Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yummy junk food...and first day of being employed again.

I. Love. This. Pizza.
It's quick. It's easy. It's yummy. Throw some extra shredded cheese on there, place it directly on the oven rack for a crispy crust...and done.
If I didn't mind gaining 50lbs, I would probably eat one every day.
I'm going to have to get on the ball with pre-made meals to prepare quickly for dinner, since I have just started working again. Today was my first day, and even though it was only 4.5 hours, I am still exhausted. Going to take a bit for me to get back in the swing of things, especially having another human besides myself to get ready every morning. My awesome husband was a huge help this morning in getting kiddo up and going. Thanks,  babycakes. :)
We'll see what happens from here!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Allow me to share my project for the day...

The laundry room. Ugh. It's a disaster. And it usually stays that way.

Ridiculous. That is just a pellet gun, BTW. Simply for fun target practice.

I am the queen of clutter and I can't stand it. I have been this way my entire life...and have NO idea how to break the habit. It's like biting my nails, which has also been a nasty habit for years. (Currently, I'm doing well with that and they are growing nicely at the moment. I am proud.)

Anyhoo, back to the disaster room. As you can see, we have quite a bit of shelving in there but I am NOT a fan of the rack-type shelving. Cabinets to hide the mess would be fantastic.

We are in a rented home, so investing in nice shelving/paint/cabinets, etc., is not top priority.

I need to figure out a way to work with what I've got and get organized. Not only in the laundry room, but in the entire house. Laziness has something to do with it. Not knowing where to start is also takes part.

There just isn't a lot of storage space in this house. Our closets are all stuffed full. Christmas items and such are in the attic. That will be project for cooler get up there and lay plywood down to create more storage area.

Like many others, our budget is tight. What creative ways do you come up with for storage? What new, inventive ways have you found to be organized? By all means, share away. I could use all the help I can get! :)


Monday, September 26, 2011

PB & J

Let me just say...I LOVE that our son is getting to be so independent. Don't get me wrong, I get "baby fever" occasionally, however, I get over that quickly once I think of the long, sleepless days and nights, feedings every 2-3 hours, etc. Times two. When we become more financially stable and have a little more room, sure...I would like to have another child. But, with Brian set to deploy again next year and the current status of our financial situation, having another baby would more than likely throw what little sanity I have left, over the edge.
Ruke Duke can eat by himself now. Give him a PB & J sammich and he is content. I tell him its time to change his diaper and he {usually} will come lay in the floor for me to do so. He then takes the diaper and throws it in the garbage. Independence...for both of us! It is bittersweet...he is growing and learning. And he is growing and learning {!}. My baby isn't a baby anymore.

peanut butter face!

I know that our next child will come when he or she is meant for us. I just can't help but hope that, that time is a couple years down the road.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dinner Plans.

I hate having to come up with something new and exciting to cook for dinner EVERY day. It is tough to do for me. I am not naturally creative, so I am constantly googling pork chop, tilapia and beef recipes, among what ever else type of meat I think of and we have on hand. Tonight, it's gonna be meatloaf. Because I love it. It's been entirely too long since I made it.
So... in the process of mommy-hood, starting an online career advancement program, taking care of our home as well as *still* seeking outside employment, I wanted to try and figure out a way to make dinner planning easy for me (and the grocery shopping to go with it). I have tried the couponing thing and failed miserably.
We'll see what happens with this! Feel free to try it for yourself and family as well!

*Note: I originally made this in word, using the regular paper size (8.5x11) then used PowerPoint to shrink it to 8x10. So if you use the google document available below (by clicking on the photo) it will print on 8.5x11!


Tip Junkie handmade projects

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Homemade Disinfecting Wipes

I use clorox/lysol wipes ALL the time. With Little Mister running amok daily and spill-proof sippy cups not doing their job properly, there tends to be finger prints and stickiness all over. Yuck.
While I love name-brand wipes, we go through them so much they just get I tried my hand at making my own. I think they will work out fine; although, with the next batch, I will definitely try a better, stronger brand of towels.
This is very easy and doesn't take long...cutting and folding the paper towels took the longest at about 7-10 minutes (with pauses in between to kick toys away from my feet).

You will need:
White vinegar
Upcycled wipe container
Paper towels
Lemon or juice concentrate-to make it smell nice
Bowl to mix ingredients
Love the cute Huggies containers!

Take 20 regular sized sheets of paper towels and cut in half. (I will probably go with the select-a-size next time around). I folded each sheet into thirds, like an accordion so I could place the bottom flap from one into the top flap of the previous one, like regular baby wipes come, so pulling out one wipe would in turn pull up the next for ease of use. Because I am lazy and I hate having to stick my fingers in the hole to grab one wipe.

accordion fold

Once you have all 40 pieces together, place them in the wipe container.

 I mixed 2 cups of water with a few teaspoons of my lemon infused vinegar/water combo (more on that later) then another teaspoon of plain white vinegar. Also, squeezed the juice from one lemon slice, just because I like the smell so much.

Pour onto wipes. I only ended up using 1 cup of my mixture.

My son decided loading the dishwasher was a good idea. Yes, he is missing his pants. Yes, he also has sandals on. It's still really hot in Georgia! ;)

Let them soak for a few minutes so all the towels absorb the liquid.

I made sure to add a label to the top, just in case it gets left in the restroom. Ha!

 Aaaaand, done! I have also seen other sites that say to cut the whole roll of paper towels in half, take the center cardboard out and put them in a container with a hole cut in the lid, then simply pull from the center. I didn't have any containers around that I wanted to cut on, so I did it this way.
Perfect for every day quick clean-ups!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Time heals all.

...or so I always realize after the time passes. This is something I can never truly put into perspective during a time of sorrow. My tears haven't spilled like they did yesterday, so I feel my healing process has already begun.

Harley 2011

Yesterday, I had to put my beloved pet, Harley, to sleep. He had been sick for some time now and we just could not afford the expensive treatment he needed. I did my best to do what I could, but his condition progessively worsened. Just in the past week, to the point that he could no longer get himself up off the floor. It absolutely broke my heart to see him like that. I was in tears all day Friday, trying to figure out what to do. My husband was out in the field for who-knows-how-long, so it was just me and my 21 month old son. I finally found a Vet a few towns over that would help me, without charging. (The whole mess that led up to me having to call to find someone to help my poor animal, rather than the vet I had taken him to, is a whole 'nother story and aside from the hurt of losing my dog of 9 years, I am LIVID.) The clinic staff and doctor were kind and gracious and I will never be able to thank them enough for that.

A little less than a year and a half prior, my other pup, Hugger, was hit by a car. I was devastated and would cry daily for a week when I didn't have her barks and jumps to come home to. She was so unbelievably hyper! But she was so fun and brought so much laughter, especially when she and Harley would get going playing together. I had found her 5 years before walking the streets; and as soon as I brought her home, those two were inseparable.

Hugger 2008
Harley, myself, Hugger 2008

With Hugger, I did not have a choice. She was taken from me. With Harley, I had to make the painful decision to end his suffering. Holding my precious pup while he left this world was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do thus far. I cannot even fathom something happening to my son. Harley was my first "child" and I am thankful that I had those last few precious moments with him, to tell him I loved him and would see him later. He has been such a wonderful companion, so sweet and loving. Great with children and had been through all of my ups and downs, staying right by my side. Our home is no longer the same not being able to see his sweet face.

I know we did what is best for him but that doesn't make it hurt any less. I can only hope it truly is "see you later".


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DIY Mommy Business Cards!

How many times have you been out with the kiddos, at the park, grocery store, doctor's appointment, and had the chance to strike up a good conversation with a fellow mom, but then never have a pen or your phone handy to exchange your contact information?  Or maybe you've had to rush off and just didn't get the chance.  Or if you're like me, you're just a tad flighty at times and simply didn't even think of it.
I thought of this after an appointment today, when I actually DID strike up a conversation with a fellow Army Wife who had just moved back to this area while her husband is deployed.  Now, I've been at Fort Stewart for almost a year and haven't really met a lot of women that I have clicked with. Army life is hard enough in itself...not having many close friends makes it that much harder.  And I can almost never find a pen in the bottomless pit, known as my purse. Trying to dig through diapers, toys, receipts, and what ever else may manage to get stuck in there by my son, is just ridiculous. I did come across an awesome sewing tutorial today, over at Tip Junkie (from the blog To Sew With Love), that will hold diapers, wipes, keys and is PERFECT for a quick trip out of the house.  Another great project to do...once I get a machine! Which needs to be soon. My sew board on Pinterest is rather full.
Anyhoo, getting back to my original point...which was what? Oh, yes...Mommy Business Cards! Or Mommy Call Cards, whichever rolls off your tongue better. I originally went to Vistaprint to check out what selections they had and price.  Then thought, 'wait. I can do this myself!'. And I just happened to have some heavier card-stock type paper buried in my scrapbook bin. Score!!

So, I went into Microsoft Word and got busy. Imported a photo of Lucas and myself, created a text box, arranged the photo in the box after arranging everything the way I wanted.  I'm sure there is probably an easier way to do this, (like downloading a business card template, duh) BUT, I didn't like all of the aspects of the templates I came across and it was getting to be a pain trying to configure the writing on the card the way I wanted it....and make every card look the same. (My Office class in college was almost 5 years ago. I'm a little rusty.)

It took me a bit but I am thrilled with the outcome!!

Print the front

Add some quotes on the back, for the sake of whimsy :)

Cut them out

Hooray for cute little cards! To hand out to fellow Mamas who may have their hands full as well! (Of course, the ugly smudges where my phone number should be is not like that on the actual card.)

Now, go socialize!


Tip Junkie handmade projects

Fall is on its way!

A sign.
{with my sons cute little foot and Spongebob PJ's ;) }

Not seeing any colors besides green around here yet, though!

Living in Southern Georgia for almost a year now, has made me actually miss cool weather.  WHAT?!?  I despise being cold.  I do not like snow.  I was thrilled when we moved here and I was in a tank top and jeans in March.  Nice, cool breeze, beautiful sunshine, windows open.  Yes!!  That was until the area forest fires started around April.  Southeast of Savannah is all swamp land, it STINKS when it burns and the smoke covers the majority of the area.  So much for windows open.
To top that off, summer really hit around the end of May, with 90 degree temperatures...and 70+% humidity.  Gross.  Flies, gnats and mosquitoes like I have never seen before.  Savannah's baseball team name??  The Sand Gnats. {Serious.}  So, believe me when I tell you, this summer-loving girl has never been SO excited to see fall, in. her. life.  In addition to living in Georgia and Tennessee, I also lived in Phoenix, Arizona for a few years.  I'll take 115° and dry over 105° and 80% humidity any day.
Needless to say, my son and I have spend most of the summer indoors because it is just too miserable.   I wish I could say I was able to do tons of crafting, but unfortunately, that isn't the case.  I am getting back into the swing of things though, so that is quickly changing! :)

What did you and your family do to stay cool this summer?  What projects did you complete that you had been putting off? Feel free to share!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Home is where the heart is.

I haven't been stopping to smell the roses like I should lately, so to walk out on the patio today and see this, gave me a new sense of peace.  It was also the only wet spot on the patio, which was even more amazing to me.

Beauty can be anywhere. We just have to take the time to notice. 


Friday, September 2, 2011

DIY knitted headband and partial tutorial.

I have to say, knitting has been fun, interesting and frustrating, all at the same time! I am a beginner at it and have learned basic knit and purl from watching YouTube videos. Type in what you want to see and viola! There it is. It takes time and patience but it keeps my mind from being idle and give my hands something to do as well.

I got this idea from Pinterest and found the tutorial (with some videos) from Sara (and friend, Elisa) at Craftsnob.  Her blog is wonderful!

Now, hopefully you already know the basics...cast-on, knit, purl, bind (or cast)-off and such. If you happen to read this and do not know how to do those things, this tutorial may be a tiny bit difficult! ;) If you have questions or simply need to be pointed in the right direction of learning, by all means, let me know! I will help as much as I can!

So, on to the headband. Now that I have chopped most of my hair off, it really makes me miss my long hair and the ability to do different things with it. This piece helps me feel a little bit better!

First, you will cast on 20 stitches, which will make the headband around 4-4.5 inches wide. (I used US size 9/5.5mm needles, mainly because that's all I have for now. They seem to be a good universal size for a lot of different projects. The smaller the needle, the smaller the stitch).
You may knit every row or purl every row, your choice. Continue until the piece reaches 14-17 inches long. The tutorial on CraftSnob stated 14 inches, however, I have a somewhat large noggin' and didn't want mine to be too tight. As I reached the end of my piece, I wrapped it around my head to see how it would fit and stopped where I thought best, which was around 17 inches. (Sheesh! LOL!)

Finished piece should look similar.

Once you have that piece completed, you will fold the ends to meet in the middle, as shown below.

 Now, take a yarn needle and stitch up the ends. I wish I had more colors to make a prettier headband, but this was just a trial too, so I didn't worry about color.

Stitch doesn't have to be perfect!

 Once that is done, hold the headband and pull the string to cinch it then tie the string in a knot.

Now, you can either leave it like it is, which looks like this:

Or, you can take the extra yarn string, wrap it around and give it a more finished look, like so:

All done! Very simple beginner project to start off with. I got a tad carried away when I first started and wanted to do blankets, scarves, name it, I was going to do it! I just didn't realize how much time and effort this actually takes. So don't get frustrated! I missed a stitch in this one and didn't realize it until I had 2 more rows already done. Dang!

A dish cloth is another simple, easy, quick project to start off with as well. I was able to get one completed in a day because I was so excited to finish something!
Again, if you try it, share a photo with me! :)


Tip Junkie handmade projects

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Live, Laugh, Love...for a lifetime. And making it work.

Brian and I celebrated our one year Anniversary, yesterday. Amazing how time flies! I truly feel I have married the right person for me.

 He and I are so different, but have so much love for each other. Neither one of us has ever been in a relationship, where we ACTUALLY felt everything we should feel for the other person. Love, respect, honor,...all the things that make up a true partnership and family. 
Our son used to LOVE to have his picture taken. Not so much, these days. Grr.

Parenting 101: Be silly!

My whole world.

My husband LOVES lunchables. It's almost ridiculous. Thus, our anniversary dinner. True love, folks! ;)

Marriage is hard, at its best. It takes BOTH people WANTING to work together and make it good. Communication is KEY. If you can't talk to each other, in some way, whether it be face-to-face, in a letter, or even through text message/email; you. Have. Nothing.

The biggest things I have discovered in the past year: 

1. Living with someone is difficult, no matter how well you think you know them.
Two people are NOT going to agree on everything, be it household chores, dinner selections and/or parenting. Sometimes, ESPECIALLY parenting.You HAVE to work together, here. There are going to be disagreements, arguments and tisks. If something bothers you, tell them. But don't be a punk about it.

2. Make time for each other.
Daily life is hard enough, working, raising kids, running a home. Don't let everything else get in the way of you and your partners bond, including your child/children. Focusing attention on your child is great, your child needs you. However, focusing ALL of that attention on your child takes away from your spouse, which is only going to cause problems later. If nothing else, have a Date Day. Find a sitter/friend/relative to watch the kid, go see a movie, go out to eat, relax at home, what ever you can afford to do. If you blow off time alone with your partner, then you probably shouldn't be with that person. 

3. Compliment.
Make it a point to tell your spouse something nice, that has to do with them as a person. The smallest kind words and/or gesture can leave a lasting mark on someones heart. Same goes for criticism. Mean/hateful/curse words DO hurt. 

4. Laugh!
You are in a lifetime partnership, with one person, every day, for the rest of your life. If you can't laugh with each other, what are you doing?! 

5. Listen.
Don't just pretend to listen to your spouse when they are talking to you, sharing things with you, or just plain old babbling. I babble. A lot. And my husband is no where near a babbler, unless he is slightly lit or super tired, like after a 24 hour staff duty shift. It's quite comical for me and I LOVE it when he babbles about anything and everything :)
However, we certainly have our moments when we tune each other out, sometimes not even realizing it. Make it a point to repeat back what you heard and let them know that you care enough to hear what they have to say!

I could probably go on and on, but who am I to be giving advice? I'm simply a happily married, mother of one, who lives day to day and is learning to love EVERY moment of it, good and bad. My family is my WORLD and I only want to better myself as a wife and mother, maybe even be an inspiration to you when you read this and see that someone else goes through the same woes in life...and is continuously learning new ways of tackling all that comes her way!

I believe I am done with my session for now. Feel free to share your thoughts, emotions, reality. I would like to hear what you have to say! 


Creative Commons License
Kiser, too by Maria Kiser is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.