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

January 17, 2014

Homemade Dog Treats


                                        

We ran out of dog treats this week (most likely because the kids love doling them out every five seconds), and instead of hopping in the car and buying some, I thought, I'll make some!  Because that's what normal people do, right?

I found this recipe here, and thought it looked easy enough.  I decided to swap out peanut butter for the almond butter I had tried to pass off on the kids as peanut butter but they were not fooled by my trickery (very few are).  Here's the recipe I used:


Homemade Dog Treats

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
4 tbsp. almond butter (or peanut butter)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup cornmeal

Blend the water, oil, eggs and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl.  In a smaller separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, and oats and pour into the wet mixture.  Mix together.  Add in your almond (or peanut butter) and mix all the ingredients until it forms a dough.


Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  After the 20 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the treats in the oven until they are cool and crisp.

gotta let the dogs lick the bowl, right?  Don't judge!
The almond butter did leave the house kinda stinky, but the dogs gobbled these treats up like it was their last meal!

Enjoy and have a great weekend! We finally got enough snow to play in, so we will be outside building Olaf from Disney's Frozen.

xo Stacie

January 15, 2014

A Valentine's Felt Ball Garland

   


I've wanted to attempt to make felt balls for decoration ever since I saw them on Pinterest (pinterest, that dirty dog, making us want to do things).  So I finally broke down and bought some wool roving off Amazon (Hobby Lobby also sells it) in pinks and purples.  There are many stores on Etsy that sell the felt balls already made, but, like a crazy person, I thought, I can do that myself.   So here's how:


What you need:
-wool roving
-scissors
-hot water
-dish soap
-string ( I used embroidery thread)
-a needle (on the larger side)
-patience
-a good show on Netflix (I started Scandal and am. hooked.)


Cut your wool roving into small even pieces (obviously mine were not very even), about 2-3 inches.  Pull a tiny bit off each section and set aside.  I added a squirt of soap to a small container of hot water to use.  Dip your wool into the water solution and get it soapy.



 Start rolling your hands around to make it into a ball (think snowballs).  Once it's a ball, rinse it, roll some more, and rinse again.  If the ball is a little messy, take that extra piece you set aside and wrap it around your ball, dip in the water and roll again.  These took a while, you end up with VERY water logged hands, but they sure are pretty.



Will I make these again? Probably because like I said above, I'm a crazy person.  Do I recommend it? Not really.  Spend the extra five dollars and just buy them pre made.  It would save you some hassle, although my hands were super clean.


I let mine dry over night and then some because life got in the way.  When your felt balls are dry, line them up in the color order you want.  String your needle and start threading.  The best thing about these? They stay in place on the thread so all you have to do is string them on!



Putting the garland together was a cinch and took about five minutes (but I still sat and watched an entire episode of Scandal).  I'm using my pink and purple garland as a Valentine's Day decoration, but it will most likely end up in Little Misses room after the holiday.



Whats a craft project you thought you could make at home easier and it turned out buying premade would of saved you your sanity?

xo Stacie

January 13, 2014

I finally worked up the courage to post my house here

You know when you religiously randomly search Pinterest for home decor, and you find this house you just fall in love with and you follow their blog and they are just a perfect family with a beautiful house and you just feel like you will never live up to those kind of expectations? Yeah, me either.

I love those homes.  I aspire to have a beautiful home like that, and I also use them for inspiration like so many others before me.  But then I look around my house.  I don't have an older house with "charm and character" (too many House Hunters episodes watched), or a farmhouse style home that looks great filled with wood planked walls.  We have a starter house.  A cookie cutter house that millions of neighborhoods around the good ol' USofA are made of.

But because there are a million of those neighborhoods, I know there a million and a half people living in those kinds of homes just like us.  Everyone wants their home to be nice, to be loved, to be something you enjoy spending time in instead of searching for ways to make it better.  I am working towards that "better" home right now.  And I want to share our "before" (even though we've lived here for five years so its really in between) photos.

This post is hard to write for me.  When I went back through the photos that I took LAST year (because I swear I planned on sharing them) I was very saddened.  Our house looks very messy, unorganized, and kinda just plain ugly.  But I stopped myself from dwelling on the photos.  Our house may look messy, but to me that means it's well lived in.  Our house may be unorganized and ugly, but it is truly loved.  Or maybe not loved, but it encases a family who does a lot of loving (get your mind out of the gutters people!).  I do like our house, our neighborhood and where we live.

So without further ado, here is my house, in all its horrible glory. (These are all like horrible "before" pictures without the "after" to make you smile.)

The Kitchen:






Our kitchen is our main hub, where we walk into the house (who uses front doors?) where we eat, where we craft, where we do our bills, where we dance our silly butts off.

The Living Room:



We actually remodeled the kitchen and living room five years ago.  We moved our basement stairs from the kitchen to the living room, and they still haven't been finished (two kids will do that for ya).

The Main Bathroom:



 Scary huh?

Little Misses Room:



I change her room around at least once a month because I am just never happy with it.  I'm beginning to  think I actually just don't like those stripes anymore....

Little Man's Room:



His room is different now because he is no longer in a crib, but I am having a hard time decorating his big boy room (could it be that I'm just sad my baby is no longer a baby??)

The Master:





Shudder, just shudder.  I loathe that room, I really do.

The Basement:

 wow.  that. is. bad.  It's completely different down there now.  I'm talking there's a couch and tv, a playroom and a craft-ish area for me.  We're getting there.

I'm not happy with the way my house looks because I want it to be an extension of myself and I feel like I am a little more put together than those photos above.

I do want to note, we have updated a few things, like the main bathroom, the basement looks COMPLETELY different (and cleaner) and the living room has been rearranged.  None of these updates are permanent ones, call them "phase 1" updates if you will.  We have big plans, but big plans usually call for big monies.  I want to make a detailed list of what we want (or what I want) to do in each room soon.  And I hope posting it for all the internet world to see will motivate us to get some things done!

Thank you for taking the time to read this scary photo post! It means a lot to me and I can't wait to continue the journey of making this house our perfect home with you!

xo Stacie

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