Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Twin Tip Tuesday; Scrub-a-Dub

I read the books about having multiples (in our case, twins). Now that I am mama to twins, I feel I can give little tidbits of useful advice.

This weeks' tips- bath time! How do you bathe climbing, crawling, pretty much walking twins- alone?

I set a laundry basket in the tub, put water in the tub, and pop the boys in. The laundry basket is small enough they can't escape on me, climb, bump their noggin, or any of the other crazy stuff they try.

Just a small twin tip.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Goals and Menu for the week

We had such a wonderful weekend! Hubby got home Saturday afternoon. Say the family was excited to see him!

What did I learn? Being a single parent is hard! He was only gone a week. A long week. Nonetheless, I am so thankful that I have a husband that after a hard day of work jumps right to Daddy mode. Hugs, kisses, games, diapers, baths, feeding- yup he helps with it all!

How did I do on last weeks goals?

  1. Work for 15 minutes a day cleaning computer room. I did 15 minutes a day for the first couple of days, then Wednesday I worked on it during the boys' two and half hour nap time, and after they went to bed. Still needs much work.
  2. Refine my own chore chart. Nope. I know having it in my head isn't helping me. This week I am committing to writing it down, even if it is only a basic routine.
  3. Find 7-10 meals for 30 meal list. Again, things don't work so well if I keep them in my head.
  4. Make journals for the men in my life. Procrastinator!
  5. Read to the boys everyday, take reading charts to the library. We read, but didn't go to the library (vehicle problems).
  6. Continue to get up between 6:30 and 6:45. Doing great, think this is a habit now.
  7. Sew 2 headbands, 2 bibs, and 2 burp cloths.  *Find dress to make.
  8. Crochet 2 dishcloths. Didn't do this week.
  9. Work on etsy shop. Worked on, need to get over my fear of imperfection and just list items!
  10. Get resume together. Nope.
*I did get a lot of my unfinished projects finished this week.

This week:
  1. Resume!
  2. Make journals for the men in my life.
  3. Find 7-10 meals for 30 meal list. Involve the family.
  4. List items in etsy shop.
  5. Finish computer room.
  6. Make journals for my men.
  7. Sew 2 headbands, 2 bibs, and 2 burp cloths. *Find dress to make.
  8. Crochet 2 dishcloths.
  9. Continue reading to the boys everyday.
  10. Make 2 Christmas presents.
What we're eating:

Our pantry and freezer are a mess (this seems to be a continuing theme in my life). Hubby made the suggestion that we focus on eating what we have this week to clean stuff up. So this may be a mash-up month.

  • Monday- venison steak, beans and rice
  • Tuesday- hamburger (or tuna) helper. Yeah, I know this stuff is gross and unhealthy- but we are not the throw away food type of people.
  • Wednesday- chicken on the grill
  • Thursday- roast
  • Friday- homemade pizza
  • Saturday- eating with friends
  • Sunday- chicken fried rice.
Do you make weekly goals. If so, do you have suggestions on getting them done?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Raiding Hubby's Donation Pile- T-Shirt Refashion DIY

I have a problem. I am taller than the average woman.

This is not an actual problem. I quite like my height. The problem is buying clothing. Most jeans are too short. The talls are usually too long. I also have a problem finding t-shirts that are long enough.

What's a girl to do? Keep an eye on her husband's donate pile.

Hubby was given this shirt.

He was never going to wear it. It is a v-neck; a no-go for hubby. It is a medium (he likes large-x-large). It has what he calls 'girly' stripes. So this t-shirt floated around the house; getting stuffed one place, then moved to another.

I finally took matters into my own hands.

Here's what I did:

I pulled out one of my t-shirts that I love the fit of. Turn the big shirt inside-out. Place the little shirt on the big shirt. You can trace, or pin along lines. (Although I hate pinning, I pinned. I didn't want the side seams to shift.) I kept the extra length in the torso and sleeves.

Sew along marked lines (yellow lines). Try shirt on. This is important! Try it on before you make any cuts! (Remember measure twice, cut once.) If it fits, cut off the extra material.

Add extra embellishment if you wish. I had some iron-ons in my stash, so I slapped 'em on.

All done. Admire your new shirt. (Bonus: no more worrying about showing too much cleavage, front and back.)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Soothing Crochet

I have been SLOWLY crafting through my stash. I have a few reasons for this. One reason is to clear the clutter my crafting addictions have caused. Another reason is to have things to list in my (hopefully) soon-to-be etsy shop.

I hope that an etsy shop will help me be more productive and consistent in my crafting endeavors, and earn a little bit of money along the way. We'll see.

Anyways, enough dreaming, more doing.

I have been crocheting (one of my new found crafting loves). Yesterday I made an observation while crocheting. I have been using a yellow, green, and blue variegated cotton yarn (Lily Sugar 'n Cream) .

My mood changed as the colors changed. Not a full-on mood swing, more of just a twinge (which is good because the colors changed often). Yellow seemed to make me feel more energetic, green was a calm feeling, and blue was a happy feeling. Hmmm.

Does this happen to anybody else? Or should I be thinking about getting some help ;)

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

No Vinyl, No Problem. DIY Puffy Paint Labels

One of my to-dos are canisters. I have this shelf space above the cupboards in our kitchen. I want my (bulky) baking stuff up there. Stuff like flours and sugars.

I found canisters that I like at Bed Bath and Beyond. I have bought three (with coupons of course) so far.

The problem? They are not labeled. Then use your fancy vinyl cutting thingamajig. Right?
Nope, I don't have one, and since I am trying to use what I have in order to clear space and save money- I am not about to buy one.

What's a girl to do? Put it on her do-it-later list? Wrong! Use what she has.

I came across a post about puffy paint. Remember that stuff? Nineties flashback! (I was a young, aspiring designer because of puffy paint.) At Doodle Craft they found that puffy paint can be used as window clings.

Hmmm. I think I can make this work...

Here's what you need:

  • glass container
  • image to trace
  • tape
  • Windex, paper towel
  • puffy paint
1. Clean the area you are painting.
2. Tape image on inside of glass.

3. Trace image with puffy paint. *if you are a lefty, write from right to left (how do you think I figured that one out?)

4. Let Dry. *I had to put jar on its side (with paint on top), because the first try ran.

5. That's it! Enjoy your vinyl-less canisters.

Note- this stuff is just like a window cling when dry. So, it may not be a permanent solution, but it works for me.To wash, either peel off, or wash very gently. (The good news is that if you mess up, it peels right off!)

One more to-do done! Do you have a favorite vinyl alternative?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Two Year Anniversary

Two years ago today, my little brother walked me down the aisle, and gave me to this wonderful man. We promised God to love and cherish each other forever. We celebrated amongst family and friends. It was the most wonderful day of my life.

It seems like its been much longer. We sure did cram a lot into two years!

I love this man. I am so fortunate to be married to him. He is a wonderful hubby, and extraordinary father.

Here's to many more!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekly goals

Hubby is out of state for work this week. This is our first time truly spending time apart. This is also the first time hubby has been away from the boys. I have an awesome husband, and the kids have a wonderful father. He not only goes to work every day so I can stay home with the littles, but once he comes home he jumps right in to daddy/hubby mode. I am so fortunate to have a hubby that helps cook, changes diapers, helps with baths, maintains the yard, well- the list goes on. I have a feeling I will appreciate his presence so much more after this week!

What are my plans? Get stuff done!

Last week I didn't do that good with my goals, so I am starting from that list- and adding on. I have so many projects around here that are unfinished- and I just need to get em done.
This weeks goals (actually last weeks list, re-posted):
  1. Work for 15 minutes a day in the computer room. Didn't do once last week.
  2. Refine my own chore chart. Started working on morning and night routines, then the season changed.
  3. Find 7-10 meals for 30 meal list. Did not do
  4. Make journals for the men in my life (hubby and twins). Again, did not do.
  5. Read to the boys everyday, take boys' reading chart to the library. Was much better at this. Still need to take chart to the library.
  6. Continue to get up between 6:30 and 6:45. Yes! (although I really did not have much of a choice some days.)
  7. Sew 2 headbands, 2 bibs, and 2 burp cloths. *Find dress to make. No sewing done.
  8. Crochet 2 dishcloths. Done!
  9. Work on etsy shop. Did minimally, so like all other goals staying on list.
  10. Get resume together. Nada.
Whew. Lots to do. On top of that hefty list, I hope to finish the boatload of unfinished projects I have around here. This seems to be an ongoing theme in my life. Oh, well.

Off to the printer, maybe having my list posted will help. Keep you updated.

Routine with Twins?

Nap time!

I have been focusing on getting up earlier these last few weeks. Its been going great.

There are a few reasons I have been focusing on getting up earlier. One reason is so I can see hubby for a few minutes before he leaves for work. I make him an iced coffee, and get a big water jug ready for him while he throws his lunch together.

After hubby leaves I usually have an hour to hour and a half before the boys get up. I have been trying to use this time to get some housework done, clothes on the line, shower, and dressed for the day.

This past week, all week- the boys have been waking up between 6:30 and 6:45, even earlier a couple days. Now, this doesn't bother me one bit. It is actually nice because hubby gets a chance to see them before he leaves for work. The only problem is that my routine needs to change, again.

For me this is the toughest part of motherhood. I like to have a routine. For the last year, I feel I have established a routine, then the boys let me know its not right for this time in our life. Sometimes I feel like a hamster, spinning on my wheel and getting nowhere.

Don't get me wrong- we have been very fortunate so far. The boys have slept through the night most of their life. They go to bed fairly easy and early most of the time. They are calm, happy, healthy little boys. We have been lucky!

I just need to accept that things are ALWAYS going to be changing, and learn how to ride the wave. Does anyone else have a hard time dealing with a lack of a routine?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekly Goals and What We're Eating This Week

I like lists. I like the visual a list gives (things look achievable when written on a list). I also like crossing things off the list. But... no matter how long or short my lists are, I have a problem finishing them (and throwing it away). This is a habit I am committing myself to- Finishing.

This weeks goals:
  1. Work for 15 minutes a day in the computer room.
  2. Refine my own chore chart.
  3. Find 7-10 meals for 30 meal list.
  4. Make journals for the men in my life (hubby and twins).
  5. Read to the boys everyday, take boys' reading chart to the library.
  6. Continue to get up between 6:30 and 6:45.
  7. Sew 2 headbands, 2 bibs, and 2 burp cloths. *Find dress to make.
  8. Crochet 2 dishcloths.
  9. Work on etsy shop.
  10. Get resume together.
This weeks menu:
Sunday- pork steak
Monday- venison
Tuesday- leftovers
Wednesday- homemade mac and cheese
Thursday- chicken of some sort
Friday- ???
Saturday- Going out to eat

Does anyone else have a hard time focusing? Any tips on getting back on track?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Monthly Goals

Yes, I know, its almost the middle of the month. These goals are geared for my 30 by 30 list. Which starts the 11th of the month.

Anyways, here's what I plan on working on this month:

  1. Work on purging computer room.
  2. Focus on daily cleaning habits.
  3. Make a 30 meal list.
  4. Start journals.
  5. Read to boys everyday.
  6. Continue to get up early.
  7. Sew, and crochet.
  8. Start Etsy shop.
  9. Make two Christmas presents.
  10. Look for dress to make, start making.

It doesn't look so difficult when its broken down into smaller chunks. Lets see how I do this month.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

30 by 30, How am I doing?

Two months down, ten until I turn 30. I made a list of 30 things I would like to accomplish by my thirtieth birthday. I have been feeling directionless lately, so I want to review my list so I can make a few goals for myself this month. Lets see how I've been doing. (Don't get too excited, I haven't been doing much.)

  1. Purge home, clear clutter- we did have two garage sales this summer, but this home has a long way to go.
  2. Make cleaning a habit- I'm getting a little better at this. I did make a chore chart for the older kids, and their help helps me immensely.
  3. Make recycling a habit- we were notified that we are getting curbside recycling in August, so this one is going great!
  4. Scan pictures, organize pictures- have not done a thing.
  5. Organize recipes- in May or June I did start writing some of my loose recipes on index cards, but I still have a ways to go. I want to add to this goal become effective at meal planning.
  6. Paint bedroom, decorate- nope, nothing done.
  7. Paint living room, decorate- nope, nothing done
  8. Learn how to effectively manage household and time- this is a constant wip (work in progress for you non-knitters). I don't feel that I am making much headway, but I am learning.
  9. Make wedding album- nope, nothing done
  10. Journal for the boys- nope, nothing done
  11. Journal for my husband- nope, nothing done
  12. Learn how to use my camera, take more pictures- I haven't learned how to use the camera any differently than I have been. I have been trying to take more pictures, but I lack consistency.
  13. Have monthly date nights with my husband- I don't think we have done this yet, we do have a sitter for the night this month.
  14. Go on mini-vacation with hubby- we have talked a little, but not made any plans yet.
  15. Go on vacation with the family- have not made plans yet.
  16. Read to the boys everyday- I have started reading to them a lot more, but not quite everyday.
  17. Learn to/teach the kids to pray (and Lord's prayer and Ten Commandments)- nope, not yet.
  18. Teach my step-daughter to sew and/or encourage her creative interests- she just finished softball, so this goal has been untouched.
  19. Implement a budget- nope, not yet.
  20. Start nursing clinicals- did not get in for the fall semester, hopefully this winter.
  21. Manage time better- (this is on 8, oh well), I am a tortoise right now.
  22. Get up early (like to start day by 6:00)- I am getting better at this, usually about 6:30.
  23. Dress for my hubby more often (less jeans and t-shirts)- This is going great. I have been wearing so many more dresses and skirts. It could be because it is summer, hopefully I can keep up.
  24. Style hair more, less ponytails- Sometimes I am good at this, sometimes not. I have too much hair and am debating a big cut.
  25. Blog regularly- well..haven't really been consistent at this one.
  26. Exercise regularly- nope.
  27. Craft through craft books, get rid of craft books not needed- I started, stupid me I started with Generation T. I knew I wasn't getting rid of these books, so I should have left them on the shelf.
  28. Craft through stash- see 27. (T-shirts are not stash)
  29. Make a dress, and wear it- nope.
  30. Start selling on etsy- I have thought about it, but not taken a step.
  31. Do a 365 project- nope.
  32. Have a (semi) handmade Christmas- pinned some ideas, but nothing completed.
Wow! I have a lot of work.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Two Ingredient Cake Tips

As you may have read (or not) my boys' birthday was this weekend. One of them is severely allergic to eggs. So I went in search for the perfect birthday cake for them to smash. I found the two-ingredient cake.

It tastes fantastic! I had plans to make two huge cupcakes, one for each boy, and regular-sized cupcakes for the party-attendants. First I made a big cupcake using my mold. When I tried to pop it out, the cake fell apart and turned into a mess! Oh well, onto take two. I made a 13 x 9 cake. I let it cool all night (mainly because we were up until 12:30 making cakes). The morning of the party I popped the cake into the freezer for a half an hour or so. Then tried to pop it out of the cake pan and... same results.

My husband walked in at this time, while I was spitting and sputtering to myself (or maybe anybody who could hear). He offered make a power run to buy a cake. But remember? Egg allergy.

I had to walk away for a moment. When I came to and decided to frost the cupcakes, I absently started to arrange them on the (handmade) cake boards. I can do this.

I arranged 7 cupcakes to resemble a 1. Then I took broken cake chunks and stuffed in all the holes. Next I generously frosted. The outcome....

Not too bad. Although the boys did not dig in the way I had anticipated...

They honestly only got this dirty because they got help, clearly the enthusiasm is lacking...

My tips? Two-ingredient cake is moist, really moist. It will not hold well for a decorated cake, or a mold (unless I was doing something drastically wrong). My second piece of wisdom- this cake makes a wonderful truffle (I think that's what my concoction may be called. I layered the broken cake (smashed it up a little more), vanilla pudding, and peanut butter buttercream frosting left over from the cupcakes in a bowl. It went fast! This stuff is amazing!

Have you tried two-ingredient cake yet?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bitter Sweet

Another weekend come and gone. In our household this weekend also represented one more year.

The twins turned one this weekend. Everyone says time flies when you have children. I think time may fly twice as fast with twins. I am amazed everyday at how amazing God is. He has given us two healthy, active, handsome, little boys. I can't even call them babies. They are little boys. They are growing, learning and changing daily.

This weekend also marked the second year without my dad. Two years ago he was in a fatal motorcycle accident. Two and a half weeks before my husband and I got married. I am so thankful that God kept my mom safe (she was on her motorcycle behind him). I just really miss that man. He was a wonderful father and husband. He was the rock our family stood on. I know he would have been the best grandpa too.

It is so hard to switch the emotions back and forth so much in one weekend- joy and sadness; happiness and hurt; pride and regrets. We are one more year more experienced, and healed.

Here's to another year!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Kool-Aid Cupcakes

Doesn't she look beautiful? Let me tell ya, she was tasty!

I love to bake, cook, mix, combine, and concoct. I have enjoyed it since I was a wee girl who had to pull the chair up to the counter in order to see in the mixing bowl. Once I learned to read, my mom, dad, and great grandma taught me to read and follow recipes. Back then I was a machine! Cakes, cookies, breads, dinners, you name it- I tried it (usually successfully).

Lately, I like making treats. I like making simple treats. You know, because you can only fit so much in during nap time. The only problem is that we are not really a sweet treat family. Don't get me wrong, we all love our sweets- but one or two for each one of us is usually plenty.

I hate wasting food. So cupcakes, muffins, and cookies have been my go-to lately. They are easy to pack and disperse. I make the full recipe. I leave enough here for the family. I also pack a plate for the neighbors. The rest gets distributed to friends and family, or just anybody that may be needing a treat.

I found this post for orange creamsicle cupcakes at Bear Rabbit Crafts. These sound delightful, and look so easy. So I gave it a try.

A box of white cake mix (and the ingredients needed to make the cake), and a packet of orange kool-aid.

That's it. Mix it together, bake according to the directions on the box, let cool, and frost.

For the frosting add a little kool-aid to white frosting and mix. It is important not to add too much kool-aid, or else the frosting will be bitter.

The verdict: These are absolutely wonderful! They were extremely simple, yet tasted like there was a lot of work involved. Perfect for this season of my life. I think next time I will try something different with  the frosting. I think I may use orange flavoring, (extract, whatever you call it) and a few drops of food coloring.

Let me know if you try different flavor concoctions.