Sunday, July 19, 2015








Fun Food Facts A-Z is a little different this week! When trying to think of food that started with the letter D all I could think of was donuts, duck and dragon fruit. While all those foods are great, none of them inspired me to want to write a post.
So what to do..........Decoupage starts with the letter D! Oh but, it is not a food :( Well if you are like me then you know when inspiration strikes you have to go with it! So for this week Fun Food Facts A-Z has been temporally changed to, Fun Craft Facts A-Z! I will share some fun tips, instructions and some decoupage projects that will make you want to try it yourself this weekend!

1. So what does decoupage mean?

  •  The technique of decorating a surface with cutouts, as of paper.
  •  A creation produced by this technique.                  
                    ( Definition from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/decorating)    

2. Don't have a surplus of pretty card stock paper lying around?!?!?!?! You can use almost anything to decoupage! Try cutting pictures out of magazines, old books, old cards, wrapping paper or dried flowers! You can even print out a free image from Google!

3. It can get very messy! Protect the surface you are working on and keep a damp cloth nearby!

4. If you are going to print a photo to decoupage, DON'T use an inkjet printer. The ink will smudge when you apply your glue. :(

5. When using white glue try adding equal parts water and glue. It will help the glue spread easier and more evenly.

6.  I love modge podge! The best thing about using modge podge for your decoupage projects, is that it comes in different finishes! Oh and I've recently been seeing small bottles of modge podge in my local dollar stores!

7. Decoupaging can be the easiest way to upcycle something! You can use almost any medium you can think of! My last decoupage upcycle project was my, canvas makeover! It turned out so well for trying decoupage for the first time.

8. Patients are the key to decoupaging. Allowing each coat to dry completely before starting the next, results in better looking projects.

9. How to decoupage:
  •  Decide what your medium is going to be. It can be anything; wood, furniture, glass, canvas, etc.
  • Grab up all your supplies; glue or modge podge, your cutouts or photos, your medium paint brush, something to smooth on your cutouts (I like to use Popsicle sticks) and a damp cloth.
  • Before you start gluing place your cutouts where you want them to go. Measure or sketch your idea out on the medium. Make sure everything lines up just they way you want it. It does not work well if you try to peel something off!
  • Coat your medium and back of cutouts. Place there where you want them and smooth down your cutouts.
  • Once all the cutouts are in place, coat the whole project. Allow to completely dry.
  • Coat again until desired look, allowing it to dry between coats.


10. These decoupage project below are amazing! Which one is your favorite? They are all my favorite!!
        




Do you have any awesome decoupage projects? If so I wanna hear about them!




Did you miss letters A-C? Don't worry I got ya covered.....just click below!


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Motivate ME Monday!~Balancing Life: Part 2: Budget


I know it has been awhile since I last published a post and I am SORRY! My life has taken some crazy turns these past few months. Things have finally settled down for my family! 

Now with things finally becoming balanced, I am ready to re-energize the things in my life that I enjoy; like my blog! For me figuring out how to go from a stay at home mom to full time working mother has been very difficult. My daughter and I are still learning how to keep things balanced. Over these past few months that I've been away from my blog, I've gained a better understanding of why balance is so important. For my family having balance means that things are calmer, life runs a little smoother.

This second part of my four part series is about balancing your budget. In order to balance your budget, you first have to create one.  Educating yourself about your finances can only help your future grow.  In this part of the series I will share some tips that helped me create my budget and gain balance over my finances.

Part 2: Budget: Tips for creating a balanced budget

1. Determine your budget goals~ For me I had two budget goals. The first was to be able to save. I wanted to be able to save, in two separate accounts; short term and long term. My second budget goal is to be able to keep up. I want to stop living pay check to pay check. 

2.Figure out your income~If you don't know how much you make, you won't know how much you can spend/save.

3. Wants vs. Must Have~Categorize your expensive into wants and must haves. Must have are things like the mortgage, water bill, ects. The wants are things like the gym and Starbucks in the morning. You might have to to take a hard look and let some things go if you want to balance your budget. 

4. Re-evaluate your goal~Make sure your original goal is realistic with what you are working with. My original goal was not really realistic. I am still able to save into a short term and long term saving account, but not as much as I originally targeted for. I am not there now, but I confident that I will be in the near future.

5. Set your calendar~Every month I sit down with my budget and calendar and mark when bills are due and when I am getting paid. I find that handwriting it out on a calendar helps me remember what kind of money I have available. It has also helped me to stretch my paychecks. Stretching your paycheck can help you not to live paycheck to paycheck!

6. Individual "have to" budgets~Set your individual budgets for things like groceries, household bills,fun, etc. Once these budgets are set stick to them!

7.Bind it up~ Keeps your monthly budget and bills all in one place. This will help you keep track of everything and where your money is going.

8. Re-evaluate how you did the month before~Take a look at where all your money went. You might just find ways to save better and you will be able to track your finances. 

Since I started my budget goals I've found that my budget is becoming more balanced. I've been able to save into my short term and long term accounts. I am still working on the "keeping up" part of my goals ( my student loans are killing me). Using these tips has really helped me not feel like I am drowning. I know where my finances are and that helps relieve so much stress. Releasing stress can only help balance your life!


Check out the rest of the series!
Balancing Life: 4 Part Series that will help You balance your Life
Part 1~ Routines
Part 2~Budget
Part 3-~Meal plan (coming soon)
Part 4~Chores (coming soon)


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Motivate ME Monday!~Balancing Life: 4 Part Series that will help You balance your Life



My daughter and I are currently going through a BIG change! I am going back to work. :( I love being a stay at home mom, but right now my family needs me to have a job.  With all the changes going on right now there is one main thing that is on my mind; Balance! I am stressing out about how I will balance being a working mother. 

I know that balance won't come easy and it won't come overnight. To help myself (and baby girl) I have narrowed down four areas that I need to really focus on. Routines, Budgets, Chores, and Meals. All four of these parts of our lives are going to be heavily affected. In each part of the series you will follow me through my journey. I will share tips and tricks, and what did and didn't work. With this series I hope to help you and myself achieve balance in everyday life.

Balancing Life: Part 1. Routines

Routines are HUGE for me. And the routine that I have the most difficulty with is the MORNING routine! I am NOT a morning person! So much so that I sleep trained baby girl to sleep in till 9 am! That is right ladies; my 2 year old will sleep in till 9 am! Like most jobs, mine requires me to be there in the morning. Thinking of having to be up before 9 am scared me! I knew this was going to be one of the hardest things about going back to work. 

After the first morning I realized that I would need a routine or I would never get out of the house on time. I have to be honest, I have not gotten my AM routine down. Each morning it does get better. When it came to creating my routine I found that these 10 tips made the mornings seem not as bad. Your AM routine sets the tone for the rest of your day and these 10 tips will make it easier to streamline your morning and the rest of your day.

1. Wake up first- I know that you have properly heard this one before. The first morning I had to wake up for work I didn't follow this tip. I should have! Waking up before baby girl does not only give me time to get ready, but it gives me quite time! Like I said morning are horrible and I find it helps if I don't have to wake up and be instantly bombarded. 

2.Do something small- I find that doing something small like making my bed or emptying the dishwasher gets my motor running.  Doing something small can keep you from becoming lazy in the mornings.

3. Eat Breakfast- I never eat breakfast. Never really have. I normally would wake up at 9 am and not eat until baby girl would go down for her nap at noon. That won't work for me any more. I am still trying to figure out how to work breakfast into my mornings because it is the most important meal of the day!

4. Prepare the night before- Preparing the night before helps you streamline your mornings. Make lunches right after you clean up from dinner or make a to do list for the next day.

5. Go over daily details- Each morning make sure you go over any big or usually details about that day. For example, note if your children are going on a field trip and their after school bus will be late. Going over daily details will help you prepare for later on in the day.

6. Start with your BIGGEST task- Starting with your biggest task will not only get your motor running, but will also take stress off later in the day. 

7.Breath, don't rush- If you are late, then you are late! Just accept it and move on, don't let running late ruin the rest of your morning. When you rush you might leave out big important details of the day. Don't worry, it happens to everyone!

8. Know your timeline- Create a timeline for your mornings, learn it and follow it!

9.Help your kids help you- Allow your kids to be a little more independent in the mornings. Have a morning zone area for your kids. Have their book bags, shoes, lunches, whatever they need for the day in one area. Have your children help you prep the area the night before so that they know where everything is. This streamlines both of your mornings.

10. Tell someone you LOVE them- This one is my favorite part of my routine. When someone says " I Love You" it makes them smile.  I love seeing hubby and baby girl smile. The smiles on their faces make the mornings worth it!


Routines help you so that you are not always playing catch up from the day before. But there is one thing I need to catch up with and that is Relaxation. Being a working mommy leaves me little time for some of the things I use to like to do. Everyone needs relaxation or they will eventually bust from stress.  That is why I have purposed to hubby that we create a PM relaxation routine. 

Crunch time during our routine seems to be in the beginning of the evening.  Evenings are rough; dinner, homework (we don't have that yet, but I can only imagine what that will do to our routines), bath, kids to bed, chores, prepare for the tomorrow, etc... Where does relaxation fit in?!?!?!?  The point of our relaxation routine is so that we can decompress from the day and spend healthy alone time with one another. Part of the routine is that we spend at least one hour a night doing something that we find relaxing. For example on Sunday nights I like to blog and hubby likes to watch old T.V shows.  Each night we do something different during our relaxation routine. One night that is a must on our routine is electronics free! We turn off our phones, iPad, computers, T.V. Its nice to be free of social media and noise! Our PM relaxation routine allows up to stop playing catch up!

Do you have routines? What are some things that help you with your routine?


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Motivate ME Monday!~ Date Night Wine & Cheese Tasting


I don't know about you, but when date night rolls around I am super excited! Especially when we are totally kid free! Each date night is special, but our last one was a first for my Hubby. He is not into wine or cheese and it is one of my goals to find wine and cheese Hubby can enjoy with me.

Creating our wine and cheese date night was something that I've wanted to do for awhile. I wanted it to be a real tasting! Not we just us vegging out on wine and cheese on the couch. As you read along you will learn how to create your own tasting!

When planning any get together, you will want to start with your menu. When creating your wine menu you will want at least 3 different wines; white, red, dessert. I like coursing my menu starting with the lightest wine (white) and ending with sweet/heavy wine (dessert). For my tasting party I pick one wine for each course. I wanted "beginner" wines for my Hubby. I didn't want heavy, tannin wines because I knew that for someone who never drinks wines, they might turn him off.  When choosing wines its good to think about your audience. If you are hosting a party for experienced wine drinkers then be a little adventurous, don't be shy to buy something that no one will expect!



Our Wine & Cheese Tasting Menu

1st Course
White Wine~ Jenna Riesling, San Martin, CA 2012
Paired with
Uniekaas Vintage 5 yr Gouda

2nd Course
Red Wine~ Oak Ridge, Delta Ranch Pinot Noir Lodi, CA 2013
Paired with
St. Albray Bongrain

3rd Course
Dessert Wine~ Chateau Belingard, Monbazillac Late Harvest
Paired with 
Taleggio 


Once you have chosen your wines it was time to pair up the cheeses. The purpose of pairing your wine & cheese is to enhance the flavors of both. It can be difficult when looking at the Whole Foods cheese counter. That is why I reference a cheese wheel. Here is one that I like from Wine Inquire.  This easy guide, give me a great jumping off point. The cheeses are where I got adventurous! 




Now that you have your wine & cheese, its on to the tasting! When tasting the wine and then the cheese there are a few things you want your party guest to rate or judge; smell of the wine, color, first taste, lingering notes and before and after comparison with cheese. If I were hosting party for more then 2 guest, I would create little score cards. For our date night I guided Hubby through the tasting and took notes.



Our wine & cheese tasting date night went perfectly! We were able to enjoy each other's company and talk like adults! Hubby was able to branch out and try new things and so was I! The St. Albray Bongrain was a new cheese for us and we both agreed that it was NOT a cheese for us! It had a wet cow smell and kinda tasted like the smell of a wet cow. Even with the smell we both tried it. I am proud of us for that. Hubby's palate for wine & cheese grew and now he is excited to try more. The best part about this date night is that we developed something in common! He never understood why I like all the "fancy" wine & cheese, now he is hooked and can't wait for our next date night tasting!

Do you love date night as much as I do? What fun date night's ideas do you have?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Motivate ME Monday!~ 7 Things to Enjoy about the Easter Holiday

*Please note that this post contains affiliated links.*

When it comes to the Easter Holiday I always seem to be running late. My holiday projects never seem to get done and I seem to always be out shopping for basket treats or my brunch menu at the last minute. This year I said it was going to be different! I was going to be prepared and able to relax and enjoy the holiday! With Easter a week away, I am totally unprepared! No basket treats! Still have unfinished craft projects and I haven't even thought of what to have on my Easter brunch menu. 
 Even though I am always racing to finish up my Easter planning, I always have an enjoyable day.  As I was attempting to get on track with Easter, I came up with: 7 Thing to Enjoy about the Easter Holiday! This roundup will show you some traditional Easter favorites and some of my family's traditional Easter favorites! Enjoy!

1. Easter pictures~ Okay, this one is just a personal favorite of mine. It might be a little weird, but I love those roundups of funny pictures of kids with the Easter bunny. It always makes me laugh when I see the older pictures of kids in the 80's!  Buzzfeed has a ton of funny roundups! The roundup, "31 Kids who had their lives ruined by the Easter bunny" has everything I like about these photos. If I need a laugh I am sure to find it in one of Buzzfeed's holiday and kids roundups! 

2. Dying Easter Eggs~ Growing up dying Easter eggs was not a big deal in my house. Now that I have my own baby girl, I am super excited to make dying Easter eggs a yearly tradition. There are so many awesome ways to dye eggs! These 3 are my top favorite that I want to try!




I've pinned these all to my Holiday Pinterest Board!Come take a look at them and all the other fun holiday projects that I can't wait to do. 

3. Cherry Blossom Season~ I went to college in Philadelphia and every year the start of Easter would mean the start of cherry blossom season. Cherry blossoms smell so sweet and they are very pretty.  There is always a cherry blossom festival. During the festival there would be awesome demonstrations like origami, tea ceremonies, and calligraphy. If you never been to a cherry blossom festival you should look one up! They are are always around Easter so start checking to see if there is one in your area!

4. Projects~ This year I wanted to try so many different projects! I really wanted to try to deco-podge eggs. I have bought the paper mache eggs and even have some inspiration pinned to my Holiday Pinterest board, but yeah like I said way behind. I did finish one project! My Spring Basket Wreath! I love making wreaths, they always seem to be the project that I complete first! (You can also check out the wreath I made last year, a DIY Felt Easter Wreath)

5. New Swim Suits~ This was one of my family's tradition growing up! Right before Easter we would all go out shopping for new swim suits! Then our new swim suits would be in our Easter baskets. ( they were from the "Easter Bunny" lol) I love the beach and was always excited (and still am) when I get to go swim suit shopping! 
Swim suits can be very expensive! But this year I have a secret weapon; Zulily! I just signed up to be a member. It does not cost anything to be a member and you get great deals on anything from clothes for your whole family to household decor! And the prices are unbeatable! The designers are no joke, too! I found a very cute Kenneth Cole skirted bikini bottom for only $9.99!!!! You have to go over and sign up! 

6. Basket hiding instead of hiding eggs~ So my family didn't do the whole Easter egg hunt thing. We might of done it a few times as kids at church, but my parent's did not hide eggs! Instead they hid our Easter baskets! It was always fun trying to find our baskets. If you found one of your siblings you were allowed to re-hide it. Sometimes they were hidden inside and out. And just because my sister's was inside the house did not mean my parents hid all of ours inside. I plan on keeping this tradition with my baby girl, but adding a twist! A twist like you have to find a few eggs first to get clues to  where your basket is at! (oh I need to remember that twist lol)

7. Big Dinner~ We always had dinner at my Grammy's on Easter! She always said that Easter was a good enough reason to buy the good stuff and cook a big dinner! Last year for Easter I did a brunch for me and the hubby. oh and I did go out and buy the good stuff!  One of my favorite parts about all holidays is that I get to cook BIG! I was hopping that this year my menu would of been done already so I could do a post about Easter menu planning. Last year I remember being at Whole Food on the Saturday night before Easter. (It was crazy in there) That will be me again this year! LOL!

For me these are the most 7 enjoyable things about Easter! What do YOU enjoy most about the Easter holiday?





Friday, March 27, 2015

Fun Food Facts A-Z | C is for Cantaloupe + Recipe

Welcome to another Fun Food Facts A-Z! This week's letter is C! C is for...Cantaloupe! 

I have to admit I don't really like cantaloupe.  The only way that I do like cantaloupe is cantaloupe ice cream! My Grammy would make it every summer! Cantaloupe ice cream has a refreshing taste that is perfect for summer. With summer on my brain I can't stop thinking about all the summer food's I love. I will have to give my Grammy's cantaloupe ice cream recipe a try this summer! Be sure to pin the recipe so that you too can make this awesome ice cream! Now on to the fun facts!




Fun Food Facts:

  • Cantaloupe was first grown in the Nile River Valley of Egypt.
  • In the US sometimes Cantaloupe can be called muskmelon.
  • Cantaloupe peaks in the summer.
  • Cantaloupe does not ripen after you cut it off the vine.
  • Store Cantaloupe at room temperature for no more then four days.
  • Cantaloupes are related to cucumbers.
  • Cantaloupes are packed with vitamins A & C.
  • When shopping for Cantaloupe it is best to choice the one with the sweetest smell.

Next week's letter is D....what fun food starting with D would you like to learn about?

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups small diced Cantaloupe
2 1/4 cups Milk
1/2 cup Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of Salt
Direction:
  1. Dice Cantaloupe and keep the juices.
  2. Mix milk, sugar, vanilla and salt, until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Now add your cantaloupe with the juices to your milk and sugar mixture.
  4. Put the mixture in the Fridge for 1 hour.
  5. Pour your chilled mixture into a 2 qt. ice cream makers and let mix for 15 minutes.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Motivate ME Monday!~Spring Basket Wreath



For us the first day of spring was a bust! The weather was cold and rainy :( I was really hoping that the first day of spring would bring warm weather and a sunny day! So what better to do on a crappy day....Craft!


I made a felt Easter wreath last year. Don't worry if you missed that post just, click here! So this year I wanted something totally different. During Easter I always have a few decorated, filled baskets as decor. While shopping for something different to put in my baskets this year I envisioned this Spring Basket hanging on my door!



I bought a cheap basket from the dollar store and the embellishments at Micheal's. I put a little hot glue on the inside around the handle and the seam right before where I cut it. I also hot glued a little piece of cardboard to the back to keep the grass contained. The only downside is that the handle is not straight. But I still love it! It came out super cute! It also only took me about an hour from start to finish( I did have a bit of help from the Hubby, lol). This Spring Basket is just what my front door needed!


Do you have a BIG spring projects planned? What's your favorite spring crafting trend?

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