Sunday, February 5, 2017

Valentines For School

Valentines Day is coming up and you know me I have to make my own.  Edible treats are not allowed for anything in the classroom and I was in Michaels one day and picked up the little bubbles.  Perfect, and they would be what I would design the valentine around.

I scoured Pinterest because I'm not good at coming up with sayings and phrases.  I combined a couple that I found so it wasn't so much about 'love'.  It's preschool, we can all just be friends...lol!!!

Each valentine is about 4x6.  I designed it so 4 fit per page so it's a quick print and then cut.

I punched 2 holes under the letter B and tied the girls with pink twine and the boys with red twine.  I think it took less than an hour to do.




I didn't think the teachers would want bubbles so I attached a tea bag for them. 



The printable is available at my etsy shop.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Stitch Fix Reveal

It's been a long time since I have received a fix.  I just purged my closet of things I haven't worn in a year or things I wore because it was there even though I didn't like the way it fit anymore.  It's baffling to me how the body changes.  The number on the scale isn't that different than before I had JP and most things fit but tops are just so short.  Maybe it's style changes too, I kind of feel like if a top isn't at least mid rear end it's too short.

For this fix I requested tops with layering options for our upcoming trip to Disney World.  I pretty much left it at that because I've seen where people get so specific on notes and use the word 'no' and those end up being the specific items they get.  I had pinned a few things but not a ton.  Denise was my stylist and the note welcomed me back and referenced my Pinterest board a couple of times.  Here are the items I got:

Loveapella Pola Pocket Knit Top (S) - $44
Cosmic Blue Love Adrianne Distressed Boyfriend Jean (6) - $88





I love this top.  This is my style.  It's simple, casual and cute so you look put together.  It's a keeper


These jeans were just ok.  They were probably a little big.  They seemed to fit ok initially but I could tell that after a couple of hours of wearing they would be big and I'd spend 90% of the time wearing them hiking them up. I also didn't LOVE them or need them so for $88 I need to LOVE them. Returned.
























The style card suggested  pairing this shirt with white capri's.  I decided to try on a pair of shorts I haven't worn in a few years to see how they fit.  They fit fine, just maybe a little short for someone about to hit a certain milestone birthday this year ;)  Although who says age looks a certain way???


















Market & Spruce Sam Hi-Lo Short Sleeve Tee (S) - $38



I really like this top.  It's a tad thin for the price but it fits good and can be styled with so many different color bottoms.  I love versatility.  It's a keeper.



















Loveapella Deanne Printed Maxi Skirt (M) - $58




I liked this skirt.  I'm just not a skirt wearer so I'm not spending $58 on something that might get worn once a year.  I also would have a hard time finding more things to wear it with because of the colors and patterns so I would have to specifically shop for tops to wear with it.  Again, I like things with more versatility.


From straight on this is not a flattering outfit.



















Kut From the Kloth Callie Denim Jacket (S) - $78

The price...yikes.  The fit...yes.  I had to think about this one for a couple of reasons.  First of all was the color.  You typically see jean jackets in the dark blue denim so I wasn't sure about it.  I also wasn't sure about the price and if I really needed it.  I do have a dark denim jean jacket but it's pretty old.  I answered those questions with why be like everyone else, get a jacket in a different wash than what everyone else has and the current one is pretty old so due for an update.  The fit...it just fits so good.  So, it's a keeper.

 The jacket totally changed how this outfit looked from a straight on point of view.





The style card had this skirt with a blue 3/4 sleeve shirt and a brown leather with white fur inner lining vest.  Even looking at the picture I'm not seeing this as a look for me ;)

Now I've made these more my looks.  Here I just added a pair of olive shorts and my Converse.








































I hope this review was helpful for those that have received these items and are looking to see them on a person or if you are looking for items to add to your Pinterest style board.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Christmas Ornaments

I can finally post about the ornaments I made for our nephews this year.  They are in their 20's and we never know what to get them.  They are getting their own places so I think this was the first year they had gifts of things they actually needed, bakeware, irons, sheets and things like that.  Welcome to the time of life when gifts are more needs than fun!

I am going to digress for a moment on how one day my photography skills will improve...in reality I don't have time to hone those skills so it's low on my priority list.  Honestly this time I was just lucky I got a picture.  I didn't have time to figure out placement or lighting as I was in a rush to get them done and wrapped.  So, once again readers I'm sorry for the poor quality in pictures!

It's been a couple of years, gosh almost 3 now, since my father in law died.  Every once in a while I hear the boys talk about grandpa or see them post on facebook and can tell they really miss him so I wanted to do something for them that was 'grandpa' related.

I purchased plain glass ornaments, glitter to fill them and had a picture printed in wallet size of
grandpa.

With my Eclips and Sure Cuts A Lot software I cut out the words on vinyl.  The first picture shows after the weeding process.  For those of you new, weeding means taking out the little shapes between the letters like the circle in the 'g'.



You need to use vinyl transfer tape.  It comes in a roll and you can cut to whatever size you want but you put the transfer tape on top of your weeded phrase and then peel it up.  You now have the sticky side of the vinyl on the tape ready to press down.  This way your lettering stays all together nice and aligned.  You can see in the picture below I have it on the ornament but not pressed down yet. 

To get the picture in I just rolled it picture side down so when you roll you see the white backing of the picture.  I used a pen to get it in place, then added the glitter.  


These are the finished product (minus the ribbon to hang)  I think they turned out nice and I hope the boys liked them.



This is what NOT to do.  Well, maybe you want this look, but it was not my intent.  I rolled the picture so the picture side was out and it was backwards for what I had in mind.


Several years ago my mom put my graduation tassels into ornaments like this and the string that holds them to the cap is what loops it to the tree and then the tassel gathers in the ornament.  My project for those is to get the school emblem onto the ornaments.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Top Mommy Blogs

I'm super excited to announce that my blog has been accepted into the Top Mommy Blog community!  This is a community of top mommy (and daddy too) bloggers.  There are a slew of categories that people are blogging about so it's easy to find the different categories of blogs to suite your interests.

My blog is a Family Life blog.  I don't focus on a particular topic such as fitness or being a SAHM.  I blog about things we do or that I'm passionate about.  I tend to get my hands into too many things so that's another reason I can't just stick to one topic!

This is perfect timing to start the new year with a new adventure.  On my to-do is to update the look of my blog, I haven't changed it since I started it in 2010!

Each time you visit my blog I'd be forever grateful if you could click the badge for voting for Top Mommy blogs.  I need your help to stay up in the ranks in the blogging community. You can use the link on the image below or the badge in the sidebar will always be there.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Staying Healthy In The Winter

In the Chicagoland we've had some pretty inconsistent weather this fall/winter.  As I put my Christmas light outside after Thanksgiving we still had leaves on the bushes.  I had just told my husband that I remember as a kid we would stuff old jeans and flannels with leaves to make scarecrows for the fall and Halloween outdoor decorations.  This Halloween there weren't any leaves on the ground.  As of December 1st they were still on the trees and bushes!

We've had days close to 60 and days that were 30 so it's no wonder people are dropping like flies with sickness.  Moms and kids in all of my different groups were MIA for at least a couple of weeks as it went through their houses.

This year it actually hit us.  For only the 2nd time in 4+ years we had a cold.  For me all that happened was that my voice would come and go and for a couple of nights I slept propped up because I'd get a dry tickle.  I felt no different than any other day.  Then my husband got it.  His whole team at work was sick before Thanksgiving and he told them to go home and not come in and that if he got sick they would get bad reviews...LOL!  He said they actually listened and not many came to work the next day!  For him he had a few days where he blew his nose a few times and 1 night of coughing.  Otherwise like me he felt fine.  Then JP got it.  He had a couple of random days where we needed to blow his nose and a few nights where he needed to be propped up for sleeping.  He had 1 day where he was a little sluggish but other than that he ran around like nothing was wrong.  None of us had symptoms for much more than a week.

I used to have an immune system that was so bad that guaranteed every October or November I'd get hit with a cold and be in bed for 3 days.  What changed for us?  Why don't we get sick anymore and when we do why is it so mild?  I tell you what, it's fantastic to not have to drag yourself around or to let things go and play catch up when you feel better.  I still see people 2+ weeks later hacking up a lung.



First of all, I am not a doctor.  I am simply sharing what I do for our family.  When it comes to any nutrition, supplements or essential oils I would recommend you talk to a professional.

The first critical piece is that we have switched our household cleaning, personal care, cosmetics etc. to a non toxic brand.  All of the toxic ingredients in conventional store brands beat your immune system down so your body can't fight off the common cold or allergens.  This is a critical component.

Second is the nutrition.  We don't eat perfectly.  I try to use the 80-20 rule.  Supplementing is necessary, but you have to have the right ones.  Vitamins you get at a store weather it's GNC or a WalMart store brand are giving you nothing more than expensive pee.  Your body can't absorb them, they crystallize in your small intestine and you pee them out.

JP gets a multi vitamin and Omega-3 creme twice daily.  Once at breakfast and another at dinner.  It's important to space out doses so your body gets the maximum absorption. He also gets a probiotic but I need a new way to get that to him so we haven't been too regular lately with that.  It's a capsule so I break it apart and was putting it in the 1 applesauce/veggie pouch he'd eat but he hasn't wanted those lately so I need to get on top of a new plan.  When school started I would give him a boost of vitamin C with his 'juice' drink and now that we aren't getting much sun exposure I add vitamin D3 drops to his Omege-3 spoonful.

I have issues swallowing pills, I know it's a mind problem so I'm typically the first one to catch something.  I take a kids multi vitamin in chocolate shake form.  I do add the probiotic to it daily and also in the winter Vitamin D3

My husband takes what everyone should be taking, me included!  It's a total package already pre-dosed in convenient AM and PM packs.

AM Pack

  • Multivitamin
  • CardiOmega EPA (promotes normal response to activity-induced inflammation and support cardiovascular health)
  • Broadspectrum antioxidant
  • Grapeseed extract (promote healthy blood pressure - power of 10,000 grapes per bottle)
  • Inflammatory support for free radicals and inflammation
  • Vision for optimal vision support
  • Healthy joint support to enhance cartilage regeneration
  • Brain health support to slow the affects of aging
  • CoQ10+ for high energy organs like the heart
PM Pack
  • Multivitamin
  • CardiOmega EPA (promotes normal response to activity-induced inflammation and support cardiovascular health)
  • Broadspectrum antioxidant
  • Probiotic
  • Grapeseed extract (promote healthy blood pressure - power of 10,000 grapes per bottle)
  • Inflammatory support for free radicals and inflammation
  • Coldwater Omega-3
  • Healthy joint support to enhance cartilage regeneration
  • Brain health support to slow the affects of aging
  • Vitamin K and D
If you are new to the world of supplements you might be thinking holy cow for many reasons.  This is less than the cost of a Starbucks a day.  His focus is better, his back and knee issues are better, all of his bloodwork numbers are in a healthy range and for the last 4 years have actually lowered in that healthy range (diet is the same and exercise is less!!).  

If you are a person that takes pharmaceuticals, what does it cost you?  What are the side effects...did you look into that?  Are they actually helping?

For less than the cost of a Starbucks a day would you start taking something that actually has scientific studies proving it works?  Think about the long term money a proactive approach saves in medical bills or pharmaceuticals where the side effects in a commercial are longer than the 'commercial' part.  

I'm not a disinfectant crazy person.  I have a fantastic one made with citrus and thyme oil that's EPA approved but honestly I don't use it.  Regular cleaning and hand-washing for me is good.

I do also use essential oils.  I've spent a lot of time on this topic because I see  A LOT of bad advice on the internet about safe usage, especially with kids.  In our room at night for 30 minutes I diffused a protective blend that had cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary.  I also added Melaleuca oil and lavender.  In the common areas of the house and JP's room I diffused lemon, Melaleuca oil, frankincense and lavender.  

I hope you've learned something from this information and if there's ever anything you have questions on don't hesitate to contact me!


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Minnie Mouse Digital Download

The other day I was finally going to check an item off of my list and create the Minnie Mouse digital come inside door sign.  It happened to be the day that a bunch of sites were taken down for a while due to a cyber denial of service attack.  Etsy, Pinterest, Twitter and a bunch of sites were down.  Ok, well I guess I won't get my Minnie Mouse done.

Well, now my son is taking a nap which is not going to be good for us come bedtime, but he fell asleep in the car after we were at a friends football game and stayed asleep on the way in.  Yesterday he fell asleep in the car too and I carried him into a store and got him back into the car, went to the mall and got him into the stroller, did what I needed to at the mall and got him back in the car and he woke up as we pulled into the driveway.  He got about a 2 hour nap in while I did all of that.  He must be growing again because that is unusual.

I always seem to digress while I write but I guess you get more insight into my life!

My point is my son is napping so I can get my Minnie project done!

So here she is, an instant download of the door sign.

You can purchase it at my Etsy shop.



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Cancer

October is a month of breast cancer awareness.  It's also a month for liver cancer awareness.  Just about every month has some kind of cancer awareness because cancer seems to be WAY to common these days.  One of the things I am passionate about is prevention of all cancers.  For several years now I've educated consumers on how to have healthier homes.  We started our journey looking for safer, more effective and budget friendly household items and I have learned so much over the years.
I get excited sharing and helping others on their journey to better health!

Today's post is focusing on an ingredient, formaldehyde.  This is a known human carcinogen as cited from the American Cancer Society.  Most people think ok whatever I don't use that.  I'm going out on a limb and saying that unless you've already switched brands and stopped shopping at mainstream brick and mortar stores you do actually have it in many things around your house.

The problem is that you won't see the word formaldehyde on a label.  These are some of the alternate names for it:
  • BFV
  • FA
  • Formaldehyde Solution (DOT
  • Formalin
  • Formalith
  • Formic Aldehyde
  • Formol
  • Fyde
  • Hoch
  • Ivalon
  • Karsan
  • Lysoform
  • Methanol
  • Methyl Aldehyde
  • Methylene Oxide
  • Morbicid
  • NCI-C02799
  • Oxomethane
  • Oxymethylene
  • Paraform
  • Polyoxymethylene Glycols
  • Rcra Waste Number U122
  • Superlysoform
  • UN 1198 (DOT)
  • UN 2209 (DOT)
  • Quaternium-15
  • 2-Bromo-2Nitropropate-1, 3-Diol
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea
  • Diazolidinyl Urea
  • Formalin
  • Methanal
  • Methyl Aldehyde
  • Methylene Oxide
  • Morbicid Acid
  • Oxymethylene
So now we have to remember all of those when reading labels.  No problem, right?!?!  It used to take me forever when shopping for anything because I was a label reader.    

This image contains a SMALL sampling of products that contain formaldehyde.  It actually makes me very sad that we as consumers are put into so much danger all for the bottom line.  We assume that if a product is on a shelf in a store that it's safe for us.  That's just not the case.  


It's in cleaning, personal care, cosmetics, baby products, it's all over.  It's a cheap preservative that these companies use to mass manufacture and have the product sit on shelves for years.  Products labeled free and clear and other products marketed for babies still contain chemicals such as formaldehyde.   It truly makes me sad.  

The time for change is now.