April 22, 2014

What Happened?!

real life right there.  Family photo attempt
So I've been neglecting this little part of my life over here.  This tiny little blog that I enjoy writing.  Why? What's happened?  Nothing major.  I just stepped back.  I lost focus of where I wanted this adventure to take me and ended up lost in the sea of blog land.  Stepping back made me realize a few things though.  First, I really do need the outlet.  This blog was meant to be my journal, but I let a few things get in the way.  Mainly, I let jealously get the best of me.  And self appreciation too.  So I wanted to talk about three things today: Jealousy, Self Appreciation, and Self Fulfillment.

Jealousy.

I started this blog with the intention of using it as a kick in the rear to update our home.  To keep me motivated to keep up with the projects.  Yet as the months went on, and nothing new was being updated, because, hello, that costs money and we don't have money to spend on updates, I realized that Polkadot Fluff couldn't just be about home projects.  So I began crafting and cooking.  But most of what I posted was already done a thousand times over on Pinterest, and with better pictures.  Then our computer broke, then the camera broke, then I kinda broke.

Every time I got online (i.e. Pinterest) I was bombarded with these blogs.  Blogs that looked wonderful.  Blogs that had a million followers.  Blogs that people actually commented on.  Blogs that if I looked closely I would of realized had been around for years and had paid someone to make their blog look so wonderful.  But still I was broken.  I talked myself out of everything.  I just knew I could never be as good as those other bloggers.  And they were all friends!! And they all go to the same conferences and are always buying super nice things (because I might just stalk one or two on Instagram *don't lie, you stalk people too*) that I could never afford.  Oh the jealousy.  The green eyed monster reared its ugly head bad.  And that takes me to Self Appreciation.

Self Appreciation

"you is smart, you is kind, you is important"

YOU.  You are wonderful, and talented and beautiful.  In everything you do, even if you mess it up.  These are the words that I am telling myself everyday.  Because sometimes I forget.  That mean ol' jealousy gets the best of me and I give up.  Not anymore.  Even if my blog is not the prettiest, or my Etsy shop didn't get a sale, or my new adventure (Ahoy Amigo, more on that soon!) is taking longer than I thought, does NOT mean that I need to give up.  You are your worst enemy and that is the truth.  I am harder on myself that anyone else.  Not a single person has said one negative thing about any of those things I listed above.  Those negative thoughts are all in my head.  And they get me down.  And I get in a funk and stay living on Funk Street until I stop the jealousy and realize that I rock! Even if the only people that realize it are my family, that is enough.  (kinda, I would LOVE for the world to think I'm Awesome, come on, a girls gotta have goals)

Appreciate what you have and who you are.  Because you is smart, you is kind, you is important.  And don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

Self Fulfillment

After realizing that jealousy is in my head and it's up to me to put a stop to it, and realizing I kick butt and take names (on days that I get a good nights sleep anyway), I come to Self Fulfillment.  It's up to me to make my own way.  No one is going to hand me success.  I have to work my tush off to make it in the big world.  And I will.  Just you wait.  It might take me another year to get going full steam ahead, but I will.  And when I do, watch out.


So back to the blog.  I want to take this baby in a new direction.  Instead of home projects, look for life projects and moments.  I'm a mom first and for most and that will take a lead in a lot of my posts. I still craft with my kids but mostly they are messes because they are four and two.  And cook? Ain't nobody got time for that.  Kidding, but now that it's finally warm out, I do enjoy grilling out.  A love of kid fashion might (no might about it, it'll be there) make an appearance or two.  But stay tuned.  I'm pretty hopeful that you will enjoy all I have in store for you!!

Enjoy, and thanks for sticking with me!
Stacie

March 5, 2014

What I'm Loving: Easter Baskets


I feel as though Christmas was just yesterday.  Maybe it's the never-ending winter that everyone is so sick of hearing about that makes it seem so.  Yet, Easter is a mere month away!! If you're anything like me, you haven't even thought about what the Easter Bunny will be bringing, much less, the basket he'll stow everything in!  I've rounded up a couple of super cute baskets to make your life a tad bit easier!



Source List:

1. Etsy  $18
3. Etsy $24
4. Etsy $37
5. Target $12

You have plenty of time to order and customize these baskets!

Enjoy
xo Stacie

March 3, 2014

Spring clean like its not 15 degrees outside

It's that time of year again.  Yup.  I said it.  Spring Cleaning time.  I started my list a little early, or is it right on time but we've had such a never-ending winter that it just seems early?  Either way, when it does finally warm up here in Kentucky, the last thing I want to do is spend my days inside cleaning.  I can't wait to play outside without 16 layers of clothes on.



There are a ton of spring cleaning lists available via Pinterest.  Or you can be all cool like me and just write one down on a scrap piece of paper and then lose it three times.  OR you can get fancy and print this list out.

I found this list on Pinterest from Ballard Designs (have you seen their stuff? AWESOME!)  You can download a printable copy here.  

I'm actually going to print this list and tape it to every room in my house.  Maybe I'll actually finish this year.  Or not.  But a girls gotta have goals right?

WHOLE HOUSEHOLD

□   Check the batteries in all smoke and CO detectors
□   Check and replace light bulbs
□   Clean air vents
□   Wash baseboards, doorframes and doors with mild soap and water
□   Dust light fixtures, fans and ceiling
□   Thoroughly dust shelves and their contents, including books and decorative objects
□   Wipe walls and touch-up with paint where necessary
□   Polish wood floors or wax non-wood floors
□   Clean and/or polish metal door and window hardware
□   Take area rugs outside and beat out trapped dirt and air out
□   Deep clean carpets
□   Clean window treatments: wash or dry-clean draperies and fabric shades, dust wooden blinds with damp cloth, wash vinyl blinds     with mild soap and water

KITCHEN

□   Deep clean stove: replace reflector bulbs on electric stove, wash knobs and burners, soak and clean hood vents and run self-clean function or clean inside of stove and racks by hand
□   Dust refrigerator coils; vacuum between refrigerator and counters
□   Defrost freezer; clean out freezer and refrigerator and clean with baking soda and water
□   Dust the tops of cabinets and refrigerator; wipe down cabinet fronts
□   Clean inside cabinets and drawers
□   Clean out and reorganize pantry or cupboard; throw out expired items
□   Clean out food trap in dishwasher

LIVING SPACES

□   Swap out heavyweight curtains and slipcovers for lightweight ones; wash or dry-clean winter linens before storing
□   Trade heavyweight pillows for light, bright ones
□   Clean out fireplace

BATHROOMS

□   Replace shower curtains and/or liners
□   Seal cracked tile or grout
□   Fix leaky fixtures or slow drains
□   Take down fan cover and wash with soap and water
□   Clean inside cabinets and drawers; discard expired medicines and cosmetics
□   Update first-aid kit

CLOSETS

□   Clean out entry/mudroom closet and swap out winter gear for summer gear
□   Organize bedroom closets and replace cold-weather clothing with warm-weather clothing; wash or dry-clean garments before storing or donating them
□   Organize linen closet and replace worn out or stained towels and sheets

BEDROOMS

□   Rotate mattress (and flip if it’s not pillow top) to distribute wear evenly
□   Wash all pillows and bed skirt to rid them of stains, mold and bacteria
□   Replace cold-weather bedding with warm-weather bedding; wash or dry-clean bedding before storing
□   Organize bedroom storage spaces

UTILITY SPACES

□   Run white vinegar through the washing machine to sanitize and clear soap scum
□   Wipe out the inside of the dryer to remove lint buildup with a wash cloth dampened with mild soap and water
□   Wipe down the outside of both appliances
□   Vacuum or dust behind appliances
□   Wash or vacuum lint trap
□   Vacuum with a crevice attachment or use duster to clear lint from inside the dryer hose
□   Organize laundry room storage and cleaning supplies

HOME OFFICE

□   Review and reorganize files: update policies and home inventory and shred unwanted documents
□   Clean out and reorganize drawers
□   Clean computers: wipe down computer and screen with dampened lint-free cloth and clean out keyboard using a can of compressed air
□   Back up your computer and delete unwanted files and applications
Enjoy and stay warm!
xo Stacie

February 27, 2014

A new Adventure

My daughter starts kindergarten next year.  Next year is also when my husband and I have agreed I'll join the workforce again (because one in daycare is a lot cheaper than two).  I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.



I feel as though the job I choose will in some ways determine what kind of person I am.  There are so many things that I want to portray myself as.  Determined, creative, kind, personable, funny, intelligent.  I love being home with my children.  Yes, they know how to push every. single. button. I have, but watching them learn and grow and knowing that I have so much control over it all, just fills me with a profound joy.  I have decided that whatever I choose to do must involve some aspect of creativity.

If you follow me on Instagram (polkadotfluff), you have seen some of the t-shirts I started making the kiddos.  They LOVE them.  and slowly people started requesting them for their own kids (or theirselves!).  My sister suggested I open an Etsy shop, and I thought, well why not?



So officially, Polkadot Fluff is now also an Etsy shop! Please come and check out my designs.  I'm constantly adding new ones!  I take all kinds of custom orders and have tons, TONS of ideas.  Just need the time to bring them to life!! I am totally selling myself to you right now, and I'm not ashamed of it at all!  I want this shop to be my job.  I can be home with my children and I can be creative every single day.  I seriously enjoy making each creation, and seeing other people enjoy it is just amazing!

Thanks so much for letting me sell myself to you!!

xo Stacie

February 24, 2014

Party: A Fox 2nd Birthday


Our littlest recently turned two, and it's like a switch was thrown.  He has tried every bit of patience I have in my body.  But it's ok, he makes up for with his kisses and cuddles, so we'll let him slide this time.


You know those trends you see on Pinterest and you can only hope to be so cool?  Well I think I finally managed to "be cool".  I had big ideas for Little Man's 2nd birthday.  I'm talking arrows and teepees and little craft stations for all the kids.  Then I remembered that he's turning two and doesn't really have friends yet (he stays home with me all day).  So I backed up and went back to the drawing board.  Or as I like to call it, Pinterest.

I came up with foxes.  What's cooler than foxes right now? Probably a lot of things but do me a favor and keep them to yourself.  I wanted to keep it simple *read: cheap, so I choose two colors and an accent to mainly decorate with.  Then I set out to hand make anything I could.









Source List:

Cupcake toppers: handmade with card stock
Mossy Two: Cardboard letters and moss from Hobby Lobby
Paper Straws: Knot & Bow etsy shop
Glitter "2" candle: Dollar store candle covered in glitter
Goodie Bags: Bags from Hobby Lobby, handmade foxes
Fox masks: handmade
Fox sign: Handpainted
Marshmallow stand: styrofoam covered in moss from JoAnns


Here are a few photos taken during the party thanks to my wonderful neighbor :)

The girls loved Little Man's birthday present
please ignore my hideous face!! and apparently I have multiple chins 

 Little Man blew his own candle out and then tore into his gifts.  We are very blessed to have so many loving family and friends to surround us.


we three sisters, who dress alike and act alike :)
It's a troop of foxes! I totally googled what a group of foxes was called. 
 Thanks to much! I hope you enjoyed it and can reap inspiration from it all!

xo, Stacie

February 17, 2014

Word of the year: Content

I know it's been awhile on the posts. Don't give up on me just yet. Blogging is new to me and while I love doing it, daily life sometimes just gets in the way. Or I just get easily distracted. Either way I promise to be working on a better blogging schedule and more house updates.


We've actually been working on our main bathroom but have since halted said work while trying to decide just how finished we want to go this year (were slow we know). We've had another major milestone this past weekend as Little Man turned two!! If you follow me on Instagram (polkadotfluff) then you've already seen some awesome projects and birthday pictures! More to come this week I promise! 


I wanted to express my thoughts on 2014 so far. A lot if other way cooler than I'll ever be bloggers started the year by explaining their "word" of the year. A little late on the action but here's mine. "Content". To be content with ourselves is to be happy. I am always comparing myself to others. Especially other bloggers. Constantly putting myself down sayin I'll never be that good, I can never start my own business, I can never wear those clothes, etc etc etc. It's heartbreaking to me when I finally stop and look around at what I already have. I have everything I need to be happy. I just need to stop harping on myself. And be content.  


My children don't care what I wear (well sometimes Little Miss will exact her opinion upon me and it's not always complimentary). They are content to run around in fleece pants and a mismatched tee shirt (or naked as the newly two yr old seems to want to do every day). 


So for 2014 I will still strive for my goals.  Whether I reach them or not is on me and me alone. I will try my best to be content with all I have and not want what others have most likely strived and worked hard for.  I will be happy just doing what I love everyday, parenting, crafting, reading, being content. 

Xo Stacie 

February 7, 2014

Gifts: Valentine's Day for under $25

Valentine's Day doesn't have to involve candy or roses that die three days later.  For the same price you can treat your loved one to something they will keep around for a long time (well I guess you can count the pounds you pack on from all that candy as something you keep around for a long time, but let's not go there).  Even the dog can be treated this Valentine's Day! Here's my picks for Valentine's Day gifts under $25.


Valentines gifts

Valentines gifts by polkadotfluff featuring wood signs


Source List:

1. A super cute heart shirt for her.  Hellomerch.com $22
2. Something for the dog to destroy love. Wayfair.com $8
3. For him.  Because guys are hard to shop for.  Papersource.com $11
4. Something for that Little Lady in your life.  Etsy.com $11
5. What Little Man doesn't look dapper in a bowtie? Etsy.com $16
6. And don't forget to splurge on your woman.  She deserves more than just a t-shirt.  Etsy.com $15

I hope this Valentine's Day you get everything you want and more.  (Secretly I want chocolate.  But that t-shirt also looks very comfy.) Enjoy your weekend!

xo Stacie


February 5, 2014

DIY: Easy Pendant Banner

                                                 

Holy bananas!  Who pissed off Queen Elsa?!  I don't know about you but ain't nobody got time for all this snow and ice we're getting around here.  I've been attempting to create projects around the house that require me to not leave the house. Mainly because I can't. Leave, that is.

                                                          

Last night I whipped up this cute little pendant banner for Little Man's new big boy room. I'm just not cool enough to throw things in a room and make them look awesome, so I came up with a theme to keep me on track. His rooms theme is travel/little explorer. So this "brave" banner fits in nicely. 

All you need for this quick project is:

Felt- 2 pieces
A dowel rod 
String
Glue
Scissors
Pins
Needle and thread or sewing machine

                                   

Start by deciding what you want your banner to say. Remember to keep it simple and short but fun!  Brave boys only barely fit!  After you decide your saying, trace the letters out on your felt. 

                                  

                                             

Fold your second piece of felt hotdog style and cut the felt into pendant shape. Place your dowel rod at the top and fold over the rod to form a tunnel. Pin your felt so that you can keep it at a straight line (or if you're a beast, eyeball that ish and then celebrate because you're a beast). Using your sewing machine, or by hand, sew a straight line on your folded over felt. When you're done, you should be able to stick your dowel rod all the way through. 

                                                

                                                

After carefully cutting out your letters while watching your oldest kid play in the snow through a window because your littlest doesn't like playing in snow up to his knees (or you could just cut the letters out. It's up to you), arrange them on your banner how you want them to look. Carefully apply the glue (I used tacky glue) so that when you press down the glue doesn't come squirting out the edges. Glue down all your letters and then tie your string to the dowel rod so you can hang it up!

                               

                                    

Tada! Easy diy pendant banner! You can customize this however you want. And if I were to add up how much it cost, it would be under $5 but I had everything on hand from various projects and birthday parties. This is a great time passer if you are also stuck inside this week. Fingers crossed this winter storm is over soon!!

Xo Stacie

January 29, 2014

What I'm loving Wednesdays



I'm rolling out a new feature for Wednesdays, mostly because my camera is still being fixed and that limits the amount of projects I can share.  So without further ado.... What I'm Loving Wednesdays!
I will showcase a few things that I am currently head over heels for (which is a lot actually).





Toys I'm Loving







This weeks post follows along with what I shared on Monday.  I'm trying to eliminate the excess of toys in our house and only keep/purchase ones that allow the kids to use their brains or keep them active (or both. That would be nice).  If you follow me on Pinterest, you may of noticed my Gifts from the heart board. It's filled with gift ideas that follow my new family guidelines or are things that I personally can make myself for the kids. I feel that handmade gifts are the same as organic foods. You know what's in them. These toys I choose are educational, active and fun.

What are you loving today?

Xo Stacie

January 27, 2014

What's been weighing on my mind

I plan on not buying any toys this year.

My kids are spoiled.  There, I said it.  I will freely admit defeat.  They are loved and happy, and spoiled.  They just have too. much. stuff.  Not only are their rooms filled to the brim with toys, so is an entire playroom in the basement.  It's not that they are bad kids by any means (although they have their moments, usually at the most embarrassing times), but they don't appreciate what they have.  Yes, I know my kids are 4 and almost 2, but you have to start young right?

We are dealing with an issue of destruction.  My kids are destroyers.  The 23 month old, yes.  It's perfectly normal at this age to still destroy things.  It is a "what happens when I do this" phase that I can't wait to end.  The four year old.  Nope, she just thinks that if something happens to one of her toys, that someone will just replace it.  And I am guilty of it.  When her beloved Ariel was eaten by the dog last year? I ordered one online and it showed up fully intact before she could even say Sebastian three times.  But no more.  This year my goal is to teach her about appreciation.  Less is more and all that crap.

I spent the weekend de cluttering both kids rooms.  Took an entire toy box out of the littlest ones room. And don't get me wrong.  There are still toys in their rooms.  Race cars, trains and tracks, and dinosaurs still live in Little Man's room, along with about a hundred books.  Little Miss still has her puzzles, books, My Little Ponies, and Barbies.  Things that have the little pieces that I still have to keep away from the littlest.  Everything else was thrown in the basement, which looks like a toy store threw up in by the way.

In my own honest opinion, my kids don't need to have a lot of toys.  The best toy in the world is already in their head.  Imagination should be nourished and grown.  You should be able to throw your kid outside with a stick and they should be able to spend an entire afternoon playing.

Don't get me wrong though.  I will still give my children things.  But those things will be educational, creative inducing, active toys.  The number one present I can't wait to give my kids this year?  Their own skateboards.  It will keep them active, they can race, learn a new trait, or just sit on it and roll.

I want to teach my children that less is more.  We don't have to have everything in the world to make us happy.  It's most likely a leading cause of divorce and why most Americans are unhappy.  We want everything because we expect everything handed to us.  My children are slowly becoming the same way, and I want to put a stop to it now.

What's the number one thing you wish to teach your children this year?

xo Stacie

January 24, 2014

"Dino"mite valentines + Free Printables!

                                             
*please excuse my horrible iphone photos, the nice camera is on its way to the shop for repairs, apparently two year olds and nice things don't mix*

Now that Little Miss is in "school"(Mother's Day out), I get a little too excited about all her class parties and the holidays she gets to celebrate with other little people. Valentine's Day is no exception.


I will willingly admit I'm one of those moms. The ones who don't like to keep junk food in the house. Who try their hardest not to give their kids candy. And mostly it's a personal choice. Because if there's a box of Oreos in the pantry I will eat them all and not share a single one (because Oreos + kids = huge mushy chocolate mess. Am I right?!). So I wanted to give out cute little valentines with no candy. Because let's face it, they will get enough from their grandparents. 

                                          

We have a ton of little plastic dinosaurs laying around the house. So I hunted down all the cute colorful ones (those things will hide everywhere, they're sneaky!) and of course I consulted Pinterest for inspiration. I came up with this design and I made it into a free printable just for you!



(Please let me know if it doesn't work, I've never done this before! Learn new things everyday!)  

                                

Supplies needed:

Pack or two of Dollar Tree dinosaurs 
Cardstock
Twine 
Hole punch 
Friends to give them to :)

                                               

I hope your little Valentine enjoys these as much as mine does. She already asked if she can have one sent to her as well. 

Xo Stacie 

January 22, 2014

A few Lovely decorations

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching now. Are you ready? We don't really buy presents for V-day, mostly chocolates, so I like to wait till the last minute and then scrounge around for whatever's left. He does the same. It's almost like a game.

This year I wanted to add a little color in our house for Valentine's day. The hubs said I couldn't spend any money doing so. Challenge accepted. Here's the few decorations I threw up. 

                                 
Throw some paint on some already cute wood scraps and you have some easy decor!

                                              
I punched out hearts from all those paint chips I had the hubs and Little Miss pilfer for me. Glue them on some string and you have a super cute garland!

                                             

The felt ball garland I made has a new home on our gallery wall. The tutorial for how to make one is here. 

                                         
Little Miss requested a garland in her room too so I just glued the punched out hearts on string again. This is her favorite decoration. 

I couldn't not put up the small pink tinsel tree we picked up the day after Christmas. I let the Littles decorate it and I even stopped myself from redecorating it!

                                              
Not bad for zero money spent! And I'll most likely hang my garlands up in my craft room after the holiday is over!

Do you decorate for Valentine's Day? 

Xo Stacie

January 20, 2014

Travel Toddler room

We recently moved Little Man from his crib to his big boy bed.  He's done great, as long as you don't count the fact that now I have to rock him to sleep for naptime (he doesn't care for bedtime though, explain that one to me), not that I mind, he is my last after all.  The hubs wanted Little Man to have a cool car bed, something he always wanted as a little kid but never got (you know how we parents like to live vicariously through our children).

 I agreed to a toddler sized car bed, because I just don't like them.  Decorations for a room with a car bed in it are very limited.  You could go with the ever classic Cars theme, or a racing theme.  Both options have limitless possibilities, but I really wanted something that once he outgrows that toddler sized bed, he can still grow with the room without me repainting or redecorating a ton.

I decided to go with a Travel/Explorer theme.  I love the look of vintage maps, and wood planked walls (never gonna happen) and wanted to translate that into Little Man's room.  Plus, maybe he will get a travel bug and explore the world one day (I can have high hopes for him, I'm a mom, it's my job).

I pulled together a little Polyvore inspiration board to help keep me focused and in the right direction when finding pieces that work for his room.


travel room inspiration

I'm a thrifter (my computer tells me thats not a word, but I use it all the time so my computer is just wrong), so it takes time to find things to complete a room (and what room is ever complete?).  I can't justify going out and spending $100 on wall art.  I'd rather make it myself.  And it does take a while, this can't be a weekend project (unless you get super lucky at a thrift store, in that case, lucky you!!), I've actually been working on his room for a month now.

Thanks for reading!

xo Stacie

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