Ah it’s getting to be that time… my absolute favorite time of the year… fall!
With the return of chilly days, crisp smells and crunchy leaves comes the return of Hobby Lobby’s seemingly endless fall wreaths. All drool worthy and all horribly overpriced. Okay well maybe not all of them. Some are worth the buck. And yet why would one drop $80 on a wreath, when you can drop $10 at Good Will and get the same results? I ask you, why?
Growing up my Mom was the master recreator. Any sign, wreath, floral arrangement, etc. you saw in store or on Pinterest she could recreate. Naturally having daughters she taught us also the fabulous art of DIY.
One of my favorite diy tasks was to redo my Mom’s ginormous wreath on the side of the house every season. We would cycle it through spring, summer and fall (a giant snowman head replaced it during Christmas and winter) and then back again.
My Mom was ever thrifty so we shopped clearance racks and garage sales for those perfect sprigs you finish off the decor.
It’s been a while since I have truly diy’d anything and I loved it! It brought back all the memories. So which style was your favorite? Comment down below!
Hello all! I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter. It has turned out to be a very wet week here in Wisconsin, but I personally love the spring showers. One, because they mean green and growing things and additionally they remained me of fairy tales, an English countryside and simpler ways. Which as I find I am more and more drawn too. Anyone else?
While I am super excited to get outside once the rain has passed; rainy days are practically made for arts and crafts. Below are four of my all time fav crafts that I have done with the kiddos.
I guess I should have said these are the top four projects we’ve done in the last six months. And most of them tie into whatever we’re learning in school, but are still fun and simple crafts you could do with your littles.
First up are these awesome Greek shields(we were learning about Greece obviously) and they were very fun to make. The easiest way would be to take pizza cardboard circles, then google Greek shield patterns and paint. I outlined the designs for the kids and then let them paint in the blank spaces. It was loads of fun.
Next is this visual representation of the Four Seasons by Vivaldi(again school related) that turned out a lot better then I thought it was going to. Using oil pastels and then coconut oil on q-tips to blend the colors. We “arted” while we listened to Vivaldi’s composition. It was a really relaxing Saturday morning. Again I drew the tree and then let them have at it. Just directing them to think of the colors of spring. And what colors make other colors. We talked lots about color and picking them with purpose for this project(A color wheel is very helpful to have handy)
This project was from last year but was also school related and was just so much fun to do! Using painting tape you cover up the bridge and then just using acrylics and our fingers we blended like Monet. Once dried we coated it with Modge Podge to give it the nice sheen.
Finally if you want endless rounds of laughter grab your favorite Barbie Doll, dress her in her best and roll her in t.p. Make sure you do the recommended three wraps(like the Egyptians did) and then wrap her in a blanket(or felt sheet) before taping on your carefully colored death mask. If you aren’t in stitches at this point burry your mummified Barbie in a cardboard box sarcophagus, which you can also decorate. One of the littles took this project even further and buried his mummy under his bed with treasures, statues and extra clothes for the afterlife. I unwittingly stumbled upon the burial ground when cleaning a few weeks ago. Let me just say it made my day!
So there you have it, some fun activities for you and your littles to do. Let me know if you do any of these projects I’d love to hear how they turned out for you.
Last post I am gonna try to squeeze in before the season is over. Yikes! I meant yesterday’s and today’s for last week but I was rushing around meeting up with friends. Trying to squeeze them all in before the holidays. Anyway all that to say that is way this week you are about to be overloaded with Christmas related content. Let’s go!
This year(like back in March when the world ended) I decided, mainly because my fingers needed something to do, I decided to make homemade ornaments for everyone for Christmas. I try to make a least one gift. Last year I made those big hand knitted blankets for my coworkers. (My adult coworkers to be clear) I find that homemade gifts are more special and meaningful than something store bought.
These gorgeous hand embroidered ornaments were a joy to make and took me since March till last week to finish. I think I made a grand total of seven… I think. They all kind of blur together.
I started by painting the canvas so I had some kind of pattern to go off of and then went into stitch after stitch. I really think they turned out well.
This might be a tradition I continue. By making a homemade ornament every year. Though now my embroidery project is over I miss the hand work and need a new project to pick up. Obviously I need to decide what next year’s ornaments will look like(thinking of trying needlepoint) And then my other two grand ideas are fancy rag dolls and/or a quilt. A hand sewn quilt. That might be too ambitious but we shall see. I am going to be doing a lot of research into this one before I just jump into it. Quilting can get expensive along with being time consuming and taking up space in my apartment.
Anyway do you have any homemade gifts to give this year? Or ever received a homemade gift?
Vague title I know, but I couldn’t quite think of one that covered my thoughts without sounding weird in my head. “Self-defense in a Crazy World” “Situational Awareness 101” “Young Women vs. The World”
Okay so now you’re probably even more confused. I’m supposed to be Marry Poppins without the singing not ninja, warrior woman(which I am not by the way… like at all) Well stick with me guys. My Dad has worked in security his entire life. He was a bodyguard downtown Chicago for years and has worked as a supervisor and trainer in hospital security for over two decades. Needless to say growing up we had a lot of conversations about personal security and self defense. To me it was normal to have a long discussion over dinner on how to handle yourself if someone attacked you from behind. That is why when I moved to Milwaukee three years ago and had similar conversations with my girl friends I was shocked to learn they either had no clue or what to do or had an unrealistic view of self defense. Or thought you couldn’t possibly defend yourself unless you were a super, ninja woman.
It dawned on me then and has still been stirring within me that this is a topic rarely discussed from a young woman’s perspective and therefore grounded in reality.
So what’s the deal?
What I would like to do is that once a month I would like to do one post on the self defense topic. (Obviously I don’t want to sacrifice our main focus of nannyhood) I want to give you guys common sense tips about avoiding difficult or dangerous situations; and what to do if you do get into them. I also want to suggest tools everyone should have in their arsenal and techniques that you can learn(maybe some with short little tutorial videos) on your own. And I think it is also super important to cover what the Bible says about personal defense. I think we’ll cover this discussion first sense ultimately whatever God says in His Word is how I want to live my life.
Anyway a lot of ideas and possibilities tumbling around in my head for this topic. Let me know if this would be something you guys are interested in down below.
Another possible title for this post could have been “Shout-out Book of the Month: Imagine a Forest”. If y’all follow me on Instagram(which you should be doing by the way) then you saw my post about dabbling into the realm of Folk Art painting. I know, I know I don’t need another hobby. What with writing, knitting, sewing and watercolors, who needs one more art stimulus? Well apparently I do. I keep telling myself that folk art will not just be an excuse I use to buy paints. (Though I did have a ridiculously fun time at Hobby Lobby yesterday arranging my color pallet- look below)
Before we get into discussing the actual book by Dinara Mirtalipova(you should follow her on the gram as well) I thought I would give you my brief reasons, or reason, for choosing folk art as my next creative outlet.
So it basically boils down to the fact that my Mom(my chief inspiration for all things art and creativity) was first hooked on art by taking a folk art class back in her twenties. When I was growing up my Mom had this black, wooden box in which she kept all of her paint supplies(brushes, paints, etc.) On the box were these beautiful, colorful and delicate birds and flowers. This was the box my Mom painted while taking her folk art class. And she has kept it(still has it) through moves and even downsizing into an RV. So she suggested that I look into this style of art. (She’s an enabler what can I say)
A day of research later and I purchased Imagine a Forest on Amazon and eagerly awaited it’s arrival!
This isn’t the first art book I have purchased(and won’t be the last… seeing as how I bought one yesterday) And one thing I am learning about art books is that not all books are created equal. There’s one particular watercolor art book that springs to mind when I write this. The book is great don’t get me wrong- As in there is nothing wrong with it. But it doesn’t inspire my to paint or stretch my wings. It’s just kinda… blah. The author/artist’s tastes run opposite to mine. She is very modern in her style and color pallet, while I am learning I like art inspired by nature and history(shocker) From the colors and tones to the subject matter. Birds, beasts and especially flowers get my creativity juices following.
Naturally(I mean I think you can tell from the title) Dinara is heavily influenced by nature and the fairytale aspect of it. She is just a super captivating artist and her instructions are laid back and allow you a lot of room to improvise. Once I start a project from her book I can’t put the brush down! (Below are a few of my beginner creations- I can’t stress beginner enough)
If you’re wondering what I am painting all my little doodles on(you should follow my Instagram) it’s a wooden box I purchased on Amazon to keep my water paints and brushes in. Like Mother like daughter, what can I say?
A little random right now but I actually have a plan to tell a whole story through the sketches on the box. So they may seem random but by the end they will all be tied together. I think that might be one of the things I love most about folk art, the ability to tell stories and emotions.(Yes I know you can do that with all art, but for some reason folk art is just a more natural way for me to tell stories… I don’t know)
Anyway I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you are inspired to try out folk art yourself. Or maybe if you are already a folk art artist!! Also for you artists if you have any great art related resources(in any medium) please leave below!!
Being a nanny(as previously covered here) requires one to have great communication skills and the ability to work well with a team while also being a self started, who can still accomplish goals on your own. You will normally find the above listed skills in almost any ad in some form or another.
I am best working on projects or tasks alone, simply because I am perfectionist and hate to be micromanaged. That being said working in and with a team is a vital skill for anyone pursuing this kind of work.
You will be expected to work with the parents and let them, well, micromanage you. They get ultimate say in whatever, since they are the parents and these are their kids. You will also be expected to work with other staff if they have any. Cooks, cleaners, house managers, other nannies(if any) etc. This again requires strong communication on your part.
If you are the “lead” or head or only nanny, it is your job to know what the kids will need from all of these other staff members. You will also need to learn how the chain of command works. In the household I work in everything goes through the mom’s personal assistant. She handles what meals get made, when the cleaning lady comes to the house, family appointments, and any workers for house maintenance. If I need something or have a suggestion it all run first by her.
Now there exceptions, like a kid is sick or having trouble in school. These things (9 times out of 10) I will take directly to the mom. So one of the first things I would consider mastering when you land a new position is how the chain of command and communication works. Don’t be afraid to ask! Who do I ask about an extra cleaning of the kids’ rooms? Who do I talk to about making a special meal for the kids? Johnny needs his teeth cleaned do I have to go through anyone to make this happen or can I handle it myself? You get the gist.
A final point which has come up lately(namely with covid-19) is being able to wear other hats of the team. With the desire to quarantine and keep the traffic in and out of the house to a minimum has meant the remaining staff to perform other duties. Like cooking meals and cleaning bathrooms. This can happen for other reasons of course, so being prepared and willing to flex into other roles is a good skill to have.
Anyway I hope this was informative, or at least interesting. As always if you have any questions do not hesitate to DM me, or leave a comment down below.
I just made paper dollhouses for the kiddos. And we had a blast creating our houses and families. Did any of you make paper doll houses? For the uneducated a paper dollhouse is normally created by taking/making a binder and then cutting out furniture, decor and sometimes even people from magazines. Or if one is very creative and patient drawing it all by hand.
My Mom used to purchase JcPenny’s yearly catalog, which if anyone remembers was absolutely ginormous! After she was done perusing it I was given an extra notebook, scissors and glue to create a world with. My Mom made paper dollhouses when she was a child and I loved making them. Every year I made a new one. My last paper dollhouse however was undoubtedly my favorite. I still remember it.
In honesty it was more like a paper village than a dollhouse. My Mom also used to get a Victorian magazine of some kind and inside was a page of Victorian style, little furniture and gorgeous glass dolls. I carefully cut out the tiny piece and drew a house in which they could fit. Next I drew other houses and other tiny people. Before long I had an entire village. Logically I made up my own Jane Austin type story revolving around four, poor sisters: Anastasia, Mary, Jane and Elizabeth.
They were much like the sisters from Little Women. Anastasia was the eldest and had fiery red hair. She was an aspiring artist and also the prettiest of the sisters. Her love interest was the neighboring Lord’s son, who every girl in the county was after but who only loved her. But Anastasia wasn’t perfect. When her widowed father was dying and only she and Mary were at home to care for him, Anastasia could not take her grief and fled from the home. Mary sent her to live with the afore mentioned Lord and son until their Father had passed. Now her sisters never blamed her for this, but Anastasia always saw it as a failing and never forgave herself for not being with her beloved father when he died.
Mary was also a red head and had a very fiery temper. She could be crass and had a good head on her shoulders. After the untimely death of her father, Mary really came into her own. Anastasia quickly married her wealthy husband, so Mary took over the running of her family’s small farm and with the help of her father’s shrewd lawyer turned a profit. Unfortunately her strong will and merciless tongue kept her from love, cause honestly she was a little too hot to handle. In my story her happy ending didn’t come to the very end. After watching all her sisters eventually settle down and have children, Mary longed for her someone to call her own. That’s when her long time friend and lawyer, who had stuck with her through thick and thin finally confessed his feelings for her. He hadn’t wanted to slow her down and he was a good deal older than her, plus they fought so much he thought their marriage would be disastrous. But he could no longer hide. How romantic is that?
Jane being the third sister was very quiet and dreamt of being an author. She was delicate with soft blonde hair. She was the first sister to marry, marrying her life long love and moving to the city. She tried her hand at writing, while her husband tried his hand at business. Neither endeavor was very successful. Not long after the birth of their son the family fell ill. Jane’s husband died and she would remain sickly for the rest of her life as would her son. After the death of her husband Jane moved back in with her sister Mary. Her depression and grief lasted long and was very bitter, but she ended up challenging all her pain into a book for her son, so he could know who his father was. The book ended up being very successful and made her somewhat wealthy in her own right. After this she was able to move on and eventually fell in love with the county doctor, who had been her husband’s best friend. And they lived happily ever after. (After many dramatic close calls of course)
Finally Elizabeth. She was dark headed and for most of her character arc very fool headed. She almost eloped with a solider but thankfully Mary and the family lawyer were level headed enough to stop her. She took a year long trip as a companion to her wealthy friend to London and Paris and New York. She tried her hand at acting and singing. This is where she met a wealthy American manufacture and finally settled down. Incidentally her future husband was one of Mary’s biggest investors. Small world isn’t it?
These are just the main characters. I had many side characters and subplots going as well. It was very intricate.
How to make your own paper dollhouse…
Anyway… so I don’t know if you guys wanted to know all that, but hay. When it comes to making your own paper dollhouse all you need is a notebook, scissors, glue, a magazine and a healthy dose of imagination.
Every once and a while a book is so good I think it deserves a whole post! I mentioned this book on last month’s media Favs and it will be listed on this month’s as well. It’s that good.
If you read my gym post last month than you know I have decided to finally give the whole gym scene a try. (How nice of me, I know) I was tired of lazing around the house, binging shows and feeling tired pretty much all the time. I knew it was unhealthy and I wanted something to do. Since, once upon a time I loved swimming, I thought this would be a great way to ease myself into the workout/gym stuff. It was somewhat intimidating since I’d never joined a gym before. And let’s face it doing something new and unfamiliar is always a bit scary. Mostly because we think we’ll mess something up and look like a fool. But like a friend of mine once said,
“It’s a gym… No one will be looking at you, they’re too busy looking at themselves.”
Going into this active lifestyle thing I knew I could go a bit crazy. Being such a goal oriented person I could either set impossible goals for myself and eventually have to throw in the towel. Or set the wrong kind of goals and never get anywhere. I did have some grand goals, but no idea how to attain them.
Now what I am about to say might sound shocking… But I actually like the way I look and how much I weigh. Can a woman in this world even say that? But I do. Not all the time mind you. I am human and so I do that slump into sadness where I hate everything about me and feel like a hippopotamus. However on the whole I like me. So joining a gym was not necessarily about losing weight, maybe just a few extra pounds that I know I carry around. Mainly I wanted to replace my fat with muscle. I wanted to see what my body could do, because mainly I was tired of believing my body couldn’t do anything athletic.
So I wanted to gain muscle and endurance(especially cardio- my heart rate is naturally high so I kind of what to get more of a hold on it now while I am young) And if I loose a few pounds- YAY!! That’s when this book caught my eye. It was exactly what I was looking for! Nia’s “be more not less” mentality was what had been tumbling around in my head I just didn’t know how to verbalize it. She’s against crazy dieting, but all about eating in moderation. Her workout program is easy to understand and great for those of us who are just getting into the whole strength training thing. Or for those of us who have tried everything else: dieting, running, spending hours at the gym and are still not getting anywhere.
I think what I like most about her book is even though she is a personal trainer and “an athletic person” she was open about her own eating disorder and her struggles with her body imagine. So when she does her hype on “you can do it!” as a personal trainer will do, you don’t feel like she’s just saying that. Her excitement for her field comes through in her writing and it gets you excited too. I don’t want to give too much away, so you can read the book for yourself but it is sooo good!
Anyway as of writing this I start the program tomorrow. And am part super excited and part super nervous.
As a side note this program is not one that I do for a few months and then I’m done. I graduated. No her strategy is to setup good habits that stay with you for life. This isn’t a one and done(and she covers why in the book) Also I won’t be posting updates on my progress since I tend to want people to like me(I am such a people pleasure) and I want this to be something I do because I want to do it. Because I like it.
So in closing I give this book 10 out 10 stars and highly recommend it to those of you who want to get into, or back into the fitness world.
Yay! I’m back. It has been a bit crazy here. My younger sister moved in with me and is working temporarily for the family I work for in order to help out with the crazy that goes on here. However a week in she caught the stomach bug and has just now shaken in it off. I went from having extra help to working five 12-hour days in a row(save me) I won’t lie it wasn’t fun and I about broke down from exhaustion(we all did to be honest) But hopefully we’re now on an up swing and life will get somewhat back to normal. Ha! We’ll see. (Tay is feeling much, much better by the way)
Anyway before the crap hit the fan I got my much anticipated Stitch Fix Box! I had let my stylist know that I was taking a girl’s only trip to New Orleans in a month(more on this later) and was wanting some new stuff for the trip. Boy did she deliver!
At the very top of the box was an item I knew I was going to keep without even a second thought and without even opening their adorable canvas bag. These Toms Carmel Suede Lace-up Sneakers in Blush($69.95) fit perfectly and are totally going to hit the streets of New Orleans.
Next up were these adorable Cosmic Blue Love Adrianne Distressed Boyfriend Jeans, which I also kept($88) and this cute Alice Blue Ambriz Pleat Front Detail Blouse($42) I didn’t keep the top because it wasn’t my style and I couldn’t see myself wearing it. However I could kick myself, since it was the only item I returned and if you buy the whole box you get an additional 25% off. I missed this detail, even though it’s clearly marked on the price sheet they sent me. Blonde moment. Oh well I wouldn’t have worn it anyway.
Is this totally adorable and surprisingly cool(as it lightweight and airy) RD Style Tracey Chenille Cable Cardigan in Olive($78) On trend and on my packing list I adore this cardigan, which can and will go over everything.
The final item in the box was a Market&Spruce Breton Cotton Blend Faux Suede Elbow Patch Striped Pullover($68)… If you guys have been following me for a while than you know I love stripes! Stripes and polka dots that’s my signature style.
When all was said and done the total of the box is $345.95 Pricer than last month’s but so jammed packed with goodies. I officially can’t wait for next month’s box.
What was your favorite piece this month? Leave it down in the comments below. Have you given Stitch Fix a try? Interested? Here’s my first impressions post that’s packed full of info on how to get started. Until next time…
Okay post #2 on my hobby 2020 theme is all about sewing. Now over the months of November and December I did a lot of knitting, which my Mom had taught me to do when I was younger. My Mom is like the craftiest person I know and has definitely passed it on to us girls. I mean she has done everything: painting, knitting, cross stitch, needle point, hook rugs, etc. Any time I call her and say I am thinking of trying such and such she’s like, “Yeah I think you’d like that. I remember doing that and really enjoying it.” It’s like what has this woman not tried! But it’s actually really nice because if I have questions or need critiquing she is literally a text away.
Getting back on track; I knitted hats for friends and family and those big fluffy blankets as Christmas gifts. Once the Christmas season was over I missed my knitting. I could have obviously kept knitting, but I didn’t want to knit for knits sake. I wanted to create something!
Running with this I started to toy with the idea of embroidery. I had been thinking of trying my hand at this gorgeous art(cause some of it is literally art worthy- see below) but what really got me excited was some posts I read by one of my favorite bloggers Carly the Prepster. In these posts she talked about taking up, specifically needle point. That was it. I decided to try my hand at the needle.
I rushed to Hobby Lobby and then Joann’s and purchased a beginners kit for cross stitch and embroidery. (I incidentally couldn’t find a needle point beginners kit. I have sense found one on Amazon but I thought that was kind of weird that neither store had anything. Is there somewhere else I should try looking?)
I have since started work on my cross stitch and have made a few… mistakes. I didn’t realize how twisted your thread can get and so the back of my work is an ugly, sloppy mess. And I miss counted a row, so I had to fudge it. But other than that I have been greatly enjoying it. Last night I sewed well past ten o’clock(which is something for me as you know I’m normally dead to the world by 9:30 pm) I just had to finish my mushroom!
Kind of like my craft coffee craze, sewing can easily turn into an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to. Like anything you can learn the tricks and tips of the trade and bypass all the overpriced crazy crap. I have created a Pinterest board(link at the top of the page) called “needle art” where I am pinning all my inspiration. Plus be sure to follow the old instagram(link is also at the top of the page) to see some of my own meager contributions to the sewing community.
That’s another thing about hobbies. You stick your little pinky toe into the water only to find out it’s not a kiddy pool but an ocean of people and ideas and tools. It’s actually really cool when you stop and think about it. Anyway…