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 .

Monday, February 28, 2011

Truth Be Told Tuesdays #1

Most of us follow multiple blogs, ranging in topics from parenting, to DIY, to decorating, to cooking. And if you read lots of blogs (guilty) you are probably used to seeing how everyone else's homes are immaculate; how other mothers seem to have infinite amounts of time and you can't find the time to take a shower (guilty). As we witness these glimpses into other people's lives, it's easy to get the impression that everyone else has it all together and you are the only poor soul who hasn't figured out how to balance a marriage, children, friendships, housekeeping, working, and the occasional craft/sewing/DIY project (guilty). Oh yeah, and don't forget to throw in some "me" time every now and then!

If you haven't already watched Becca's video over at Blue Cricket Design, she talks about this very issue. She is not perfect, her home is not spotless, there are cheerios on the floor and halfway through the video her little one strips off all of her clothes. That is real life. And I think it's important for all of us to realize that while we give "glimpses" into our lives, it's the life we want to publicly portray...maybe because it's the life we want.

I wish we could all just admit we're not perfect (mothers, wives, housekeepers, gardeners, decorators, etc...) because there is comfort in knowing you are not alone. So I decided that Tuesdays here at This Present Life will from here on out be known as "Truth Be Told Tuesdays." It will be our time to confess our "flaws" to one another. And in doing so, I hope that we can support each other in those "flaws" and in doing so be realistic about those flaws. Because let's face it, unless we have a magic wand that we can wave and poof! our house is clean, or the laundry is folded, or the kids have been bathed...none of us is perfect! So let's embrace our "flaws" and realize that we are perfect in our imperfections!

I'll go first.

I don't always make my son wash his hands after he goes to the bathroom. "Ewwww, gross!" you might be saying, but sometimes it's just easier to let it go. Besides, isn't exposure to some germs good for kids???

So here's how to play along. As most of you know, Linky Tools now costs $$ and since I don't make any $$ from my blog, I'm not willing to shell it out right now. But, if Truth Be Told Tuesdays becomes hugely popular, I just might be willing to pay the $$ for the Linky. Until then, you can either tell us your "Truth" in the comments, or if you post about it on your blog (we love pictures!), leave us your link. It can be about anything, parenting, housekeeping, bathroom etiquette ;)

I'd love it if you could spread the word about this new series by blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting about it. The more participants we have, the more fun it will be. So let's start telling the truth! Let's all have fun, embrace our "flaws", and support each other in our imperfections.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Plastic Surgery for my Daughter?


As I watched the Oscars last night, a thought occurred to me. How would I feel if my daughter came to me and said she wanted to have plastic surgery? I have never had plastic surgery but I generally don't care if other people do (unless you end up looking like Joan Rivers!). But what if your daughter wants to do it? You look at things a lot differently when you look through the parent-of-a-daughter lens.

The body image battle faced by young girls in our society is an epidemic. And with the "perfection" that our daughters see in magazines, on TV and in movies, even their dolls, it seems like such a hard battle to combat.

So how do we teach our daughters to love their bodies, to accept who they are and what they look like, to embrace their beauty and their flaws? I don't have the answers but I'm hoping that if my daughter sees me accepting my body, embracing my beauty and being proud of who I am, that she will too.

For all of you moms of daughters out there, especially those of you with grown daughters, how did you fight this battle? I have a few years before it becomes an issue so I'm going to stock up on my positive-body-image-ammunition now!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

SAHM Sanity Saver


Being a stay at home mom (SAHM) can be tough sometimes. But even on the worst days, I always have one saving grace to look forward to...nap time. No matter how our morning starts out, it usually turns around after nap time. And when I say "it usually turns around," I mean that Mommy gets a little break and is able to face the afternoon with renewed energy, positivity and peace.

I am fortunate because my son is almost 4 and he still takes a 2 hour nap every day. I know plenty of other kids his age who have given up their daily nap. I can sympathize with their moms because I just can't imagine what it must be like to face those difficult Mommy days without the promise of a break.

This week has been a rough one. My 2 year old has only slept about 30 minutes for her afternoon nap. It's torture! She's fighting a cold so after about 30 minutes of sleep her nose starts running and she begins to cough and wakes up. But unfortunately she will not go back to sleep.

I am hoping (praying) that this is only a temporary setback in our nap schedule and that after she feels better she will resume her regular 2 hour nap again. But in the meantime, Mommy needs a Mommy break!

For all of you SAHM's, what do you do to maintain your sanity? It'd be nice to have a backup plan for weeks like these!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Facebook, Twitter & a Giveaway


I am postponing this week's Future Project Friday to discuss a few {blog} housekeeping issues. Future Project Friday will resume at its normally scheduled time next Friday. Now on to some fun stuff (not the Future Project Friday isn't fun ☺)!

Does everybody know that I'm on Facebook and Twitter (@thispresentlife)? I've had my Facebook page for some time but I'm pretty new to the world of Twitter. I've been having a lot of fun with both of these social networking outlets and I post to both accounts daily. So if you can't get enough of me (ha ha ha!), come on over and join me on Facebook and Twitter!

Secondly, I am so happy to say that I've hit 400 followers! I am so excited about this milestone I figured it deserved a little giveaway. I've been trying to figure out how to repay all of you awesome followers and here's what I've come up with. I am happy to give one lucky winner a $20 credit to go toward anything in my store. But wait, there's more! I don't want to exclude those of you without little ones to shop for, so I am also going to offer a $20 gift card to my favorite store...Target! I know that's not a very "bloggy" gift, but the way I look at it is this, who couldn't use $20 to shop at Target?

So here are the rules...

1) Leave me a comment telling me you are already happily following the blog or are a new follower (yay!). And tell me what you'd choose if you won.
2) Leave me an extra comment telling me you're now following me on Twitter (leave your @name so I can follow you back!).
3) Leave me another comment telling me you Like "Happy Baby Designs" on Facebook.
4) You get an extra entry if you blog, Tweet or Facebook about the giveaway. Just leave me a comment letting me know!

And please be sure you either have an email attached to your Blogger profile, or leave it in the comments...otherwise I won't be able to notify you when you've won!

I will announce the winner next Friday! Good luck to you all! And thanks to all of you that helped me reach 400!!!


From Lamp to Hair Bow Holder

Ok, first I have to tell you that I seriously love this project {patting myself on the back}. I was trying to come up with a way to display hair bows at the craft fairs that I'll be selling at soon (Funky Finds Spring Fling and Cowtown Indie Bazaar). I won't have any hanging space so I knew I would have to get creative.

That's when I had my creative epiphany (I'm sure in a sleep deprived moment) and here's what I came up with.

Is this not the cutest thing ever? I'm totally using this in my daughter's room after the craft fairs. And it was so easy and very affordable ($7 plus the ribbon which I already had).

I bought this adorable little lamp at Goodwill awhile ago for $6. It was a little more than I normally would've paid considering I had nowhere to put it and I was pretty sure it didn't work. But the sweetness of the hobnail detail just spoke to me so I had to buy it. And it sat on my dining room table until I had my epiphany.

Once I knew my plan, I went on the hunt for a lampshade that I could use. It had to be one that was held together with metal, not the plastic of the shade itself. It seems it's usually the bell shaped lampshades that you can use for this project. I got lucky and found 2 at Goodwill on 50% off day so they each only cost $1! Here's what they looked like before I got to work.

It took me about 5 minutes of cutting and pulling to get the fabric off. My son loved that part!

I cut the electrical on the lamp since it didn't work and I wasn't planning to use it as a lamp anyway. Then I took the lamp apart and spray painted the metal parts on it and the lampshade.

Then I cut 8 pieces of 2 different widths of ribbon and simply hot glued the ribbon around the lampshade.

It looks cute as is, but it looks even cuter with all those colorful, girly bows on it!

And that's it! I am totally going to have to make more of these because they are just too cute. After all, I still have one more lampshade ;) And I love the idea of having a hair bow display that sits out and looks pretty in its own right.

Anybody have an old lamp sitting around that you're now going to turn into a beautiful, girly, practical hair bow holder? Send me pics when you do!

Linking up with these parties:

Transformation ThursdayIhookedupwithHoHlamespicegiveawayslinkparty Weekend Bloggy ReadingParty ButtonAlong For the RideUndertheTableandDreamingMakingThe DIY Show Offmmm buttonSumo Sweet StuffThe Girl CreativeToday's Creative BlogHOG

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Meet my Bloggy Friend, Ali!

I am so excited to have Ali from My Third True Love guest posting today! Ali and I "met" because we are both sponsors over at Primitive and Proper (hi Cassie!) and we instantly clicked. I mean, what's not to love...she's a thrifter, collector of swans and lover of chalkboard paint. My kinda gal! Not only is she a talented DIY'er balancing her creative life with being a wife and mother of 2 small children, but she also has an Etsy shop, Ooh La la Co. where she sells the cutest charm necklaces. Seriously, how cute is this Owl necklace?

So go check out her blog and her Etsy shop and I promise you will see why I think she's so awesome! Take it away, Ali....

Hello everyone!! I'm Ali from "My Third True Love" and I am so happy to be guest posting over here at Rebecca's awesome blog! I thought I would share a bit about how I juggle my DIY life with my family life. First and foremost, I'm a mom and a wife. BUT, I do have creative interests and feel like I deserve to dedicate some of my time to this little hobby we all know and love, DIY. It is a bit of a juggling act though, because sometimes the line between my time, and family time gets pretty blurry. Ok, let's face it, the line is more of a dashed line most of the time. That is why I have been making an effort to integrate my life as a mom & wife, with my third true love - DIY. Crafting with kids can be fun. Even the really simple things can be easy and rewarding. For instance, whenever we go to a friend's b-day party, we always wrap the package in brown kraft paper. This way, my son and daughter can color on the package with crayons and markers & make it all kid-fancy. Not only is the package adorable, but it's really personal too.

My son is almost 5 now and he is really into anything that has cause and effect. If I'm printing something on the computer, he's always right there to push the print button and eagerly waits for the printed paper to come out. Recently, he helped me use my Cricut machine (an Xmas gift from my hubby - oh yeah) to make this happy banner that we now have hanging in our kitchen. Baby sister was napping so Noah and I had some good solid one-on-one time together which was an added bonus. Not only did we get crafty together, but I got to remind him about some important safety rules (stay clear of the sharp blade, never touch the electrical outlet etc). Double mommy points there!

When I'm working on bigger projects, my first instinct is to wait until nap time so I can stay tidy and efficient. The less fingers in the paint, the better, right!? Well, I have recently tried to be better about allowing my little ones to explore with me and help. Even though at times it gets frustrating and it would go A LOT faster if I were working alone, the experiences that we are having are valuable ones. I know it. Luckily, kids typically have a short attention span and are on to something else in a relatively short amount of time. I definitely have my moments where I beg my husband to take them to the park so I can have at least one hour of PEACE. But I have to say, my family crafting time is becoming some of my most precious time.

Noah helped me paint the buffet we have in our kitchen and every time someone new comes over, the first thing he tells them is how he helped mommy "make" this. He's so proud & it's very sweet to see his enthusiasm and pride in our nice home.

HOWEVER, there is one thing I would steer clear of if you have the chance. I prefer to go thrifting without my kiddos. I need quiet. I need time. I need to roll up my sleeves and dive into the shelves and dig. The flea market can be hot and crowded and the last thing I want is to have to drag them down the aisles and pacify them with unhealthy snacks in order to keep my sanity (not speaking from experience here, of course).
Thrift shops are usually (always) dirty and crowded and there are lots of breakables very precariously perched on the overfilled shelves (and yes, that is my almost 2 year old daughter in our local goodwill eating a radioactive blue air-head taffy candy). Serenity now people, serenity now!So, If that last picture doesn't force you to call social services on me, take my advice: Craft with your kids when you can, and NEVER take them thrifting unless it's ABSOLUTELY necessary.
Thanks again Rebecca, I had a blast!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Raising a Gentleman

Think back to one of your favorite old movies. And I mean old like Cary Grant old, not like Sixteen Candles old. Don't you love the way the men were gentlemen? They courted, they brought flowers on dates, they opened the car door, they paid the bill. Is it just me, or has our Justin Bieber society lost the art of chivalry?

Now don't get me wrong (and please don't send me nasty comments about women's liberation), I'm the first to stand up for women's equality. I have a daughter and I want her to be afforded all of the same rights as her brother. I don't want her to even know what the glass ceiling is. I do not want her dreams to be limited by her X chromosomes. But I also want her to meet a man who will send her flowers for no reason at all, to offer her his jacket when she shivers and to hold the door open for her when they enter a building.

When my husband opens the car door for me rather than unlocking it from the inside while I wait "patiently" out in the cold, I don't see it as sexist. I consider it a sign of affection and respect.

So you can imagine how my heart swells with pride when my 3 year old son brings flowers home to me. Whenever he goes to the grocery store with my husband, he tells his daddy, "let's buy mommy some flowers." And I have to give my husband credit for allowing our son this gesture of love rather than telling him they cost too much money or whatever excuse we tell our children when we don't want to buy them what they're asking for. It says to our son that buying those flowers is meaningful. And that little lesson is helping to teach him how to be a gentleman.

Despite the Justin Beiber society we are raising our children in, I hope my son grows up to be a strong, independent, loving, gentleman. And I hope your sons grow up to be the same because I want nothing less for my about 30 years ;)