So much GOOD change is happening over here at OMT!
Spring, for one, is going to happen sooner rather than later.
The melting snow and above zero temps have been a happy indicator.
We have also started making changes in our diet as a way to cleanse the ugly winter months OUT of our bodies (and minds really) and get ready for an active few months of enjoying the beautiful sunshine.
I find this happens every year in our house and is sort of like a kick off to spring.
This year I am trying something different though.
For months I have been noticing that I feel sluggish, don’t sleep well and in general feel down.
I know this is part of the winter blues thing but I also know it has a lot to do with what I am putting in my body.
So I decided to really clean things up around here!
I have been eating a Paleo style diet (I say diet but it really isn’t a diet – it is more a way of eating).
For those of you not familiar you should check out one of my new favorite blogs Health-Bent.
They have a fantastic way of laying out what it is to “eat clean” following a Paleo diet.
Mainly this involves eating like a cave man and cutting out processed foods.
Lots of meats and veggies, no grains or oats, no dairy or grass-fed cheeses only minimal rice and no pasta unless Paleo friendly.
What I love is that you don’t miss the bread, noodles, etc. too much because all the dishes you make have TONS of flavor and I am experiencing a LOT less highs and lows in regard to sugar.
I feel like I am more focused during the day and able to rest better at night.
I also noticed within the first couple weeks that I feel a lot less bloated and my muscles feel stronger.
I have been trying to fit in at least 20 minutes of exercise daily and when Spring is in full force I plan to up that to at least 30-45 minutes 4-5 times a week.
Many people think Paleo is really extreme but what I am finding is that it really is a way to cut out processed food and feed your body with nutrients vs. eating for pure pleasure without regard to what is going in and how it will affect your body.
I have only purchased one cookbook and it was from the couple at Health-Bent.
I felt like their methods and ideas of how to adapt Paleo for everyday life fit into my life best and their recipes are pretty fantastic!
It is a heroic story about a girl who despises green beans but for the sake of saving her parents (whom she was all too willing to leave with their kidnappers while she indulged in cookies, late bed time and TV) she eats them and destroys an army of VERY bad green beans.
I promise this book will be a new family favorite.
A little hint…
Try using voices for the VERY bad green beans.
I went with a Hispanic, mobster style voice that my kiddos now request. every. time. I. read it!
Happy reading and enjoy and have a beautiful fall weekend!
There was a little more restlessness for my “home aloner”.
By day three…
We were all tired.
The question of “when is Friday?” has started.
Hopefully Monday will feel fresh and new again after the weekend.
Now for some cuteness and some tears.
Feel free to giggle when you see the pics of my little monster crying.
It really is just too funny to see him SO emotional about not getting on the bus with his “leaders”!
This is how my eyes felt that morning…tired and fuzzy.
I started making these little chalkboards last year and like the tradition.
Regrettably, (the serious spelling error requires formal vocabulary just to prove I do indeed have a brain) I misspelled “kindergartner”.
It will certainly make for a good story when the kids are older and telling me how they don’t think they should have to do their English homework.
I can pull out this card “If you don’t do your homework you might end up as poor a speller as me!”
The conversations waiting for the bus were priceless.
You can almost see it in these pictures.
Expressions seen for miles.
There was a lot of impromptu posing most of which was actually initiated by my middle son (otherwise known as the “kindergartener”).
Now for the crying…
I will forever cherish these pictures and am so glad I wasn’t a weepy mess myself so that I could capture them.
This may make his graduation announcements.
The week has been eventful including the loss of two teeth, possible purchase of new car (old car decided to crap out on a camping trip while hauling a boat and all of our possessions) and an impending haircut for me.
I am not sure if it is the less than stellar weather or the fact that my hubby has been traveling a lot lately but I have really been “feeling” every minute of every day like a heavy weight on my shoulders.
The weekend is a welcome reprieve and with that I MUST share a cool beverage to kick it off and melt away the stress of the week.
This “spring” has been anything but and I have had to get really creative in ways to keep the kiddos busy.
It is the end of March and we literally have 3 feet of snow still (one of them we kindly received last week).
This momma is OVER IT!
Did you hear that mother nature???
While I do my best to avoid really messy projects during my work hours (I have learned this only creates frustration since I end up spending more time doing clean up than what the activity itself occupied) playdough is sort of a “go-to” in our house.
I stopped buying playdough years ago and now only use my super top-secret recipe!
In the spirit of transitional seasons my gift to you is to let you in on this super top-secret recipe .
It will save your life and the life of your young.
2 Cups Boiling Water
3 Tablespoons Baby Oil
1/2 Cup Salt
1 Tablespoons Powdered Alum
Gel or liquid Food Coloring (gel gives a more intense color)
Pour water, oil and salt into a 4 cup measuring glass and microwave until boiling and salt dissolves.
Add several (the more you add the brighter it gets) drops of food coloring to your liquids after the salt has dissolved.
Put flour and powdered alum into your mixer (I use my KitchenAid because I am lazy and just love that thing to death).
Mix the wet and the dry until they are combined.
You may find you need to work a little flour at this point because it tends to be a little sticky.
I suggest doing this with your hands (careful though it is HOT).
Once it cools the texture changes a little so don’t add too much flour or over work it.
She loves anything green and also loves the little guys like I do.
Best part about this gift was the price and ease of creating it.
I purchased my succulents atWalmartand they came in these hideous little glass vases which I am repainting and re-purposing so that is not a total loss.
They cost about $8.99 each but are generally around $5-$6 when you find them in a planters pot.
The other benefit with these little guys is that they also had moss in them.
I actually ended up having a little left over and am adding them to some other succulent pots for added drainage.
If you have trouble locating succulents locally I have used this fantistic Etsy shop with great success and great prices.
Glass Bowl or vase (you could use a pot too but part of the appeal is seeing the dirt and layers)
Rocks or glass stones (these are for layering on the bottom to create a place for drainage)
A variety of succulents
Moss and or a 50:50 sand and soil combo
Photos of your loved ones
A laminating machine or self laminating sheets
Hot Glue Gun
Wooden Sticks (I used a combo of wooden skewers and fat toothpicks)
Put a layer of rocks on the bottom of your bowl or vase.
Then layer in a little moss or your sand and soil mixture.
Then some more rocks if you didn’t have moss (you really want a lot of drainage).
You will typically end up filling your bowl or vase almost to the top then adding in your new little succulent friends.
Once you have the succulents planted you are onto creating the adorable little people peeking out.
I started with using my Creative Memories Story Book Creator program to create a little birthday card of sorts and to edit my photos.
I have recently rediscovered Story Book Creator and forgot how multipurpose it can be!
I have used it for many posts here on the blog to create images and fancy text.
It is also great for creating labels, cards, photo books, etc.
You can actually get a free trialon their site right now too.
I highly suggest checking it out!
Once you have created your little loved ones in mini size you will want to print them on card stock (that works best when working with a laminating machine) or if you are using self-laminating pages you can use regular printer paper or even photo paper if you want to have really clear images.
I recommend cutting your images out before laminating them.
I find you can cram more into a laminating sheet and they seem to stay in tact better if you cut them first.
Next, using your hot glue gun you want to add a little dot of glue to your wood stick and then attach it to your images.
Stick them into your planter in clever and cute ways and voila!
You have created the most adorable little succulent planter you just might make one for yourself.
It has been a rough few weeks…well really all of 2012 in our world. In order to cope with it all I have thrown myself in project after project. Just now it occurred to me to actually DOCUMENT a project and share my wisdom with the masses.
I have mentioned in the past that we live in an old house (1957 to be exact) and have had to make a LOT of updates. While this can be very fun it can also be VERY overwhelming. To add to that, we moved from a tiny two bedroom condo into a massive rambler and really didn’t purchase much (or really anything) for new furniture so we have been trying to make what we had in our condo work in a much larger space.
Let’s just say this has resulted in no particular look just a bunch of stuff thrown together. While we don’t have immediate plans to buy new furniture, I do feel like we are making GREAT progress with other details that will really update the overall “look” of our house. We are aiming for a rustic yet chic look that can stand up to HIGH traffic and destructive children.
A padded room might be best but since that is not an option I am making due.
Last week I decided to spruce up the dining area to inspire myself to get rolling on our kitchen cabinets.
I have gotten as far as spraying the hardware and removing the cabinet doors.
Clearly they are very sad and badly need a makeover.
I ordered this fabulous stencil from a really great Etsy shop OMG Stencils.
I have read up a little on stenciling and am very OCD about detail so I figured how hard can this be?!
Well 8 hours later I completed my wall. I am definitely THRILLED with the look but it was a lot more work than I thought.
Partly because I have to work around a door and the ceiling.
So let me give you the details on my little project that turned into a BIG project with even BIGGER results.
Maybe you will be quicker than I was but I moved as fast as I could pour wine….maybe that was my issue??
Spray Adhesive (I used Elmer’s and you can purchase it at Amazon)
Paint (I went with a latex paint Valspar Semi-Gloss in Argent purchased at my local hardware store)
Not pictured here are the baby wipes and paper towel. These were key in quick clean up between applications.
Almost forgot – PATIENCE!!!!
Start by covering a surface where you can set the stencil down in between applications. I used my table covered with some plastic. Spray a light coat of spray adhesive onto the back of the stencil before putting it on the wall. This will give it a little tack. Not enough that the stencil will complete stick but enough to help it lay flat. I found that after the first couple of applications on the wall the tack sort of went away and I had to hold the stencil down a bit as I applied the paint. Not the end of the world but I had more hope for the spray adhesive. I think you could actually go without unless you happen to have some lying around from another project.
I found it very stressful to actually attach the stencil initially as I was worried about starting off crooked. So I really took my time getting it just right before getting started. After my first row I did get a little off because working around the door was a challenge. To correct the issue I got back on track and hand painted in to stretch a couple of the shapes. It worked fine and overall you can’t tell at all. That is the beauty! As you work you will need to overlap the stencil with the area you have painted so it is important to make sure that previous area is mostly dry.
Tip: when working at the ceiling remember that you won’t be able to get your image flush so you either have to decide to start it lower with a space up top or you can hand paint to connect the image to the ceiling. That is what I chose since I wanted it to make the room look taller.
Also, don’t load your brush with too much paint. All that will do is cause more to seep underneath the stencil and it will make your image fuzzy and make for more cleanup.
First stencil in progress.
This is what it looked like after I applied paint over the entire stencil.
First one done!
After each application I would flip the stencil upside down on the table and wipe the side that makes contact with the wall to avoid any mistakes in paint getting on areas that were supposed to remain the background color. This is where my baby wipes came into play. They are just so darn handy!
Full row almost complete.
My hubby hasn’t seen this yet but I know I am excited and hope he feels the same way.
Either way this is STAYING!
It makes me smile just looking at it.
Do you have a project you have loved or maybe one you hated? Please share!
Poo in the shower Poo in the tub Poo in the toilet Rub a dub dub
Okay maybe I am not a poet but seriously this is where things were going lately! I badly wanted to include a pic of the remnants of what my youngest left behind in MY shower but felt y’all might not continue on if you were subjected to that.
I mean, I have cleaned poo out of many places but in a shower? MYshower?
That I was not expecting.
My youngest is really proving to test my strength as a human AND a mommy. He pushes the envelope and then smiles one of his life saving smiles.
We have had our moments recently that is for sure.
Take this for instance.
The kid is VERY creative!
Sometimes that is good.
Sometimes it is very, VERY bad.
What makes me crylaugh is that this kid is the one that has truly made me a parent. He has completed the “you know you are a mom if….”ten fold.
In the end I think that is all that matters but I hope I survive until the end!?
There has been a whole lot of busy in our house in the past few weeks. My hubby and I completed our first 5k together. Certainly not something I expected to cross off my bucket list let alone to do it with my hubby.
Feels good to have actually accomplished something! Something NON-mommy related at that.
Fall is upon us and winter is on its tail. We have gone from Halloween and fall decorating to winter in the blink of an eye.
SNOW the first few days of October.
Man Mother Nature is a cruel lady sometimes.
I plan to share with you more in the coming months. Winter is hibernation for the body but time for the mind to thrive!
I have been busy contributing to The Crafty Collaborative and TRYING to get a style happening in my home after allowing myself to be “okay” with hodge podge for far too long.
Feelingcontent. This time of year does that to a person you know? Planningan evening escape and solo movie date. This lady needs those every now and then! CravingPUMPKIN anything. Pot roast. Fresh baked bread. Hearty soup. Crisp air causes instant hunger for all that is comfort food. Holdingonto the last few moments with my middle child before he heads of to preschool. Praying the transition will be smooth.
Thinkingabout fall crafts and winter house projects. I love them but need to figure out how to find the time! This Pumpkin Topiary would be adorable right through Halloween. Thanks Pinterest…once again you have inspired me. Gratefulmodern medicine. My mom completed her final round of chemo this week and will be moving onto the next phase. We are all looking forward to that! Anticipatinga chilly morning tomorrow with my family at a local farm for a hay ride and to pick out pumpkins. This will be our third year going and we always enjoy. It is one of my favorite small town activities.
Wishingor more so longing for someone to do all my grocery shopping so I can go and just relax instead of doing it myself. A girl has dreams you know?! ReadingThe Boy in the Suitcase Lene Kaaberbol. It is a little slow in parts and a tiny bit confusing but very suspenseful! Honestly, this was a $1.99 find on Barnes and Noble so I just went for it.
Wonderingwhere my next girls trip will take me. There has been a lot of Hawaii talk but one can never tell with these ladies. Any suggestions??
With any first in this house we make a point to take pictures…LOTS of pictures and I honestly stress about it a little. I am always so worried about missing the important things like capturing a child blowing out their candles or a sweet moment with daddy on Father’s Day. So today when preparing to send my daughter to her first day of Kindergarten a lot of emotions came out. Worry. Worry about the perfect picture to capture her excitement and worry for her first day out in the world without us.
I am definitely a bit of a crier on most accounts so I feared this might be one of those times that I can’t see through my tears to even get a good picture but thankfully when it comes to the “big” stuff I become a bit of a hard-ass. This is not to say I don’t have my moment later on after the fact. Perfect example is the fact that I didn’t shed a single tear all day and then as I sat down to write this and started looking through the pictures I took of my sweet girl it hit me. I got completely choked up and sat here beaming with pride and feeling a little sad too. It finally struck me how momentous this day was in the history of her life and really the history of mine. This is the start of her true growth and ultimate freedom and the end of my sanity as we know it.
Just kidding…I am well aware I have several years until pre-teen to really hit that point!
The boys and I spent the day playing catch up after a wicked and very enjoyable couple of weeks of insanity. One week of insanity was the good kind. The crazy fun you have with a group of girls in a city that is not your home. The kind of fun that only comes with great female bonding, unlimited cocktails and total lack of responsibility. Thank you Las Vegas and thank you girls (you know who you are) for giving me just that!
The other bit of insanity happens to be a DIY my hubby decided to take on that ended up being a full on family affair. We have spent the last several days removing shingles from our crazy (and incredibly old) roof, repairing and putting on new shingles. I can now say that I have purchased “flashing” and shingled two roofs in my lifetime (the other being my sister-in-laws). How many gals can say that!?
So back to the big first day and what the ones left behind were up to.
I knew that it was going to be a little rough so I really didn’t plan anything and just sort of took things where the day went. I took 2 days off of work to allow myself just a little down time after the big transition. This was a good decision for sure! The boys and I caught up on laundry (mostly), we made paint baggies for mess free finger painting thanks to a wonderful blogger The Hippie Housewife and we baked a delicious treat for Ava to enjoy when she got home from her big day, Monkey Muffins. Ree Drummond you are a damn genius!
We ended the day snuggled up on the couch reading books. Pretty sure we will all sleep like rocks tonight…so many things were accomplished in just one short day! Whew!
I recently received an email from a good friend who is single and sans children. She read this very intriguing article about parenting and if having kids actual makes people unhappy. Thank you CNN for sparking some debate!
What I found most interesting wasn’t the article but the response that came from my single friend compared to the response my friend and I (who have kids) gave. We were a mix of “babies complete us”to “I could take it or leave it”. I loved that my friend sans kids thought that I was making motherhood “look good”. Thank goodness I am fooling someone! Kidding but seriously, I guess because I am in the thick of it daily I don’t realize how it must look to an outsider. It is certainly not for the faint of heart.
For me, my response after reading the article focused more on the fact that while children can be a blessing and enrich our lives they can also really cause a person to forget who they were before and stop nurturing ourselves as people – not just parents. This alone could make a person unhappy vs. the very happy they COULD be if they allowed themselves to think outside the box and try to strive for both.
So here was my response:
“In my opinion, the bottom line with parenting and why I think so many parents sort of lose their way is that many think you have to give up being a “person” to be a parent. I think it is quite the opposite. I think becoming a parent actually allows a person to put life into perspective and the saying “becoming a parent made me a better person” doesn’t mean that parents are better people. It just means that parents have been allowed to experience something profound that helped them understand their wants and needs better.”
Then came the response after reading the article from my friend withchildren:
“As a fairly “new” parent I would say I disagree with the happiness factor, as it pertains to kids. The happiness I have experienced is unbelievable. Yes, the “romance” has gone by the wayside (granted I’m pregnant and my energy level is zapped and zero interest in adult activities if you catch my drift) but I would also say this happens in any long-term relationship without kids too. Sure, I don’t enjoy the fact my house is a mess and my living room has toys everywhere but I also know it’s so very temporary. Life goes by so fast and I think people sometimes get stuck on the negative and then can’t see past it. I’ve done it, try not to but it happens.”
My thoughts became more clear after hearing what she had to say and I retorted with: “I think this is a really good point and sort of solidifies what I was saying as well. Just because you have children doesn’t mean happiness goes out the window. BUT the point I am trying to make is that children are also NOT the sole point of happiness once you have them either. Being a parent doesn’t mean only your child can make you happy.
As far as messes go….well that is life. It is messy. I have many a single or child free friends that are messy and have no one to put that on. It is certainly not a reason to NOT have kids that is for sure.
Now the lack of “excitement” in the bedroom…well that one is definitely an area that gets sacrificed for a million reasons but it isn’t permanent. So many relationships go through this at some point even if it doesn’t include kids. I think that kids and a relationship are two things and each brings its own challenges. Having kids certainly ups the difficulty factor for relationship bliss but it also teaches you to try harder (when the time is right) and get more creative.”
So now is when you interject.
What do you think about having kids?
Do you think that not having them makes you smarter than the rest of us or do you feel having kids is what completes the “big picture” in life?
Either way I am grateful for my friends that have AND don’t have kids because they each bring a different element to life. How boring would it be if we were a bunch of soccer mom’s that refused to acknowledge there is a whole other world out there?! My single friend actually encountered these exact women recently when trying to have a conversation in the workplace. It ended when the “soccer mom’s” (I really don’t have an issue with soccer mom’s but in this case it is the best descriptor) asking the age-old questions of “Do you have kids?” and when she said “no” the conversation ended too. Truly sad what those women are missing because this chica is totally worth knowing kids or no kids!
Cheers to diversity in life and friendships!
Oh and to kids too…
they have made me the person I am today and for that I love them even more!
This week we are enjoying the county fair and by enjoying I mean eating our way trough it.
Lots of sugar, deep-fried “something” and the smell of cow poo.
Enjoying too much chocolate zucchini bread. In case you missed it the recipe is here. Seriously. You MUST try this recipe. It will change your life.
Feelingsated. I have had my husband home more this week then I have in a long time and I have to say I could get used to this two-parent style life. Planninga wedding reception crash. Yup. You heard me right. When you live in a small town like I do these are the things you do. I swear. It will be like a mini reunion. Craving fry bread. Two trips to our local county fair and I have yet to get my fill. Holding onto the hope that pink eye has left our home. For GOOD. PLEASE?!
Thinkingthe days are numbered for summer and soon I will have TWO little ones off to school. SAD. Gratefulfor my sister. I wised up and asked for more help from her this past month and it has seriously paid off. I have showered daily and managed to work out almost everyday too. Impressed? Anticipatingmy Vegas girl’s trip at the end of the month. Thank goodness for mail order shopping. Without it I could never be ready for a trip of this magnitude in time!
WishingI could “mail order” a six-pack of abs and buns of steel. Wouldn’t that go nicely with my new swimsuit? Speaking of, this may be the winner and if you have post-mom bod like me you should check this out! Thank you Athleta for “keeping it real”. ReadingDark Places by Gillian Flynn. I also read two others by her and am hooked. Definitely recommend checking out Gone Girl and Sharp Objects.
Wonderinghow long this moment of happy play will last between my two oldest. Trains, horses and tracks have made for 30 minutes of love between the two of them. Please let this last!
And do things that “normal” people do like sleep in until 10 (okay I had to get up to pee a couple of times but I stayed in the bed until 10 after that), eat meals late at night and peruse farm equipment.
You heard me right.
I am super classy and seriously adventurous that way.
Not the mention the fact that when my cousin says “wanna take the mini Cooper” this momma screams YES!!!!
Through the rolling hills (again you heard me – did I stutter?) of North Dakota (they may have very well been the ONLY hills there) we flew with hair blowing in the winds and giggles being lost below the booming sound of spirit lifting music.
Meanwhile on the home front….
My hubby is experiencing the following:
One child falling on his forehead off his bike leaving literal skid marks up the poor kids face.
Another child so upset that she can’t watch TV that she decided to hide on daddy and pout.
Well she hid just a little TOO well and after 10 minutes of searching for her (once realized missing) he cried uncle and started to panic.
She was of course discovered/stumbled upon in between some art stackers and a cabinet.
He endured all of this on just a few hours sleep thanks to the kids rising with the sun (also thanks to his late night fishing but that is another story).
Needless to say everyone survived.
Some with battle wounds and some without.
Pretty sure my hubby was ready to go to work today and be an adult again!
I on the other hand was NOT ready for the week to start but somehow managed to make the best out of it and even squeeze in a meal of comfort food for dinner.
TGIT??? Not sure I am actually that thrilled but glad to put Monday behind us.
I would love to hear your daddy or mommy blunders and how you survived them or maybe just your favorite “adult day” memory.
This past week brought summer and the start of long afternoons at the beach and a whole lotta sand EVERY WHERE! Sand and all it is a good shift in the universe and we welcome the change of pace.
Enjoying the smell of a campfire somewhere nearby. It is amazing how long that warm, cozy smell can linger.
Feeling annoyed that my hubby needed to sleep in this morning granted he did get in late, this mommy could have used a bike ride or a brisk walk with some jamming tunes to start the day. Instead I settled for breakfast on the deck. Planning an overnight trip to visit a cousin. Just me and my cuz shooting the breeze. Not often can I “shoot the breeze” so it will be a nice reprieve. Craving delicious grilled veggies and meat. Tis the season right?! Holding onto my patience by a string. Some days are just like that. I think I can. I think I can.
Thinking about our upcoming annual Father’s Day camping weekend. It will be a ridiculous amount of work but such great memories. Lots of changing this year that is for sure. Grateful for the sunshine that has taken my brood outdoors this week. Pretty sure I would not have survived otherwise. Anticipating the news of a new little one for a close friend of mine. Sweet little baby girl will be entering the world at any minute. Pure magic!
Wishing I could muster up the energy to get my office demolition started so that when the time comes we are ready to get to work rebuilding it. Reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I know I will likely not sleep well while reading this book because it is all sorts of creepy but well written so I will continue on anyway.
Wondering when I should start shopping for my Vegas trip in August….probably should not procrastinate since there is a good chance most swimwear will be long gone by the time I need it! Anyone have great tips for Vegas attire??