Monday, May 30, 2011

Thrifty Finds!

When my husband and I decided that I would stay home from work with our daughter I knew I would have to give up my first love.  Shopping.  Some people have hobbies that include knitting, sports, drag racing (in my husbands case), etc. Mine is shopping.  I get high on spending money. I can't help it, it's genetic, just ask my dad.  So reducing our income meant I had to give up my shopping sprees, $200 jeans, yes I actually spent that much on ONE pair of jeans.  I'm not proud of it, and they don't even fit anymore!  I had to figure out a new way to shop that included spending less money.  I am now proud to admit that I am a true bargain shopper.  Thrift stores now excite me and me at a garage sale is like a kid in a candy store!  So on my most recent shopping trip with a friend, she bought some killer jean shorts that I was salivating over.  The damage, $40.  No way was I going to spend that on one item.  So the next day I headed out to my local Goodwill store and came home with a pair of Gap jeans for $5.89.  Then I got to work...

Here is the inspiration pair of shorts from American Eagle

Here are the jeans I bought. Cute jeans, but they were high waters on me!

First put the jeans on and mark where you would like them to hit on your leg.  I'm cuffing these so I marked where I would like the bottom of the cuff.

Next gather some supplies.  You will need a razor blade, scissors, tweezers and an old magazine.  Cut straight across the mark on the jeans to cut the leg off...

Next decide where you would like the distressing. Insert the old magazine into the pant leg so you don't damage both sides of the jeans.  Then use your razor blade edge moving it up and down with the grain of the jean.  You don't want to cut through the jean, just break down the fabric.

Then use the tweezers to pull out the BLUE thread. This will reveal the white thread to give you the distressed look without leaving an actual hole in the jean.

 I added distressing to both legs and one on the back pocket.  You can also use your razor blade on the pocket edges and zipper edge of the jean to make a more worn look.  Just run the blade back and forth until you get the desired look and fraying.

Next you will need to wash and dry the shorts. This will make the parts you distressed open up a bit to reveal more of the white thread. Roll up the bottoms to create a cuff.

 And your done!  You now have an expensive looking pair of distressed shorts for less than 6 bucks! 

Look how excited I am in my new shorts!  HOLA!!  

Your husbands will thank you and praise you for your bargain hunting skills and your girlfriends will never know you went Goodwill hunting, unless you want to share your mad skills with them!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

And She's Gone...

As a stay at home mom the moments you get all to yourself are few and far between.  Simple tasks such as going to the bathroom alone are often taken for granted. Conversation that doesn't involve me decoding the mystery language my daughter speaks is much coveted.  So whenever grandparents offer to have take Ally and keep her overnight, I am all for it!  I don't want to seem too eager to get rid of my lovely for the night, but inside I am jumping up and down!  Here is my chance, my much needed hours of me time. The opportunity to go shopping and not see the look of horror on the other shoppers faces when I come walking in dragging a screaming toddler behind me. FREEDOM!!!  Don't get me wrong, I will miss the 6 am wake up call, the hour process of bedtime, the plate of dinner food being tossed on the ground, the screaming and yelling, and the few hugs and kisses Ally throws in just so I don't go stark raving mad.  But I know, like most moms that in order to truly be a good parent, you have to take time for you every now and then.  So I will enjoy my afternoon and evening then wake up bright and early ready to see that precious little face again.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Moment of Grace

Feel compelled to put into words how incredibly blessed I felt last night, when after a stressful day, my daughter took time out of dancing to her Wiggles DVD to sit on my lap and tell me she loved me.  She melts my heart and I am so so thankful that God placed this sweet child in my life.  She is the ultimate stress relief!


OK I LOVE summer, but there is one impending task that makes me cringe.  I'm getting the shakes just thinking about it.  Full on hurl inducing visions are dancing in my head.  Swimsuit shopping! Let's hear a collective sigh from my ladies!  There was a time before bearing a child that this task wasn't so bad.  A time when stretch marks and saddle bags didn't stare back at me in the mirror laughing and torturing me so!!

I say we bring back this style...

 I like it!  It leaves a lot to the imagination.  Completely accessorized with a hat, belt, and shoes.  Now THAT is beach sexy! Problem: My husband said he wouldn't allow me on the boat in this.  I like the boat.

Maybe something more practical.

Full hip coverage, check. Cleavage (or lack of) hidden from view, check.  Butt cheeks not flopping everywhere, check check check! Target does sell something called a "Swim Dress."  I was ready to purchase! My friend said she would laugh at me.  Darn.  Check out the prices on these suits! 

All I'm saying is I need a suit that makes me look 10 pounds thinner, completely covers my belly, adds 2 cups sizes to my girls, takes the flub from my thighs and adds a little cushion to my flat back with a crack (sorry for the visual).  Is that too much to ask?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Things that make you say WOW

Might as well start right in and talk about the most current WOW of the week, the fact that my beautiful 25 pound almost 3 year old was briefly taken over by a tiny insane person!  I must first explain myself, I am a bit of a push over when it comes to my daughter, OK, bit of a push over doesn't quite sum it up, I do as I am told, I keep the peace, I prefer calm rather than screaming.  But today I decided to stand my ground, I WILL NOT be bossed around by my spawn! So when Ally told me to find a toy for her in her toy box, I politely declined and kindly asked her to get it herself.  Next came something the likes of which I have never seen!  Full on tantrum, the kind you see on Dr.Phil. She donned the strength of a 200 pound man.  It was excruciating and awe inspiring all at the same time. 
 I didn't think it was appropriate to take a picture of her during the fit, so we'll use this as a visual.  Ok, I couldn't find the camera or I totally would have taken a picture!

A 30 minute scream fest ensued ( I took advice from the above mentioned Dr. Phil and did not raise my voice, but oh was it tempting!) and I am proud to say I was victorious!  Not sure what I was victorious in because she and I had both forgotten what the initial struggle was about, but I am victorious none the less.  My sweet little angel has been returned to me and is sleeping soundly in her bed, which happened without struggle as well!  I celebrated with a brownie, or 3.  Why is it my favorite capri jeans from last year don't fit?

Speaking of brownies!  My BFF Pioneer Woman has the most amazingly delicious, WOW inducing,  ooey gooey goodness, recipe.  You must try this.  If you're dieting, stop. Eat 1 or 5, then go for a jog.  There IS NO excuse to not try these brownies!

I would insert a picture of them here but I ate them all.  Don't judge.

My bestie also gave me Wednesday's dinner entree, which, say it with me now, tasted WOW!  Try this. Now.  Why are you sitting here still reading? Go, Eat!

Here's a pic of me cooking it, proof that I am indeed wonder woman, (she cooks, she cleans, she is raising the next generation, she speaks French and Spanish!) The steam melted all my make up off, I am usually not this glowing!

The glossy look on my face has nothing to do with the empty bottle of wine in the background...I swear.

PS...I know that Ree, AKA, the Pioneer Woman, and I are not actually best friends, we haven't met yet, or we totally would be!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Things to be Thankful for...

All too often I get in a mood. You know the kind, you feel sorry for yourself because something didn't go your way, or you didn't get exactly what you wanted, or your favorite capri jeans from last summer are so ridiculously tight they might actually cut off circulation kind of mood.  It's way easier to pout about it, but why not try to think of the things you are thankful for, rather than dwelling on what didn't go your way. 

So today, here is what I am thankful for...

The sunshine and warm weather

The beautiful, fragrant, flowering tree in my front yard, all though I have no idea what it is

The fact that I have sense enough to know that just because you can get the jeans buttoned does not mean you should wear them in public

Glade fabric and air freshener that covers up the smell of my dog Daisy on our living room rug

My comfy pants and maternity t-shirt I am wearing right now (no, I am not pregnant)

My Scentsy warmer by the kitchen sink that is covering up the horrible smell coming from the kitchen sink

The wonderful card I got from my husband for Mother's day, the same man who doesn't believe in cards or Hallmark, or holidays made up by Hallmark for the purpose of selling cards.

The conversation I had with a great friend yesterday after getting my spirit lifted at church.

The attic fan that sent the cool breeze throughout the house last night

Healthy Choice Sweet Asian Pot stickers frozen meal I am about to devour for lunch

That it only took 35 minutes to get Ally to stay in her bed and fall asleep for nap time today

What I am NOT thankful for...

The big girl bed.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I'm going to get sappy for a minute...

OK, a little sap is warranted.  It is after all Mother's day weekend.  The one day a year we honor the woman who gave us life.  Shouldn't we do that all the time?

My mom is amazing.  I'm not only saying that because I am ALOT like her, but because she truly is an incredible woman.  And I am going to tell you why...

7 years ago she decided to go back to school and get her degree.  Last Wednesday after 7 years of homework, tests, and presentations, she made good on that promise to herself, she finished her last college class!  She never gave up and I am so extremely proud of her for it! 

My mom's laugh is contagious, infectious actually.  We can always find something to laugh about.  I love it when she laughs so hard she snorts, sorry mom, but it's cute.  She never takes herself too seriously and is never apologetic for who she is.  Just being with her makes me feel comforted.

She is beautiful. 

She is funny. She is sweet and kind to others. She is supportive. She is always and has always been there for me.  She has let me cry on her shoulder, and reassured me that life is never as hard as it seems at that moment.  She has loved so deeply and IS loved so deeply.  She has given me my faith and strength in my life.  She is the most amazing Nana I could imagine for my daughter, and the look in my daughters eyes when her "Nanny" shows up brings tears to my eyes. 

I can not express how blessed I am to have such an amazing woman in my life and how lucky I am to call her my mom. 

I can't type anymore because I am sitting here crying like a baby just thinking about how special this woman is.  So in the words of the great Celine Dion...

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all
I'm grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

I warned you it was sappy.  Happy Mother's day to all the wonderful mom's out there!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Another day in May...

It's finally here...May! Summer is so close we can taste it. The sun was shining today and I woke up in a good mood!  Just Ally and me, all day until Jon got home from work.  What would we do today?  Well we started out with breakfast and Curious George (I said I wouldn't mention him...much), then it was the task of getting diapers changed (Ally's, not mine), hair combed, and clothes on. Sounds simple enough, not! This whole process takes us about an hour and a half.  Ally is independent, I am impatient.  Finally 9:30 and we are out the door!  First stop the library to return books, right after I turn the car around and go back to the house to get said books to return...9:45 and we are on our way!  Library...explaining to Ally that we are not going in just dropping off(she has a cold, don't want to infect other kids), this is met with whining, she will get over it.  Now off to TJ Maxx.  With Mothers Day and a birthday party this weekend, we HAVE to go shopping. Bummer.  30 minutes spent in the toy section, Ally has loaded everything she can get her hands on into the cart, I have unloaded everything back onto the shelves. Gifts found, mission accomplished.  I thought Ally would enjoy some sunshine so we stopped at the park on the way home, she did enjoy the sunshine, I did not enjoy the cold gusty breeze. I forgot my jacket.  Back in the car 15 minutes later and home we go.  It's about lunch time.  Lunch time in my house is not usually fun.  Any "eating" time is usually not fun.  Ally isn't a good eater. Never has been.  I make wonderful, delicious meals for her, she pushes them away.  The usual frustration follows, I try not to force her to eat.  She's been this way for almost 3 years, you would think I would get over it and realize she will eat when she is hungry.  I do not.  Not to worry...nap time is upon us...time for some relaxing!

Wait...ah yes. The big girl bed.  My favorite. Ally now has the freedom to get up as she pleases.  Getting her to stay in her bed for nap time takes about 45 minutes today.  Now for that relaxation.

Or...laundry, and dishwasher, etc.  I did get in some crafty craft time today though.  As well as a head start on dinner...which was another recipe from my new friend The Pioneer Woman, .

Jon is home, little play time with the family, the usual struggle to get Ally to eat her dinner. She ate her corn, maybe she will be vegan?

More play time and a little laundry later and it's nearing 7:30.  Just so happens tonight is Book Club night.  Which also means Daddy/Ally time.  I get to chat about our book of the month, The Survivors Club,  Jon gets to bond with his daughter.  Thus ends another day in May.

Adios ( I also speak a little Spanish)

Got a minute?

Check out my new Decorating and DIY page!  I just posted a new DIY project!

As I type my daughter is waking up from her nap...thus ends my blogging session for the afternoon!

Au revoir!  (I speak a little french)

I want a Dyson!

Vacuums are supposed to suck up the dirt, right?  Just wondering cause mine seems to blow it all around then plant it directly back on the floor.  I want a Dyson...

Either that or a hairless dog and mess free kid.  I think I have more luck with the vacuum. 

I communicate this want every morning to Ally, maybe she will come through for Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pioneer Woman

A good friend of mine recently turned me on to The Pioneer Woman.  I have fallen in love.  This woman is amazing, she home schools, cooks, lives on a ranch, and is married to a cowboy.  Enough said.  Check out the site...You too will be smitten:

I have set a goal to make at least one of her recipes each week.  This week it was three. Tonight it was this...

Beef and Bean burritos...YUM!  Recipe:

I think my new friend might make me gain weight.

Wonder if Jon would look good in chaps?


To quote my one of my daughters bedtime stories..."After a hug and a kiss, off goes the light. We love you sleepy head, goodnight, sleep tight."

Except in our house when off goes the light means Ally is in and out of her bed screaming at the top of her lungs "COVER ME UP" for an hour. Up, down, covers, no covers.  I despise the big girl bed. If it were up to me, Ally would be in a crib until her 10th birthday!


Craft project for the day...Paper Sombreros!

With Cinco de Mayo a few days away we (my daughter and the little boy I babysit) made paper sombreros!  They look more like pirate hats...but we still had fun!

What in the world are you going to blog about?

That was the question my husband Jon asked me when I brought up the topic of starting a blog.  As if a stay at home mom to a 3 year old daughter would have nothing to talk about but Curious George and Barbies!  I assure you, cartoons and toys will not be mentioned in this blog (much)!  This is for me, a kind of self discovery kind of project.  For a while now I have been yearning to do something for me!  Don't get me wrong, I am completely in love with staying home with my beautiful daughter.  I consider myself blessed to have this opportunity and thankful that my husband agreed with this decision.  But that doesn't mean I have to let go of me!  Who is me and what will this blog be about, you might be wondering...well Me is a (soon to be) 28 year old.  I am a wife and mother. I'd like to say I am the modern day June Cleaver, but I am not.  Some days I don't get out of my pj's let alone put on a dress, apron and pumps! But I do clean the house every day, I have a 3 year old, a husband and a dog...I just have to!  I try to cook dinner for my husband every night, it might be hot dogs and macaroni, but it's hot and on the table!  I do NOT get out of bed before my husband to make coffee or greet him at the door with a kiss, sounds good in theory, but I just don't do it.  Oh well, I will settle for some June Cleaver qualities!

I have the most amazing family, ever! Hands down.  I grew up in a small town in Missouri. My mom is one of 12, my dad is one of 4. We all mostly lived within a few miles of each other.  This is the way to grow up, let me tell you, we had fun!  I'll delve more into my family later, but we are awesome!  I have amazing friends. The kind of friends everyone needs.  I have friends who I shop with, friends who I drink with, friends who I complain to, friends who I cry to, and all are friends I laugh with!  I LOVE to decorate.  I am constantly rearranging, painting, buying, and making things for my house. I would love to make a profession of it.  In another life I think I should have been a rodeo queen.  I love all things country.   I love to try new recipes and sometimes am creative enough to come up with my own, not going to pancakes will rock your world!  So, what am I going to blog about? My adventures of staying home with a toddler, being the fabulous wife that I am, decorating, recipes, ideas, tips and tricks. Hope you enjoy!