongst themselves. And the white noise of the vacuum is actually quite meditative. Although I was "working" during my mommy break, it was a nice mental break, nonetheless.

So during times of least my floors will be clean!

How do you get your Mommy break? Do you have a hiding place from your kids?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Feather Hair Clip

I've been seeing these Feather Hair Accessories all over the place lately so I decided to try my hand at making some. I needed a "Thank you" gift for a friend of mine and I figured this would be perfect. So I made one for her and one for another friend.

Here's what I came up with...

I bought the feathers ($3 each), ribbon ($4 for 20 yds.) and pendants ($4 each) at Michael's. The feathers were already in this shape, glued to the fabric holding them together so it made it super easy. The first thing I did was sew a barrette on to the back of the feathers. (I already had the barrettes but you can buy a bag of 50 for about 3 bucks at Hobby Lobby.)

I used brown thread and you can barely see it on the other side. It doesn't matter much anyway because the thread will be covered up by the ribbon and pendant (but don't use neon pink thread or anything crazy like that!).

Next I cut a 12 inch piece of ribbon. Fold the ribbon in half, making a crease so you'll be able to see where the middle is.

Then place a small line of hot glue on the center mark.

(You have to move quickly here before the glue dries so you might want to practice with just the ribbon before you actually start gluing.)

Now take one end of the ribbon, flip it over and press it in to the glue. This step is very difficult to explain, but it's kind of like making an awareness ribbon.

Then repeat with the other end of the ribbon. Since you're working quickly :) the glue should seep through the ribbon so you shouldn't have to use any more to secure the second side (if you're using this same type of ribbon). When finished, you'll have what looks like a figure 8.

You'll need 2 of these so repeat the process one more time.

Now make an "X" with your Figure 8's and hot glue them together (a little glue goes a long way).

Now flip the whole thing over and glue it to the feather. (It's hard to tell in the picture, but flipping it over really does make a difference. You can play around with it and decide which way you like it, but flipping it over allows the ribbon to lay a little flatter and makes more room for the pendant.)

The pendants I bought were in the jewelry section and the possibilities down that aisle are amazing! I picked these 2 pendants because they matched the personalities of the girls I'm making them for. But you could choose something flashier, plainer, whatever you fancy! Just make sure it's not too heavy because you don't want it to weigh down the clip, or come unglued.

Since they are intended to be used as necklace pendants, I had to use my tin snips to cut off the pendant hanger and a file to make sure there were no little pieces left.

Then I glued the pendant on to the clip and voila! A personalized, cute, one-of-a-kind hair accessory.

I tried to get a picture of myself wearing the hair clip, but that's really hard to do. I even tried to have my 3 year old take the picture but (surprise) that was even worse. So here's the best I could come up with...maybe I can have my husband take a decent picture when he gets home tonight :)

Let me know if you make one of these beauties for yourself or some other lucky gal!

But as always, please only use my ideas for your own personal use, not for resale. Thanks!

I'll be partying here this week:

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special
Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap    up           party!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halloween Costumes

For all of you moms out there, I'm sure you are frantically trying to locate the perfect Halloween costume for your little ones right now. My son decided he wanted to be a dinosaur this year. Fortunately I was able to borrow a costume from another mom in my PTA (Thanks, Sara!). And my daughter is going to be a Lady Bug (because I already had the costume...and she's still too young to have an opinion...thankfully!).

But let me ask all of you moms a question. When did Halloween Costumes cost at least $30 (for the cheap ones) and up? I can remember being a kid and constructing my costume from whatever we could concoct from our imaginations and our mother's closets.

I know, I know, "I used to have to walk to the snow...uphill...both ways..." Maybe I'm just being cynical and reminiscing about different times, but am I alone in this nostalgia? Or maybe I'm just cheap?

(Last year's costume courtesy of Grandpa)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

World Market has Knobs!

If you've ever shopped for new hardware for a dresser or nightstand, you know that knobs can be very expensive!

This morning I received an email from World Market that they are now selling knobs! They are super cute and they are very affordable. They remind me of some of Anthropologie's knobs (but at about 1/4 the price)!

Take a look at some of my favorites...

These turquoise glass knobs are $20 for a set of 4 (that's only $5 per knob!).

These ceramic ones are just $10 for 4!

I love these amber glass knobs.

These are my absolute favorite! The also come in an antique white and a dark green color. They are also only $10 for 4! Seriously, they're practically giving them away!

Anyway, just thought I'd share this awesome discovery with all of you crafty ladies out there. I know how much we all love a great deal...and a little furniture bling!