Tuesday, August 25, 2015

5 Minute DIY Mason Jar Make-up Brush Holder

I love my makeup brush holder.  It even made the cut to move into the new house. The sweet little patterned jelly jars are some leftovers from my mason jar chandelier and I believe at one point I got them to make homemade jelly. I still haven't made homemade jelly or jam or preserves. Someday.

I choose an antique white spray paint that I already had, oh my am I cheap.  I sprayed the inside and top first and let it dry.  Then I turned it upside down and did 2 good coats.  After that was dry I did a little touch up spray on the rim just to be safe.  That's it.  Took maybe 5 minutes of actual work, my kind of DIY! I ordered some mirror effect spray paint and I can't wait to use it...I just have to finish the whole moving thing. 






Monday, August 24, 2015

Downsizing Part 3- It's Crunch Time

Moving is so rough. Moving, school starting and the Expedition breaking down, whoa mama! Now lets add in that we just started school and all of those germs have entered my house rendering my poor overworked husband exhausted with a sore throat. We are officially living in our Tiny House! It is already starting to feel like home. It's just not finished and ready and its a little bit overwhelming.

We have 22 days to wrap up the old house. We still have things to sort and move and let go. I have been really diligent about only moving in things that were absolute yes's. It is helping to be diligent, but it also makes it take longer. Dale has cut everything and started building the bunk beds, but they aren't finished. He could barely move yesterday so hopefully by the end of the week he is feeling better and will wrap them up this weekend. I am about 1/3 of the way done with painting. The priority to finish painting has shifted to finishing moving the yes things and wrapping up the old house.

They say it takes about 3 months to adjust to living in a smaller house. I think by then we will be really settled. The space hasn't been an issue so far, but we haven't brought over any toys yet.

More to come!

This was one of the things the old owners left. It was found in the walls when they were renovating. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Downsizing: Part 2 of who knows how many

We close today. Today!!!! I am thrilled. I think they were almost at the point of asking for blood samples and my first born. I jumped and jumped and jumped. Dale said it was like having a baby, he did 5% and I did the other 95%. He is so having the next baby.

We rented a storage unit. We have moved our garage and studio shelving in and have started to dismantle furniture. School starts in 10 days. It all feels super chaotic. I'm trying not to freak out.

Since we are only moving in things to the new house that have a purpose and a place, the only thing that is going in the storage unit is family furniture, keepsakes and tools. We don't have a garage at our new house and tools are kind of a big deal to the husband. I don't want to keep anything in storage that doesn't have a reason to be stored either. So it is a double purge. Even the storage unit has purpose.

So that's where we are at. Things should start moving along now. We can start painting and moving things in. Dale is working on the bunk bed plans and I have looked at more paint samples than I can even believe. I can't wait to get in and make it a home and be settled. It is so hot here that really the only thing the kids can do is play inside or swim. It's brutal moving weather but we are dealing. Working in the garage is like being in a sauna. Hopefully it has the same effects.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Big Moves: Downsizing and the choice to move to a Tiny House

We made a huge choice to downsize from our 2500+ sq ft. house to a 943 sq ft. 1905 bungalow in the heart of our town. I'm sure people think we are crazy going from 5 bedrooms to 2, but honestly I couldn't be more excited. While it is not the tiniest tiny house, for a family of 6 I think it fits the description!

Many discussions and lots of debating over whether or not this was feasible. We talked as husband and wife. We talked with the oldest kids. The numbers are pretty fantastic and financially we will be making a huge gain. We talked over basic financials with the oldest kids. We talked logistics. It was really important to make this decision together. Everyone is on board.

We won't close for another couple of weeks, but we have already started to downsize. It is sometimes really hard and overwhelming. We are planning on having an indoor garage sale once we start to actually move into the new house. Until then my first order of business was to get the scanner hooked up so that I could begin to scan paperwork, art work and anything else that I wanted to keep but not store. If you have already been doing this then you are ahead of the game. I wish I had started this years ago, but here we are. It's been nice to sort things and put them into a scan and keep or scan and toss pile. That way I can knock it out a bit at a time. I am finding that there are less things I want to keep than anticipated.

The next order of business is going through closets and purging. This has actually been pretty fun. We will do another purge before the actual move, but the first one resulted in over 4 big bags to Goodwill. I am currently going through my moms things. It is a strange thing to have the belongings of someones entire life in your possession and rather overwhelming. We have a shop and studio in our backyard and most of my mothers things are in the studio. Sometimes I just break down and cry. It's the hardest part of this, but I am so glad I am able to do it and let go.

I have purged the bathrooms and will be purging the mass amount of kitchen items stored in too much cabinet space. I have 8 glass pie plates and I think 2 or 3 angel food cake pans, I have never even made an angel food cake as an adult, I have simply inherited the pans. I mean really. I also have an insane amount of pyrex and a rice cooker (I still can't make rice in that damn thing), I'm not sure I can get rid of my coffee cups, so I may have to figure out how to make that work.

It is a huge move. I can't wait to get in and show you guys! It's going to be awesome!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Why Playing in the Rain is Good for Your Child







We are getting some much needed summer rain and today I let the kids play in it. That is the nice thing about summer rain, its usually pretty warm outside also. I remember as a child my mother letting me play in the rain and I adored it. There is something about rain that I have always enjoyed and my kids do too.

Why is rain play good for your child? Here is a list of reasons why I let my kids play in the rain.

1. It encourages a different kind of interaction with nature. Watching water run down leaves, create little streams and collect as drops on the plants puts things into a different perspective. We also like to watch the robin that lives at our house and the other birds dig for worms after a good rain.

2. They aren't going to get sick. That's just an old wives tale. The truth is, being indoors more when weather is bad and the close contact with others is what causes people to catch colds. Your immune system isn't weakened by simply getting wet in a warm summer rain, or we wouldn't be able to take showers. After being stuck indoors, the fresh air and running around is good for them.

3. It teaches them to be adventurous. So many times we are trying to stay out of the rain or worried about getting caught in it. Playing in it teaches them spontaneity and adventure. Go ahead and get out there too.

4. It's really fun. It really is fun and they always tell me I'm the best mom ever. If they have been inside all day it is a great release. Jumping in puddles, opening their mouth wide to catch rain drops and finding worms are all great examples of rain joy. Then we have early baths, towel snuggle hugs and sometimes even popcorn, hot chocolate and a movie.

5. It's an opportunity to learn about weather safety. This is especially helpful in tornado alley. We learn about what to do if there is thunder, lightning or high winds and what type of rain is okay to play in. I have also taught them about creek flooding and why we don't play at the creek when it rains. Science guys, it makes me happy.



Do you let your kids play in the rain? What is your favorite thing to let them play with in the rain?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Celebrating Mom

This year marked two years since my mother passed away. I really wanted to honor her this year, instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I actually did really well on the day, but was feeling rather depressed the day after. Dale was on his annual fishing trip so it was just me and the kiddos. Ethan was being a tween and said some stuff that made me take him to his grandparents, Jack stayed too. It ended up being okay. We each grieve in our own ways, which in the moment can be hard to deal with. We had a nice lesson in how to convey things tactfully without making your mom want to knock you out.

So, me and the girls off on an adventure. We headed to Main St. and went to the chocolate shop for treats. The roses had all started to wilt and had petals falling off. Regan could have spent all day gathering up rose petals. Then we headed to a little boutique and got marbles and pretty soap. Mom lived on Main St for a while when she sold her house before she retired. She would take the kids to the chocolate shop for chocolate covered marshmallows and she had quite the marble collection. I keep them in a mason jar in the window sill at the kitchen sink.

We went to the thrift store and looked around. We ended up scoring a brand new, tags on bathing suit for Ellie for $2.50 and a brand new shirt for either one of the girls for another $2.50. Not too shabby. When I was a kid I pretty much lived on thrift store clothes. There was a neat little thrift store on Main St. and it had old creaky floors and we would spend what seemed like forever in there. Everything was super cheap and there were usually some really neat things. Totally different from today's more commercialized stores, but we had fun nonetheless. We went home and picked up one of Mom's baskets and a pair of scissors for each of us. We went down to the creek by our house and picked thistles and wild flowers. Her cottage was decorated in purple and I had thistles in mason jars at her funeral. They really start to bloom around the end of May and early June. Every time I see one I am reminded of her. We took our finds home and made bouquets, carefully!

We went to the grocery store to pick up some groceries and get a treat for after dinner. Strawberry shortcake for the win! Then it was movie and snuggle time. I was so glad I decided to celebrate her with my girls. She would have loved every minute of it. I still struggle with her being gone and I imagine I always will, but being able to celebrate her and even being able to allow myself to still grieve the loss is okay.



Wednesday, June 10, 2015

First Day of Summer

Rain, rain and more rain. For the first few days of summer vacation it just rained. So we did what any fun family would do and played in the rain, hung out in pajamas, watched movies (Harry Potter marathon), played video games and built forts. It was awesome. I am so grateful that I get to be home with them this summer. I think they really needed their mom back.

Jack is super serious about pillow forts between the couch and ottoman. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Last Day of School Fun

I'm not sure who was more excited for school to be over this year, the kids or me. I think maybe me this year. You see, we didn't get into the Pre-K next to our elementary for Jack. We had to drive about 8 miles round trip twice a day. I know, its not much, but we live within walking distance to the elementary. Just a pain. So next year the youngest will all be at one school!! I am so excited for next year.

We celebrated by going out for donuts at a local doughnut place. I love their donuts. We ran into Ellie's teacher which I think kind of made Ellie's morning. She adored her teacher this year. I did too. The doughnut shop has a neat chalk board corner inside and the kids usually get in some coloring time.

I am ready for summertime and they are too. We tried to get a group pic, but gave up in favor of eating the doughnuts. Good choice.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Cave Tour at Silver Dollar City

The Cave Tour at Silver Dollar City is hands down one of my favorite things to do at Silver Dollar City. I love the excitement and the accomplishment I feel every time I finish it. Here are some tips to make it fun for your kids and easier on you.



  • Get in line and then go to the bathroom. I know this seems counter intuitive but it works. Tours leave every thirty minutes. Your goal is to get there 5-10 minutes after a tour leaves (assuming you don't make the first one). You should be able to get in line and then go to the restroom before the next tour starts. This way there is minimal wait time in the line. 
  • It's okay to let them play on your phone while you wait. I would love to say that the scenes that they have filled with history and facts kept my kids entertained, but they didn't. Four and five year olds just don't care about history yet. 
  • Don't refill your drinks before you get in line. In fact, make sure they are empty. You won't be able to take them on the tour and you will be less likely to drink them right before the tour. There aren't any bathrooms in the cave. You also won't be sloshing them around either.
  • There are a lot of stairs and a lot of walking, this is not the time to wear the cute shoes.
  • Be at the back of the line. This way you aren't holding it up. It also frees you to take pictures that don't include photo bombers. 
  • Have fun. Enjoy the beauty. Ask them questions along the way. 
  • I save this for the last day. This is the only thing we do in the park. We get in, do they cave tour, refill our cups for the car and get any last minute snack for the car. I promise it will make them tired and they will take a really great nap in the car!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Easy Whole30 Meal in 10 Minutes


Okay so I must confess that I only made it 12 days on my first Whole30. I think I would have done much better if I had been better prepared. I jumped in to do it concurrently with a friend, who read the book and was ready to go. She did fantastic and lost 15 lbs in 30 days. She looked and felt amazing when she was done (I am still so proud of her!!!). I lost 6 lbs in 12 days. I cannot wait to do it again, but I have learned that I need to give myself plenty of prep time and I also need meals that I can make for my whole family. Cooking for just myself and then making a separate meal for them was not working. It made me feel like I was being punished. I am also rather cranky without cream in my coffee and I was having a really hard time making the transition to nights with sub par coffee. Below is my favorite meal that everyone wanted to eat. It was also one of the easiest so I/we ended up eating it quite a few times in 12 days. It's also something I continue to make because even though it is simple, it is very delicious!

Shopping list:
Chicken breasts
Olive Oil
Assorted bell peppers
Onion
Avocado
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut the chicken breasts into strips or chunks and add to a heated saute pan on medium with a little bit of olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. While the chicken is cooking cut up peppers and onions and add them to the chicken about 4 minutes in. Continue to let the chicken cook and peppers and onions to get tender. While that is cooking another 3-4 minutes cut up avocados into wedges. There you have it. A delicious, fast dinner that follows the Whole30 guidelines that will fill you up. If you aren't on Whole30, add a piece of bread or a pita to the mix. For the kids I would add some fresh fruit on the side.

I could usually make this meal in less than 10 minutes because I would prep my onions, peppers and chicken breast and have my cutting done ahead of time. That has really been the key to being able to stick to healthy eating in general. When I don't prep I tend to make things that are less healthy. This is a good go to recipe to add to my rotation.

What is your favorite Whole30 recipe?