Being a girl is FUN! We get to doll ourselves up, paint our nails, find amazing signature pieces that just scream individuality, and twirl with no one blinking twice!
When I became a mom a lot of my getting dolled up went by the way side and the yoga pants, the husbands sweatshirts, and mom messy buns became my new go too!
Now on nights out or events I attend, simplicity is so key to me! I still want the fun girliness of getting glammed up but have maybe 20 minutes max to pull it all together! I met one amazingly talented women who can dress you up with just a piece of jewelry!
Last week was my sons end of school year performance and I was so sick all day with the pregnancy that when 6 pm rolled around I could do a french twist, throw on a dress and go! I then remembered I had these amazing pieces from Beadin Down South to try out!
Normally I wear my wedding ring and that is about the extent of my jewelry wearing! I put these pieces on and felt like a princess! All night parents were complimenting how I was glowing, and how beautiful the pieces were! (I think I just became a jewelry addict) Who knew something so simple could jazz up an out fit so much!
Now lets rewind! The maker behind this beading is a powerful, beautiful woman who lives in South Carolina! She stitches with a needle and thread every single piece to a precision of perfection. Meet Mel – She has been a bead weaver and designer for 4 years now. She designs delicate timeless jewelry for uniquely stylish women. She uses an array of bead weaving techniques.
Mel has a way of captivating elegance and changing a complete look with one piece from her collection. It literally took my breath away when I opened up the package. (As a fellow maker I know the heart and soul that is poured into pieces like this and it was a privilege to get to show off her work!)
To get yours you can visit WEBSITE: Beadindownsouth.net
Lets follow and support this phenomenal woman on INSTAGRAM: @beadindownsouth
Pamper Yourself Mamas – You deserve to feel like a princess.
When I became a work at home mama, I had this image of everything happy and peaceful. The thought never arose of becoming a victim of everything needing to be perfect in my home, the ocd ness of clean floors, laundry done, dishes put away…AT ALL TIMES. I had become so materialistic. If only I had this head-board, this tile, this picture frame….It kind of made me become a little sick to my stomach. I am not this person. In 2018 I wanted experience, memories, life to have a spark of excitement again with my family. These are the things that matter not the materialistic things of life. I started a jar….(yes going back to piggy bank style) of savings for nothing other than adventure, vacations, and memories.
Knowing I am not the only mama that may struggle with this I wanted to create a list of free or in expensive adventures to do with your family in the area (and some adventures you can create any where!)
- Take a hike….Literally. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the country (in my opinion.) Nature is our backyard. Many people are not blessed with this opportunity. An app I recently learned about is AllTrails. This app tells you trails around you, directions, and has over 50,000 trails to explore.
- Gaze at the stars…In majority of the cities in our country you truly can not see the stars. Right here in Cool we have a camp ground you can set up your tent for free and star gaze with your littles.
- Rockin Jump and REI…. For active little ones (such as mine) sometimes you need a good old fashion energy burner. Rockin jump has trampolines, rock walls, stunt areas, and dodge ball for $15. REI runs activities every weekend such as rock climbing, bike riding, etc for free or next to it. Just hop on their website and view upcoming events that are kid friendly.
- California State Railroad Museum… Amazing experience for littles. Three stories of history and exciting education. Best to go on a week day though when you have the place to yourself!
- Coloma Gold Panning – $10 per kid and you get to Gold Pan for an hour, the littles get to have a vile with their pyrite and gold they take home. (This is one of our family favorites) we also get to parooze this quaint little town after the event which is about a mile walk of history including live blacksmith action, etc.
- Sacramento Zoo – Fairy Tale Town – Folsom Zoo… All are so exciting for kids! Folsom zoo is small but nice because they are never overwhelmingly crowded and have the cutest train ride which the littles really get a kick out of. The Sacramento Zoo has a nice park you can picnic at after the Zoo Experience and feed the ducks! Fairy tale land is fun for 3 and under!
- Aquarium of the bay – Super amazing experience. The underwater tunnel is pretty amazing and they have several stories to adventure up of different themes along the way! We were shocked that all 4 of us were able to go for under $50.
- Lay in a hammock and get lost in a good book. There is something special about a good old fashion story….Remember sometimes a staycation is the best vacation. Get creative.
- Folsom Lake is a great and safe swimming area to go on a hot summer days with the littles. Thow a frisbee, toss a football, have some snacks. Spend the day getting sand in your toes.
- PowerHouse Science Center…My son is OBSESSED with anything science so this is on our go to list! Its $60 for a membership of 2 adults and 3 children. They do hands on science projects, experiments, robot races! (Basically the ultimate science kids dream.)
- McKinley Park is loaded with gorgeous rose gardens for miles. This is also located in walking distance of the Capitol and a fun little history walk for free with the kids in a blocked off area!
- Sacramento children’s Museum… 2701 Prospect Dr. Rancho Cordova…. http://www.sackids.org This is another science exploration one! They currently offer science Sundays, Sound Explorers, and library days for the toddlers!
- Greenwood Splash Pad Park… Our family loves this little gem during summer! They have a splash pad, park, and adorable creek and tunnel for kiddos to adventure in during the heat!
- Lake Tahoe Parasailing… This is one of my best memories thus far! So fun and beautiful! This cost $100 and we were out on Tahoe Parasailing for well over an hour! A little more expensive but worth the experience for sure!
- Make a scavenger hunt…IN YOUR BACK YARD. Get creative… give your child a compass and map and lead them to bugs, fake gold, fun letters, special key notes, you get the point! We did this last year and the boys were entertained for hours trying to achieve the treasure!
- Make some slime!!!! It’s the rage!!!! This is a solid two hours of free entertainment with a little investment in Elmers glue… (Helpful tip) DONT BUY IN STORES! They have jacked up the prices so high on glue with the slime rage! Go on Amazon and you can get a gallon for $10.
- Lake Lahontan…Locals call this the “mud hole” as the water is well…a little less than clear. BEST MEMORIES EVER! This is a camping site you can go and truly escape reality for a few days.
- Sequoia National Park..The trees are to die for and truly magical. This is open year round with nature walks, in park lodging and amazing views.
- Winchester Mystery House… Groupon currently offers a discount for $30 per ticket of this eccentric mansion which is also “haunted” yet kid friendly adventure.
- Berry Haven…My littles absolutely LOVE THIS. We go on a berry picking adventure for organic fruits and veggies that the kids get a solid labor of love experience. Adventure and experience life. Make memories and remember to ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS because as corny as it sounds….they really are the BIG THINGS.
Over the years I have read several how to articles learning the ins and outs of what works for different businesses and hand-made companies. I kept seeing a shipping station repeatedly in blogs and articles and thought it was something worth investigating a little deeper. When the Holiday Season hits for most makers it’s as if you are struggling to stay above water, especially for a one man show.
An ultimate goal of every maker is to stay organized, have fun, and love what you do. I created a shipping station OUTSIDE of my office in the garage so it was out of sight and out of mind when I was creating. When I finish an item I simply place it on the table and at the end of the day I go out and package everything up. Packaging is a job within it self (if you’re doing it properly.) It’s crucial to have something visually stimulating and exciting for your customer to open up. Often times I will go with seasons and add little trinkets, ribbons, shred, etc. This is also a branding trick and customers are more likely to remember all the extra effort you put into their order. You took the time to make it special. That is why the shipping station is so crucial it gives you time to focus on one thing….SHIPPING….
It’s a known fact most creative people are “squirrelly” type personalities, so having focus, direction, and guidance is crucial. I wish I would have started this years ago, so here I am screaming it from the ROOF TOPS – create a damn shipping station! Have all your bubble wrap, ribbons, boxes, tape, and goodies to add in all in ONE SPOT! (Also toddlers can’t steal your trinkets this way! hehe)
Now let’s get to shipping!!!!
- Stalk of Celery
- 3 tbs butter
- 1/3 cup of Olive Oil
- 1/2 onion thinly chopped
- 1 pound of wide egg noodles
- 5 cups milk
- 1 can of drained artichoke hearts
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
Lets get cooking ladies and gents……
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Start boiling water in a large pot and add noodles for about 2 minutes or until al dente, drain the noodles and return to the same pot.
In a separate pan heat oil in a heavy pan on medium heat. Add onions and 3 stalks of chopped celery with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-6 minutes than add in flour stirring for about a minute. Add milk until a smooth texture and let simmer for one minute.
Add mixture and noodles together. Add in tuna, artichoke hearts, and salt and pepper. Mix it up well. Place in baking dish and sprinkle over the top with parmesan! (I also added mozzarella for some extra zing!)
Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling on top!
December to August in my house was Chaotic, Hectic, Busy, Non Stop, and Confusing. We all hit these times in our Mommy or Career Lives where we have to sit back and pull the reigns. In my case I needed to completely halt them! I have always had goals and ways to reach them, but when you are on the move non stop with no time to be in the moment because you are consistently planning or running it makes life fly by and messy. While running late which had become a new usual for me, on my way to football practice (which my son was begging after day 4 to not do), with the baby crying in the back from being over tired, listening to “Little Sprigs” podcast on conscious parenting and being in the moment it hit me like a TON OF BRICKS…. Not like a pillow case blow, but literally made my head hurt to the point I turned the car around. I have been running so fast for so long I am missing what is important in my life. Lets rewind a little….About 3 weeks ago, I started to get some serious anxiety just around life in general. I was like the 2-year-old that still hears back round noise and feels the ‘missing out” so can’t sleep. I had my hands in way to many jars with absolutely no direction or focus. I needed to get clarity and focus. I knew a few things so I began to write…..
- My children needed me to be present and not always stressed out about what was to come next. Children feed off our feelings and absolutely need us to be present and in the moment with them.
- I was so stressed out over work and never getting any thing done I had become in a habit of being in ‘catch up’ mode.
- My health and taking care of myself had become non existent and on the back burner. (I even went to the doctor thinking I was sick and got informed that stress can be hidden and sneak up on you with out you realizing it, thus showing signs your “sick.”)
- I was trying to be supermom, super woman, super wife, super career with no strategy or organization.
Now lets fast forward…..I started this blog over 30 days ago and have since made some serious dedication to organize and re strategize my entire existence. I failed a few times but here is a list of things that so far, have been serious game changers in balance, freedom, simplicity and over all happiness.
- I laid out my children and I’s clothing in outfits on hangers for the entire month. No more out fit arguments in the morning, no more sweats and a tank top for me everyday. The best part…. all we do is grab a hanger and the entire outfit is ready for the day.
- DO THE DISHES….No matter how tired you are. Do the dishes and a quick clean on your kitchen the night before. There is nothing more stressful than waking up and the first thing you think is “oh shit I have cleaning to do from yesterday.”
- Stay on top of laundry. I have one basket in our entire house that holds exactly 1 load of laundry. When that basket is full, I take it to the washing machine, wash it, dry it, and put it on “out fit hangers” immediately.
- Write everything down immediately. I have major mom brain and commit to a hundred different things and then forget deadlines. I have two things I write in, my planner for events and scheduling, and then a little notebook of daily to do’s in accomplishing my small and big goals. Every day I work towards something.
- Handle it. Once. If something needs to be done, do not procrastinate just get up and handle it. Pick up the phone and handle it. Than its done and not lingering on to your next day. Something that once would take you 2 minutes turns into an hour of finding things, sorting things out, making it right. Handle it.
- Meditate. Pray. Breathe. Repeat. – several times throughout the day.
- Throw it away. If you havent used it in over 6 months, get rid of it. Having too much stuff makes it impossible to feel de cluttered and free.
- Plan. Far far far in advance. I’m a dive head first type of girl so this is my biggest struggle. I had on my to do list to plan my September Palette & Paint class. Instead….I planned the dates and booked the location through January. This creates more room and freedom with 1 phone call and a contract.
- Check List. I Framed cute little Morning and Evening to do’s for my littles so they know whats happening and when it’s happening. Children thrive on STRUCTURE.
These few little things have helped me in a big way over the past month and I hope you can take just one thing that helps you too live more balanced and happy!
This year the motivation for me is to switch it from “chaos coordinator” to a more peaceful pace. The first step for my family was decluttering and organizing. Since we are in the middle of a remodel, what more perfect timing! This idea, I just fell in love with. The best part….It took me less than an hour to complete! I can never find measuring cups in my drawers. Even when I neatly stack the spoons and cups some how my children seem to hide them, play with them, use them for science projects and than they vanish! This hack is a life saver and KID REACH FREE! YASSSSSS! Mom – 1.
- Take your cabinet OFF THE HINGES. (Wood glue will slide and glide and you will say naughty words if you skip this step.)
- Lay it on a flat surface! (I used my cricut and cut out a 8”, 6”, and 4” cut out of a mason jar than lined it with sharpie to create the perfect lid and top I wanted! (Best part sharpie comes off with a magic eraser if you oops it!)
- Next I Cut out the measuring cups using a 10” and 8” cut. – If you do not have a Cricut the custom cuts can be found at http://www.sealedwithakissgift.com for $50.00 with the entire kit to make this!
- Make sure you measure your pallette planks before you begin the gluing to make sure everything will close properly!
- Next step CREATE! I laid everything out and measured to make sure my vinyl was in equal measuring distance to look right on the cabinet! Then I placed my vinyl. I used Gorilla Wood Glue for the Planks and let them set for 1 hour before messing with the next step! PATIENCE IS CRUCIAL HERE! If you start hanging and nailing things on the pallette before the wood glue is dry you are at great risk to crack your cabinet.
- Next I took a hammer and placed nails (you can use hangers too) I chose nails because the holes in my disney spoons were just too teeny tiny to fit! MAKE SURE YOU BEND NAILS UP if you choose to do nails! (Other wise every time you open your cabinet things will fly at you!)
- After the wood glue has set you can re hang your cabinet and set all your measuring cups and spoons up! So easy, simple, and cheap! Looks like a million doallars! (If you have kids, they cant hack your silverware drawer any longer!)
Happy Crafting Friends!!!!!