Monday, October 20, 2014

Small Tasks

Oh, what a life I live.

I feel like ever since I moved to Ohio, I have gotten sick every other week. Definitely an exaggeration, but it is what it is.

For a few hours every day these past few days, I have had an almost debilitating headache. It could be caffeine withdrawal. Eh. Hopefully it isn't another stinking sinus infection.

ALSO, and oh my, every time I get ahead with cleaning/organizing in one room, I turn around and it's trashed again. I had Carson help me the last time I tackled his room. I most definitely believe that kids should learn to clean and organize at a young age. I gave him the task of first putting his Legos in their place, then putting the shoes in the basket. The kids can handle small tasks, easy things that if done in small steps results in a clean room!

My brand rep search is almost to an end. I already have chosen two kids, but it's so hard. I want all the kids to feel special.

AND, lastly, I have been doing so many DIY crafts. I'd like to post them. You know how that goes...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Oh hey, I got a job

The etsy shop has had a significant increase in sales. I am thrilled. It's not enough to make a living off of yet, but it's coming along.

Right now, I'm searching for Brand Reps. That's were some lucky moms get packages for their kids in exchange for great photos, a little social networking and the like. I hope it helps the shop.

I'm going to be doing a "show" for the shop in November. I did the same one last year and met some great people there. I LOVED it. I'm hoping to make an outrageously adorable table set up, just a big tutu one. I hope I can... I'm thinking of making it from that plumbing pipe stuff. Dear goodness, I hope it doesn't look trashy.. I also hope I can make some really cute headband holders, too.

 


I also got a part time job. I have to say that leaving home to go to work is 100000% easier than staying home with the kids. I mean, there's work drama and all, but I don't care. I LOVE to work. We're trying to find a daycare for the kids, but that's been our biggest challenge so far; finding a sitter for those times when we both work. I only work around 10-14 hours a week, so it's not too much time away.

So, there's an update!




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's Wednesday

It's Wednesday. For us it usually means getting up before 7, packing up all those clothes and blankets we laid out for a month(a month that turned into nearly 2 months) loading up our car, waking up the kids and feeding them, getting them dressed and putting them in the car before 8 and leaving our house until 5. Trying to find new places to go to occupy our time. For the kids, it's been a real joy discovering new parks, seeing movies, spending time with friends, playing and having picnics. We've tried our darnedest each week for nearly two months letting them have fun for a full day on a *seriously* strick budget, having patience listening to them complain because they don't want to be in the car, filling with joy because we get to see them learn when we introduce new things. We get to hold hands walking around.
All for personal reasons, not to be shared publicly, of course. Stupid reasons that we should not have to deal with.
 
Heck, we've found out about so many places around here that are fun and free. Places I wouldn't have even thought to know about
 
Not today. For the first time in 2 months. We can finally just sit down. We don't have to worry about if we are going to have plans or somewhere to go. If we're going to be able to budget the gas again to travel all over Ohio to entertain our kids (I'm exaggerating because we've gone as far as 20 minutes away for the most part...). We get to sit around with our house full of packed boxes and bags, not sure where anything really is because we're too afraid to open anything and we're okay with that. We're definitely content with not unpacking because we've been packimg and unpacking for two months and we've realized we don't really need a whole lot out.
 
We've happily re-arranged our living space. We changed our rooms around, surrendering our master to the little ones because when you see that all of your little material possessions are in bags in the middle of your room, and your furniture is right there with it, perspective changes. Like how we could barely fit the our toddler's toys and cribs and clothes in the middle of their room but our things had ample space around them, we realized we were being a little selfish. When we realized that they needed a much bigger closet than they had (I  mean, so do we...) and Sehara needed a little bigger of a room and a smaller closet, clarity struck us!
 
So, it may be a little chaotic in here, we may be sitting by a wall of bags and really unsure of what to do next, but we're content sitting here.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

This Goes Somewhere Else


I was sitting in our office sideways so I could see into the family(living) room and keep an eye on the little ones. Carson found a little tub of teddy graham cookies (you know, the $1 impulse purchase ones near the checkout) that a lady at church gave him (right at the beginning of our no-refined sugar challenge so it's been sitting around for a while). Madeline wanted some, too, so I was convincing Carson to share. He would give her one here and there until she finally roared at him and he was forced to give her a handful.

I was thinking about how possessive he was being over the graham cookies and contemplating how much to parent, trying to teach him to want to share vs being a helicopter parent, which I feel like I am the majority of the time. Or was he being dominant and trying to mark his territory(still thinking back in the office) and should I let him? But, isn't sharing and kindness more important?

I picked up a needle and plucked a strand of white thread through the hole- it was a smaller needle than I have used before to finish off the bowties from my shop. I hand-sew the middle piece in the back of the bow part, so the collar strap stays on (I use glue too, whatever). I thought I would try the smaller size this time because I keep bending the bigger needles and I'm new at the sewing stuff.

I started making my stitches and just stopped. It's amazing. It's amazing how changing one thing in your life can make such a big difference. Changing the size of the needle put things in perspective for me.

You see, I adore bowties, I think they are perfection with suspenders, they are game changers with sweater vests. But, they are hard for me to make. I have come to resent making them, but I just can't not make them. I have a boy and sometimes I can't find bowties that I like that are what I want and decently priced. So I want to provide those. But there are so many steps to my bowties.

By changing the needle size, I feel like I can do it. My life feels lighter. Like I can sit down and do another few dozen custom orders and not dread all the different steps.

It got me to thinking about some other recent changes I have made. I mean, life is still tough, it's super tough most of the time but there are things I can do to make it easier and I need to figure them out as they come. And those recent changes have, for the most part been a huge relief, life altering. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Favorite Cake Friday

It was hard to make a cake in Kentucky for 2 reasons: the siblings think they are health nuts and Marybeth's boyfriend's graduation sheet cake made it to the house and they ate on that for over a week. They never would have let me make another one.

SO, I'm delighted to present my cake this week! I made it for Tim, for father's day since we weren't here on the date. Too bad Sehara wasn't home...

I got the recipe from "I am Baker", it's titled "The Perfect Chocolate Cake", then I used her icing recipe, too(under the cake recipe), but it turns out that it's almost the same as the one on the back of the powder sugar bag, plus 1/2 cup whole milk/heavy cream mixed in at the very end.


 Because of how my previous cakes have tasted, I was afraid this would taste too much like eggs, it didn't. I'm pleased. I should have brewed the coffee an hour before I started making the cake though. If you put something hot in with raw eggs, it will cook them. I had to wait 30 minutes to add the coffee. I have the keurig and it brews scolding hot coffee!

I did replace 1/4 of the cocoa powder with dark cocoa powder (so I used 1/4 cup good dark unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/2 cup good unsweetened cocoa powder). I mean, if you call the kroger brand "good". LOL.



Because it was for Tim, I wanted to make it special! EXPERIMENT TIME.
I made a brown sugar blondie recipe and used a mustache cookie cutter, and cut a few mustaches out!


It was kind of a pinterest fail. You pour a little batter in your cake pan, place your shapes and then pour the batter around and over them. It's really simple, kind of. I could have executed it better.

I should have just made a white cake, like a really big, skinny one and cut a ton more mustaches out. I think the trick is to put a bunch throughout the pan, together, so they don't have a chance to fall over and lay down. I had to open the oven a few times and adjust them upright. Burned myself, too.



LOL, Tim thought it was a Reese's cake at first, he couldn't see the mustaches. He even took his finger and swiped it to get some peanut butter on there, hahaha. No, those are blonde brownies, ha!

Eh, I'll do better next time. I want to do a polka dot cake!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

5 minutes in my head

Remember how I wrote about keeping a notepad with me at all times? It's overrated. Nobody has time for that.

I bet whoever read that blog knew right away I wouldn't keep one on me. *I* tried, tried really hard to remember to take a pad of paper upstairs and keep it on the dresser. Then that got stressful and I'm not going to walk all the way downstairs when I've already laid down in my sweet bliss of cooled down stiff but super smooth sheets. So, I started writing little notes on my phone. Well, the light doesn't dim enough and it hurts my eyes. I also watched something (when I was so bored that I had a 5+ hour long t.v. ritual)  on "The Doctors" or "Dr. Oz" about melatonin secretion and how the blue lights from electronics prohibit that chemical reaction and that's why you should buy the amber lens glasses. So you can go to sleep and be rested. Plus, I'd get sidetracked and drool over cool shirts and elastics on etsy. Life.

All that to say I had the most beautiful snippet of a facebook status update in my head and then I was going to turn it into a blog post because it was too long and I thought about whipping out my phone at the splash pad and writing it and posting it but the phone screen light doesn't get bright enough in the sunlight and I didn't want to squint (and not watch the kids, of course) for 5 minutes. I already have this tan line on my forehead because I squint so much and have weird skin above my nose & between my eyes. I don't know if it's extra skin or just REALLY thick, but it's plain annoying. Reminds me of a butt crack. It's caused me to have a permanent crease too. Sometimes I point out that I have a scar on my forehead and everyone assumes I'm talking about my crease. Well, I'm not. I have a scar and it isn't in that tan line. It's further up. When did this paragraph get so serious???


So this is where I'm left, opening a new post hoping that I'd remember if I started typing, but I just don't. What a bummer.


XOXO- Butt Face


Monday, June 16, 2014

2 Weeks


 Our parent's are on their 30th Wedding Anniversary honeymoon!



I have written before about how much I adore my siblings, or at least I think I have. I've been given the opportunity to house-sit and "watch" them for about 2 weeks.

I definitely use that term loosely because they can be pretty self sufficient. I'm more of just an authority/accountability person. I make sure they don't break the rules & stay alive. Yup.



So we've been going to friend's houses, going to parks, exploring local businesses, grocery shopping, cleaning, and cooking a lot. Watching movies, playing basketball, swimming; all the fun things you do on a budget. Driving to Hobbly Lobby to craft special flower halo headbands that she (marybeth) and her friends are going to model for my shop.




The siblings have been so helpful. It's not so hard coming here and helping keep them in line, but it is difficult uprooting 3 children from their routine and putting them in a different environment for 2 weeks, just to go back... They have watched my kids while I have napped (happened once), watched some here and there so I could take another sibling to a friend's house, watched them in the car so I could run in somewhere, etc. 



Daniel fixed the headlights on my van (apparently I have to turn the lights off before I turn the car off or it won't cooperate, even then you have to do a series of knob turning and then this girl has to take a nap because it's just too much).

Michael didn't complain when I put a playpen in his room for Carson to take his naps and sleep at night or when I sent Sehara to bed early and she got scared and made a makeshift bed on his floor.  


Marybeth wrangles the kids together pretty quickly and Tyler has been my right hand man, ready to go at a moments notice. He calculates the grocery bill and tracks things like that. 



They have all pitched in to help me help them. 

We've been able to spend much needed quality time together, where they get to learn about this real/new me, the girl who has calmed down, and learned some patience and life lessons. They are starting to shed this drill sergeant view of me and I like that.

I get to see how they have grown up, too. You can't hide much when you spend just about 24/7 with someone. Areas they need to work on (so I can see how they do in the future), listen to their woes, see their brilliance and laugh with them at their mistakes.

Anyway, this is where I have been!  I haven't been hiding or skipping out on things but I have definitely needed a break from some people in Ohio. #home

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day Tim

Gosh Honey, you're the bees knees! Happy Father's Day.

 











Just a few quick pictures!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Favorite Cake Friday

Friday came a little early this week (like on Tuesday or Wednesday)...

I wanted to make another cake from scratch. It's scary sometimes because I never know how it's going to turn out. I started with a handmade yellow cake that I had written down years ago (I would cite the source but I'm not sure where it came from....). It was a recipe intended for mason jar gifts.

If you can't tell by now, I like to start simple and then get more extravagant and complicated as my confidence increases.

Recipe for Yellow Cake:

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1 stick butter, softened
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs



Instructions

Place softened butter into stand mixer and mix on medium for 1-2 minutes.
Place dry ingredients into stand mixer and combine with butter for 30 seconds.
Add milk, oil, vanilla and eggs and mix on medium-high for one minute.
Pour batter into oiled or buttered pans. Bake at 350. 
*For 9-inch pans its 20-25 minutes. For cupcakes start checking around 15 minutes. 

Cool before frosting.


I was a little disappointed at first because the cake tasted like eggs. I frosted it with Hershey's chocolate frosting and it was delicious.

As soon as I feel like it, I'll load my pictures from my phone and update the blog with it.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Spring Family Photos {Anniversary Inspired}

I love photos, anyone who really knows me knows that. I find a way to get photos taken however I can.

Mother's Day Pictures

Easter Photos

And I just realized I never posted about our Fall photos, our Valentine's Day photos, and a few more.


These photos were originally intended to be Anniversary pictures but the snow really got in our way. Every time! Ha! But we finally got them and I'm so pleased with them.






My Boy
Not with my body though. :/ AND the mint tulle skirt I wore was completely wrong for my body, it literally made me look 14 months pregnant. It's a fabulous skirt though. I got it from Lulu and Lavender.  My next purchase from her is that deer sweater... obviously not in any hurry as it's 83 degrees here.

 The photographer, Natalie found some cute buildings in Dayton, purple buildings and blue buildings, gorgeous urban setting.

They were to match our wedding photos. Have you seen them?


I may get around to posting those, too.

Our anniversary is one of my favorite days of the year: Valentine's Day. The best part: Tim can't forget it.
Handsome Carson


The kids were not cooperative. They usually aren't for photos but we do it anyway.

These pictures make it worth it. This Carson. He's contemplative, caring, thinks about things, associates events with other events and puts everything together.

He can be aggressive, though. We have to let him be physically active and "wear him out". He's Tim's clone.





 Madeline likes the chase. I may not give her enough credit, to be honest. I haven't sat and observed her for hours like I have done with Carson.
I have held her for hours(mostly to protect her from Carson's grabbing hands). I still breastfeed her. It's nice. She's a sweetie.

She has a big kind of an attitude and can give the stink-eye like no one else, but I don't think she understands what she's doing.








 Sehara Is nurturing, she craves to be a part of things. Always wants to know what's going on and wants to be active. We are working on her self-esteem, it fluctuates. She loves to help, except if it interferes with anything she is doing.




My Favorite. 

My Girls!