Monday, November 11, 2013

DIY- Paint Stirrer Wall Art

Something to know about me is that I am a frugal lady. I don't like to spend a ton on anything and I like to DIY if possible, which generally turns out to be cheaper for me.

This weekend I set out to make some cute stuff for our kids rooms. We just bought this house in March and moved into it at the end of June so it's still very much a work in progress and most of our efforts have been about painting and home improvement projects (ripping up crappy old tile, fixing floors, dry walling, replacing ceilings, etc) so not much of my time has gone into art or prettifying anything but that has changed now!

I decided to be a cheapskate and spend as little as possible on my projects, which turned out to be zero dollars. I picked up some paint color cards and paint stirrers for free at the home improvement store while we were in there and this is what I did with them-

First, I laid them out flat and straight

And then glued those together with a thin line of hot glue down each length (but not in the little dipped handle section). There is probably a better way of doing this that is sturdier but since this is going right up on the wall, I'm not terribly worried

All glued together and flipped over. I then took 2 soda can tabs and placed them about an inch and a half from either side, to be used to hang it on the wall. I glue these down.

Here's a closeup-

Then I thought up a word! I was also thinking of images I might like (a bunny came to mind) but I decided on 'wonder' after my husband suggested 'wonderful'. It seemed like the perfect word for my girl.

I sketched it in pencil first.

And then chose a paint (a pretty pop of turquoise that I already had laying around) and painted over that.

Ta-da! Whimsical, pretty wall art for zero monies, assuming you have some glue and spare paint. Not too shabby! I haven't hung it yet because I want it to be part of a collage.

Those paint cards I got? I used those to make garlands for the kids beds. I simply made a stencil of a shape (heart for Al and star for Ollie) and then traced that onto the back of the paint sample cards, cut them out and glued them to a length of thin rope we had lying around. You could use twine, hemp, ribbon, yarn, string, anything! So again, zero monies spent! And if you had a big shaped paper cutter it would be even faster and easier.

Here are the garlands-

So that was my little weekend side project! I hope you've been up to something fabulous as well. Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Life Talk- Children, toddlers and wanting more kids

We are entering our 4th month of trying to get pregnant and it's pretty rough, I have to say. I wasn't anticipating it taking us long at all. I kind of thought we'd get pregnant in the first month, like we did with our daughter. This 4 months stuff has me a little on edge and stressed but it gets easier as time goes by, strangely enough.

I'm the mommy of a nearly 6 year old boy (WHAT, but where's my babyyyyy) and a 2 and a half year old chickadee. Both are crazy amazing little humans. Annoying, frustrating, loud and totally brilliant. Smart as can be, gorgeous, SUPER blonde and pale with blue gray eyes just like Daddy and gaps in their front teeth.

Real talk- I got pregnant accidentally at 19 and that was really hard. I was using birth control and being safe but super sperm and over achieving egg decided to combine anyway. I was 20 when my son was born, my then boyfriend (now husband) and I got married 10 months later and we struggled for about 2 years to get a foot hold in life before we finally got our own place. We decided to start trying to have a baby soon after and got pregnant the first month. Finding out we were pregnant was amazing. We'd wanted to have more kids since our son turned 1 but we'd been waiting for the right time. Nine months later we had a beautiful bundle of Alice Mae and life was lovely as a family of 4.

We've struggled since with pregnancy losses. Two losses in 2 years. I had an IUD and apparently it wasn't placed properly (I was told when I had it out 4 months ago) and so it seems to have been the cause of miscarrying. Once back in November 2011 and then again this past July. It has been so hard. I'm not good at talking about it because it makes me feel raw and exposed. After our last miscarriage we decided to have the IUD taken out and that we were ready to start trying to get pregnant.

It took me a couple of weeks to commit to the decision to try for another baby and that's because I'm terrified. I am so scared that the IUD wasn't the cause, that it's my body. I've struggled so much with `not trusting my body, especially since July. I felt betrayed. To have something that you want so badly stripped away from you isn't something I have words for. I loved my babies, even though they were only in me for such a short time. I was a part of them as much as they were a part of me. I wanted them. They were ours and they were wanted and I hope that their little spirits felt that.

Deciding to have another baby meant deciding to put faith in my body to be able to get pregnant and stay pregnant and it has been a really hard journey so far. I am so scared of getting pregnant and so scared that I won't at the same time. When I do get that positive sign (I have to convince myself to say 'when' all the time and not 'if' because we want positive thoughts!) I will be totally over the moon but I don't think anything or anyone will keep me from being afraid until we hit the safe mark and even after that...

My husband is amazing and he keeps me grounded. I can talk to him about everything and that helps more than I'm sure he even knows.

And so we are 4 months in! Still trying, still not pregnant. Hoping and trying to have faith and remind myself that 4 months isn't very long at all!

Monday, November 4, 2013


Last night and this morning have been spent making cookies as a thank you gift to my parents for being awesome (and letting us borrow their car). I found this cool looking and easy recipe for amish sugar cookies and made up a batch last night. It makes A LOT of cookies, which is great because some can be given away and some enjoyed by my little family and put aside for first born/husband lunches.

This morning I decided to dress up some of the cookies with a bit of frosting. I usually make a simple glaze for sugar cookies but these are so fluffy that I thought they'd go well with an easy cream cheese frosting that wasn't too sweet.

It turned out smooth and delicious. The recipe is really simple! Here it is-

* 3 ounces of cream cheese, at room temp
* half a stick of butter, at room temp
* half a cup of powdered sugar
* 1 teaspoon of vanilla
* 2 teaspoons of lemon

I whipped the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and lemon juice together for a minute until it was smooth and then added my powdered sugar and mixed until well incorporated into my liquidy mixture. It resulted in a very fluffy, smooth, lemony frosting. Perfect for sugar cookies! Lemon glaze or frosting on sugar cookies is my favorite.

After I'd frosted about 2 dozen of my cookies I decided to pretty them up with some sprinkles. Chocolate, multi colored and X's and O's.

They turned out really cute! Not to mention super delicious. This recipe made a ton of cookies and the frosting/sprinkle combo added just the right touch to make it a loving, yummy thank you nod to the folks.
Miss Mae thinks so too, she was caught stealing sprinkles off the top!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Life Talk- Seasons

I read something today that made me stop and catch my breath because it was like it was written just for me. 'Don't waste the season of life you are in now because you want the next one to come.' I needed this reminder and I'll probably need it every day for a while.

It seems like a lot of my life lately has been lived waiting for the next season of life. Our little family has had quite a lot of struggle over the past year. It hasn't been an easy time at all and sad or difficult things have piled themselves on top of us and I have just been waiting. Waiting for the new house, waiting for relationships to get better, waiting for life to get easier. I don't mean it to sound as though I sit back and expect life to turn out how I want it. I work hard and try even harder. But life has been at a standstill for months. We finally seem to be in our new season and it's a good time. Things are falling into place and the life we have worked so hard for is coming together and working out.

There is always more though, isn't there? Always more to want or need. We have big life plans happening and it's difficult to wait on them sometimes. We want to expand our family. That is the hardest thing to wait for and my impatience is a beast to deal with sometimes. Wanting another child is a very raw and powerful thing and we have suffered through losses before so it is that much harder to not only make the decision to try to get pregnant but then to wait for it to happen. The waiting game. Oh how I dislike it.

I will have to keep that thought in my head though. This season of life is beautiful and if we are destined to have more children and expand our family, I want to always have these months being a mom of 2 and enjoy them. Having memories with my babies and good times with them is the most important thing. The next season will come.