Author: ashtonleesmith

wife. mom. artist. shopaholic. lover of all things fabulous.

#MOMDAY

Yesterday was Monday…. we’re all probably on the same page about Mondays and their level of un-awesomeness.


I was feeling pretty rundown this morning as I awoke after several middle of the night visits to my teething daughter’s room. And I thought, it may be Tuesday to the rest of the world, but it’s still a MOMDAY…..


No rest for the weary.

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Back Yard Surprise

So, this year for Father’s Day, I wanted to to do something special for my husband. I had ordered a back-of-the-door basketball hoop for his office on the drive home from a last minute trip down to Orange County (that he didn’t want to take, but did anyway because he’s a loving dad and hubby)… and it just didn’t feel like enough to say, “thanks for being the great dad you are,” (read: have fun shooting hoops alone in your office while you bring the bread home every day forever). SO I went to the god of ideas: Pinterest. Being summer, there were lots of posts about back yards, and ours is one of the saddest yards I’ve seen. it’s huge, for the size of our house, but kinda odd, and SUPER un-useful. Jordan and I have talked so many times about what we’d LIKE to do back there but just don’t feel like it would be a responsible use of our income at this time… So I thought it might be nice to at least make a small improvement by creating a space to enjoy the outdoors and maybe make the yard a bit more useable.

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Now, my husband is a bit of a scrooge… he doesn’t like to spend money unless it’s on wine/dinners out/ experiences, so I knew for this to TRULY be a gift he appreciates, it would have to be done inexpensively… again, Pinterest to the rescue!

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I came across some pins my sister had told me about a while back and thought they would be perfect: Planter String Light Posts! Party lights make any space feel a little more magical, so it would be a great way to create BIG impact, with little cost… so I used the tutorial on I Should Be Mopping The Floor’s blog. I altered mine a bit- we didn’t need such large posts, and I used plastic barrels rather than the real deal. I had also been in need of a STURDY umbrella stand. I bought an umbrella last summer and was using a cooler to keep it up until I could get a nice one (the cheap kind didn’t hold it up at all), and so I thought this planter post idea could totally work as an umbrella stand! I searched Pinterest and found a few posts that had done exactly that.

Off to Home Depot I went, with my dad in tow, to get all my supplies! Mind you, I thought of this just 4 days before Father’s Day, so I needed to get on it quick!

I needed supplies to make 2 string light posts and 1 umbrella stand.

Supplies:
Planters (real or fake wine/whiskey barrels)   $20-50 each
Wood Posts- 2 x 2 x 8 (1 per string light post) $2 each
Hooks $2-5
1 1/2″ x 2′ ABS/PVC Pipe  $3
50 lb Bags of Cement (2 bags per planter)   $2.50/bag
Potting Soil   $10/bag
Flowers   $3-10/plant
String Lights   $20/strand
Wood Stain $4
Stain Application Vehicle (rag/sponge)
Tape
Level
Shovel or Hoe (to mix cement)
Drill
Drill Bits
Hose

Instructions:
1. Place planters on level ground near where you’d like them set up as they’ll be heavy and hard to move once cement is in. Pour cement in and mix with water one bag at a time. Add the second bag and more water, then mix to the right consistency listed in instructions. Be careful not to over water your cement!

 2. Set your pipe/posts in the center of the barrels. We let the cement set a bit before adding the pipe/posts. Here, you can see I taped the bottom of the pipe so cement wouldn’t get in it (I want the umbrella to set all the way at the bottom of the barrel). Use your level on the top and sides to make sure it doesn’t lean- particularly the pipe for the umbrella! You won’t notice a little lean with the posts, but you will with the umbrella.

3. Tape the pipe in place.
4. Find something to lean against your posts so they won’t easily be moved/toppled. Let the cement cure for 48ish hours before adding soil/flowers. You should be fine to stain and drill after 24 hours.

5. Optional: Stain or paint your posts. I used BEHR Semi-Transparent Weather Proofing All-in-one Wood Stain & Sealer in Cappuccino. I just used one coat.

I am so glad I took the time to do this! It was SUPER fast and easy, and it really gave them a nice color- somewhere between cedar and redwood.

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6. Get your hooks and drill/bits… use a bit slightly smaller than the screw you’re using. I used Everbuilt Screw Hook #6, and a 5/32 multipurpose bit. Drill the hole at your desired height for the light strands on your posts. Screw in your hooks.

7. Then drill drainage holes in your barrel so the water from your plants has somewhere to go! You’ll want to drill them at the level of the cement or at an angle through the cement and side of the barrel (you may need to switch to a masonry drill bit). I did 8 holes spaced out fairly evenly all around.

8. Time for Flowers!! Finally!! When picking your flowers, try and pick what will survive your climate and water conditions- consider if you’re adding drip or watering by hand, sun exposure, etc. I am a major nube at gardening… Haven’t been very successful thus far, but I really WANT to learn and have beautiful flowers! I had a lot of fun wandering around Green Acres smelling and seeing all they had to offer. I really had to hold back and focus on the planters. I got mostly geraniums for the planters, and couldn’t resist the lavender and purple sage for my yard.

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Just add some soil to your planters, remove flowers from their plastic pots and massage the roots a bit before placing them in the planter. Fill in around them with more potting soil, give them a good watering, and make sure the drainage holes are draining!

Above, you can see I used Lantana Bandana Cherry Sunrise & Salvia flowers (2 of each plant) in the umbrella stand since they’ll likely get more sun than the others.

And here are the geraniums in the the light post planters…. I did 3 geranium plants per post planter.

9. String up your lights! I had my hands pretty full hanging the lights and stapling them to the house, so I didn’t get pictures of this step, but, it’s pretty self explanitory. I also purchased a remote outlet for the lights so i don’t have to unplug and plug them in constantly…. SO GLAD I did, because the outlet is under the eaves of the roof, so I would have needed a step ladder every time. Highly recommend!

10. Final step: accessorize your space 🙂 I used 4 chairs with 2 small tables and some solar powered lanterns for the lighted area, and 2 adirondacks with pillows for the umbrella area. I’ll be adding a coffee table/ottoman in the center of the 4 chairs next.

The End Result:

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And that’s it…. our yard is now slightly nicer, slightly more useful, and the parts I see out the windows of the main parts of the house all day look a heck of a lot more inviting. I’m sure I’ll have more outdoor projects to come after this. I’ve already got my eye on a hammock stand tutorial!

Let’s Talk Sh*t About MLMs

Alright, I don’t know about any of you, but I was raised to hate MLM (Multi Level Marketing) companies (aka: pyramid schemes [I know current MLM’s do not fit the definition of pyramid schemes, but they re still referred to as such])- you know, the ones (that stereotypically) stay at home moms hustle to their friends? When I was growing up they were Pampered Chef, Amway, Mary Kay… and they always got BIG eye rolls in my house. My parents talked about them like they were the plague.

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Today, they seem to have had a revival. The people in my social circles are most popularly repping itWorks!, DoTERRA, Arbonne, BeachBody, JuicePLUS, Jamberry, Rodan + Fields, and YoungLiving. And now I can’t go on any social media outlet without seeing at least 10 different posts from different friends repping different companies at any given point during the day. My knee jerk reaction every time is, “ugh, no!” and to assume it’s total garbage. Real talk- some of these people are actually really annoying. Like, enough already, that’s clearly a filter!

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BUT……. I am admitting publicly, I’ve been weak, and I have given in to a few. The power of Pinterest, before & after posts, success stories, and general cuteness of product; these are clearly working. side note:At some point I’d like to try all of them- like, say yes every time someone sells me so I can write an honest review from the perspective of someone not selling the product, not paid by the company that makes it… pure, unadulterated honesty. But some of these are $$$ and I can’t afford to say “yes” every time- Who can?? I digress.

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Let’s take a step back and figure out why the way a company is marketed has such a profound impact on people. I know that there are those out there who aren’t phased by MLM tactics, but personally, they phase me big time. Obviously. But why? Why does a product on a shelf feel more appealing, more legitimate, more likely to do what the container says it does than something your neighbor tells you about personally, and has her own stories about how it’s worked for her, or how she loves it? You wouldn’t doubt anything else she’s told you about, but once you know she’s selling it: RED FLAG! Alternatively, you ask your friends for recommendations on skin care products, hair products, birth control even- and take their word for it when they like something. But still- that stigma of the MLM persists.

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I am not a psychologist. I have no idea why we have this reaction- why I have this reaction! And yet, even when I’ve liked all the products I’ve tried from a small sampling of these companies, I still distrust any MLM. I even hesitate to share the things I have liked with friends. And when I do share that I’ve enjoyed a product, I always, always start or end with “I do not sell this!”

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Maybe because of those few that are over-marketing their brand? The ones that make you want to leave the internet forever… posting all hours of the day and night, and even on holidays! These are the reps (once friends) that I end up unfollowing. Personal Opinion Time: If you’re gonna post that much, make a separate account. I want to see what’s going on in your life, with your family and friends, what fun thing you’re up to…. I didn’t follow you to get a perpetual sales pitch. So be a friend or be a rep or be a happy medium if you must! This is probably a big part of why I shutter at MLMs. Because you thought you were friends with someone online or following their Instagram to get a look into their life, stay connected, whatever… and then you end up being sold to all the time.

However we feel about them, though, we wouldn’t keep seeing more and more popping up on our feeds, and hearing about our friends making beaucoup bucks after successfully launching a rep business if it wasn’t working! These companies get to spend next to nothing on marketing, have an unending sales team, with a tiny percentage of it’s employees on salary, and still be wildly successful… it makes sense why companies would choose this route. It also makes sense why so many people are joining up to become reps… work from home, flexible hours, make money in your sleep, unlimited earning potential, support from fellow team members… what’s not to like? For me, personally: sales. I hate it. I never was one for sales; I don’t like getting pressured even on the sales floor at Nordstrom… where I go to shop. Also, I don’t want to be that “friend” clogging up feeds, perpetually using friendships (or loose acquaintances) for monetary gain, or outlandishly obnoxious photo collages. (I know, that’s up to the individual and you can shape your business any way you like.) But a lot of the time, the ones who are making the bucks are the ones who aren’t afraid to get unfollowed, be bold (sometimes pushy, overselling, what have you), or post like there’s no tomorrow, because in the end: it just works. They get the sales, they get the eyes on their posts & products, and they get. that. customer.

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This business model is clearly a prime option for people who want to work from home, or make extra money on the side without taking on a new job. It’s completely flexible- on your own terms… really, it’s everyone’s dream situation. I love that it’s enabling parents to stay home with their kids, allowing families to keep up on their bills, help that underpaid assistant get a new car, students pay their college tuition… whatever it is. People need income, and if this is how they want to obtain it, then get that werk on! and honestly, if I had to work a full time job while my kids are as young as they are, I’d be heartbroken to leave them. So I get (at the very least, a few of the many reasons) why people jump on board amidst the bad rap on MLMs. Especially when it’s a product they truly love- and I know some people that don’t “need” the money, but are simply passionate about the product. I gotta respect that.

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I mean, we can unfollow them- but who has the last laugh?

In all honesty, I have some close friends and family that have joined the ranks of these companies, and for the most part, they’re either doing very well, or at least making up what they spend & utilizing their rep discount. I also have been happy with the purchases I’ve made from each of them. Are they all (MLM companies) winners? No. Do I want to join them? The answer is still no. Am I still annoyed by some of their posts sometimes, yeah. But I’m also so happy for them to have found something they’re enjoying and earning an income doing.

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So, you decide. Should we completely disregard a company or a product based solely on how it is marketed and sold?

MLMs:

Friend- the type you just need to go to coffee with to get to know and love?
OR Foe- obnoxious kid knocking on your window, making faces on the glass all day?

Re-Imagined Dollhouse

I was at a loss for what to suggest my parents buy for our daughter for her 1st birthday. They always ask if there is something specific- needed or wanted by us for our kids or that the kids would want for gifts. A friend suggested a dollhouse, but when I looked at them online at my favorite places (PB Kids/ Land of Nod) they were just so pricey! But I mentioned it to my mom none the less, and what did she find that week at Homegoods? A doll house!!IMG_2402

It was broken and chipped in a few places and missing a door knob and some screws, but I suggested we could paint it, and she saw the potential as well. She ended up getting it for $50 and took it straight up to her barn so we could work on it.

Now, I’m the type of person to jump into creative projects without pausing to make a plan or look over everything thoroughly…. so, I grabbed a brush and just went for it! My mom started asking pretty quickly, “are you sure we should have done this?” with a nervous edge in her tone. Welp, there was no going back. It looked way better already! And also a little worse.IMG_2401 (2)

I wasn’t worried about being too careful with the white because I figured I could go back with white and fix it, but that little 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch edge around the windows and shutters was so difficult to navigate, and I didn’t really think about how much harder black and slate are to cover up with white than white would be to cover up on them. Anyway, this is where I stopped on day 1 of work.

The next day I was much more resolved to be careful with all my painting. I painted over ALL the white with a new white; that took a couple coats. I painted over the birdhouse and tree on both sides, and painted the inside of the side windows with a white paint pen. I thought the flowers looked hokey, so I painted them a dark green. Found something to work as a doorknob and painted it, as well as the french door knobs, gold metallic, and then the door was painted robins egg blue. After all was said and done, I was PRETTY happy with it! It’s not perfect, and it was more work than anticipated, but I ended up with something that was made more special by personalizing it, and that wouldn’t be an eye sore in her room! Now all I will add is a little wreath on the front door to add that last touch of homeyness!

What do you think? Ready to move in??IMG_2728

What would I do differently next time?

-take the windows and trim off the house & paint everything separately, then glue back on
OR (if not possible to take those off)
-tape first, paint WAY more carefully
-use a quality white paint with primer that covers the dark colors easily
-tape the inside of the windows so the paint doesn’t look messy from the back side of the front house door when open. (the whole front swings open to access the inside.

I Didn’t DIY This New Ceiling Fixture

When we moved in, we made a lot of changes that you can see here. But we also left a lot to be done down the road, mainly replacing bath/light fixtures, painting remaining rooms, and carpet. One of the biggest eye sores was this ceiling fan/fluorescent light in what was essentially an undefined space/hallway:


I’ve hated it since we first looked at the house, and we have RARELY even turned it on in the 2 years we’ve lived here. So this year for my birthday, my mom bought me this light fixture from World Market: 

So I had planned to replace it myself with just the helping hands or someone to hold it up, hand me tools, etc. But when my dad came to help and just started doing everything for me, I obliged, and was the helping hand instead.


Things got a little hairy when the + and – wires were both white and we weren’t sure which was which, but my dad being my dad, he just guessed and tested and thankfully was correct and there was no explosion.

We then had problems getting the screws into the plate, followed by an issue with the threading on the bottom piece that secures the ceiling cover to the mounting in the ceiling. But we finally got it, although it felt a bit less secure than we would have liked. Not sure there is anything we could have done though, because it was just a matter of manufacturing as far as I could tell.

This left us here:


I didn’t have anything to shorten/tie up the chain so had to leave it like this until I could get to the hardware store.

And, while I realized eventually I’d need to uninstall, trim wire, remove chain, I didn’t feel like doing it…. So an S hook later, we have this:

 

DIY Body Beautiful Butter

image12I wish I was one of those women that had a stunning pregnancy- barely looked pregnant except for a perfect, round belly…. no swelling, no 1/2 shoe size bigger feet, and no stretch marks.

But I’m not.

I was bloated, swollen, my feet grew out of all my 8.5 size shoes- all those shoes, those beautiful, too-small shoes…. and with this second pregnancy, I got MAJOR STRETCH MARKS!!! And not, like, just one here and one there…. no, its like Wolverine attacked my belly, my sides, and my thighs.

So, I decided I needed to find some sort of solution for these battle scars to make them less noticeable so that one day, when my skin shrinks back and I’ve lost the baby weight, I have the confidence to wear a bikini again without fear of my stretch marks dissuading me from showing off all my hard work at the gym! I’m a doTERRA lover- totally believe in the magic (or voodoo as my husband calls it) of essential oils (EO). Also, they smell pretty! Well, most do. I tried making a roller bottle of a nice blend to start, but it became clear VERY quickly that that was not going to cover enough square footage fast enough to be an easy bedtime routine. What I really wanted was a luxurious-feeling body butter in a pretty jar by my bedside.

Enter, Pinterest.

After looking at several recipes and watching some youtube videos, I decided to jump in and concoct my own potion based on what I already have and what would be easy to get without special ordering. Mostly, because I’m impatient.

Alright, so here it is… my first foray into bath products, and my guinea pig concoction!

Body Beautiful Butter
Post Baby Belly Cream

Ingredients:
1 C Unscented Shea Butter (Same Here)
1/2 C Organic Coconut Oil
1/2 C Olive Oil
7.5 tsp Arrowroot Powder (can be found in bulk at Wholefoods)
10 Drops Patchouli EO
10 Drops Clary Sage EO
10 Drops Geranium EO
10 Drops Helichrysum EO
20 Drops Frankincense EO
30 Drops Lavender EO

Supplies:
Mixer (handheld/immersion/stand)
Glass jars
Spatula
Labels

Directions:
1. Melt shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil in a double boiler to combine. You can use jojoba or almond oil instead of olive- it’s just what I had on hand.
2. Once all have melted, remove from heat. We’re not trying to boil or cook these, just get them melted so they blend evenly.
3. Add Arrowroot, mix in with a fork. **A Note Regarding Arrowroot**

Initially, I tried making this recipe without arrowroot because I didn’t know where to get it and was too impatient to wait to start until getting some, but after making the whole thing, it was FAR too oily/greasy to leave as is. I researched and most people recommended arrowroot (you could use cornstarch powder or tapioca powder alternatively). One person recommended 1 tsp to every 4 oz. My recipe made, roughly,  20 oz whipped, so I added 5 tsp, then used the rest when it still seemed greasy, which was about 7.5 tsp total in the end. You can add more or less but I might even use more in my next batch- at which point, I’ll report back here with a note.

4. Add Essential Oils.

**I added so much lavender to hopefully cover the more pungent scents of the less pretty smelling oils.                               **You can add more or less of each oil depending on your preference/need. I chose those that were most praised for skin health and repair as my aim is to shirk my belly skin and fade/erase stretch marks.

5. Place in refrigerator until it becomes cloudy in color and a film begins to form around bowl edges.
6. Whip with hand mixer or stand mixer for 10 minutes (it’ll start looking like vanilla pudding).
7. Place in refrigerator again to firm up some more (another 5-10 min).
8. Whip again for 5-10 minutes or until stiff peaks form. It should look like cool whip.
9. Place in air tight glass jars, slap on a pretty label,  pass the extras out to other mama friends, and enjoy!

And now, for some photos of my process:

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Here is what it looked like after melting all the butter & oils together (basically like olive oil):image8Mixing it up after it started to appear cloudy:image9

Mixing it an additional 10 min after setting in the fridge once more:

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I ended up leaving it out on the counter last night to let it set some more and then finished mixing in the morning… here’s how it looked before placing it in the jars:
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And there you have it: Body Beautiful Butter for Post Baby Bellies!
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She’s Here!!

Meet the newest addition to our little family:

Harlow River Smith
Born May 11, 2015

@ 11:00 pm

9lb 4oz | 20″ long

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We are absolutely smitten with her…. a full head of hair and big pillowy cheeks; what’s not to love?! She’s a wonderful baby- mellow and sleepy (quite a change from Heath as an infant). She’s so loved by her big brother- he enjoys petting her fuzzy head, giving her hugs and kisses, and laying his head on her when she’s upset. Our little surprise is already such a blessing to our family.IMG_1381

30 Days to Healthy

Below is my plan for a 30 day dash to being more physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally healthy… but before I lay it out, lets take a look at what led to this decision…Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 1.27.46 PM

After having 2 babies back to back, I’m not loving what I see in the mirror. I had always planned on losing the baby weight from my first pregnancy but once I started actually trying, I got pregnant the next week and gave up. So when I realized my self esteem was dropping at the same pace my pant size was climbing, I knew I needed to somehow find the drive to make a real change once Harlow was born. Enter 10 year high school reunion: As soon as I was reminded it’s been 10 years since graduating high school, I started praying it would be after Harlow was born by a few months so I wouldn’t be pregnant or be huge from having JUST popped her out. Thank the heavens, it was scheduled for 5 months after she was due! Enough time to hopefully get into some sort of acceptable shape. But, me being me, 2 months went by and I hadn’t done anything… until one day my husband mentioned wanting to do some sort of detox or cleanse. I found SkinnyMe Tea– seemed like a doable detox- just a tea in the morning and one at night which you’re supposed to accompany with a healthy diet and exercise- and it had great reviews! I picked the 28 Day Teatox and bought one for each of us.

The reunion was drawing close and I finally kicked into gear! It was just the purpose I needed to find that drive to make a change… I can’t quite explain how my mind changed in the next few weeks to turn that drive into what felt like habit. but it’s starting to feel more and more like a lifestyle quicker than I expected.

My husband agreed to giving me a reward every 10 lbs I lose- small goals along the road to the main goal: I’d like to be down 30 lbs by the reunion, and a total of 70 lbs by the time Harlow turns 1.

I started implementing a workout plan and diet for the days until the teas arrived to get me going. I decided I’d work out 3 days a week and use protein meal replacement shakes for 2 meals a day and have something low in carbohydrates for my remaining meal each day. Soon I started to shed pounds- in one week I was down 6 pounds. I had a long way to go still, but seeing the change in my face and body, feeling more energized and confident, I stopped craving 90% of the foods I was avoiding. I suddenly started to feel guilty if I didn’t work out one day… this was something VERY new!! I have always hated working out and never felt too bad about missing workouts when I was on some exercise/diet plan- I only ever felt bad if my husband asked about it, but never felt guilty on my own. Until now. So on nights where I wasn’t able to make it to the gym all day, I have started doing a 20-30 min Yoga & abs routine.

Now, nearly 2 weeks into it, I had hit a plateau. For 5 days I hadn’t lost any more weight. Then suddenly Sunday I was down another 2 lbs! But I know I need to shake things up to keep the weightloss going. So I figured some sort of cleanse might be good. The teas arrived and since they’re for 28 days, I figure doing a whole 30 days of an all-encompassing fitness plan would be fun! Not just physical fitness, but spiritual, emotional, and mental too.Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.28.36 PMPhysical

I found a 2 day cleanse plan (thanks, Pinterest) to get things going again. Then I’ll start the SkinnyMe Teas on Tuesday and go back to a general healthy diet & exercise plan for the remaining 28 days. I’ll plan to workout 6 days/week- 3-4 at the gym, 2-3 at home. I’ve got a checklist on my fridge to make sure I’m meeting my criteria for each day…. lemon water, a metabolic supplement, morning tea/night tea, workout, consume enough water, weekly detoxifying bath, etc.

Spiritual

A friend recommended a book a few months ago and I have been really wanting to read it! So for my Spiritual fitness aspect, I’m reading The Power of a Praying Wife & praying for my husband every day.

Emotional

…I haven’t quite figured this out yet. Thinking of getting a mentor to meet with monthly…. Making sure I’m getting quality social time in with friends whom I can talk with about the important things in life… and also drink wine with 😉

Mental

Daily- either reading a novel or doing some sudoku, or other mind puzzles. And also studying my Russian books in an effort to catch up with what I’d learned before getting pregnant with my son and forgetting all the Russian I’d learned in the months before!

So, there it is…. all laid out in plain writing…. Hopefully putting this out there publicly will keep me on my plan!

Want to join me? Check out my personalizable checklist printable below:

Get Fit Checklist Printout

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DIY Feather Dreamcatcher Mobile

image3I don’t know if anyone else saw the ADORABLE dreamcatcher mobile on Pinterest, but I instantly fell in love. That love was immediately crushed by the price!!! They were over $100! But I looked at it and thought to myself (as I always do), “I could totally make that.” After making one myself, I understand why they cost so much- they’re not quick or necessarily “easy” to make, but they aren’t so hard that a novice couldn’t work it out with a bit of elbow grease! So this is what you will need (* indicates optional supplies depending on how you want yours to look):

Feathers (2-3 per desired strand) (I used Goose and Duck)

String (I used embroidery floss)

Malleable branch/hoop of some sort

Sinew or string for dreamcatcher center

Leather string

Glue (I used tacky glue on the feathers & leather glue on the leather string)

*Beads

*Dye

*Glitter

*Spray adhesive

*Paint

1. Dye/Glitter/Paint feathers

Dye: This was a bit of trial and error…. eventually I got the best results for a “soft pink” by dipping them and immediately bringing them out. Then just laid them flat to dry- they fluffed right back up once dry.

Glitter: I tried to modge podge the ends and then sprinkle them with glitter… they looked prickly. I think spray adhesive followed by a sprinkling of glitter was a better plan. Hang drying them would yield the best results here.

Paint: You’ll want to use stiffer feathers here- and maybe for glitter, too. I used duck feathers and just dipped them in paint and then in glitter.

2. Wrap string around feather stem and seal with glue (if you’re adding beads in between feathers on your strands, make sure you put them on before glueing the next feather.

3. Lay flat to dry

4. Seal where feathers are attached with super glue

5. Prepare your hoop. You can try and bend a willow branch or grape vine into a circle or use an embroidery hoop or whatever you want. I found some wood branch wreaths at the dollar stop in Target and cut them so that I had just one branch for my hoop. I tied the ends together by wrapping leather string around the ends and used leather glue to secure it.

6. Weave your Dream Catcher. I used this tutorial to show me how to weave it; I ended up with wider than planned for openings and a looser weave than desired, but it was still pretty, and putting the beads on while weaving was too time consuming to  redo it! Haha.IMG_6082

7. Attach your feather strands. To aid me in proper spacing and not glueing anything to the table, I set my dream catcher on a stand mirror. Then spaced them out and tied knots, then sealed each knot with super glue once I was happy with their position around the hoop. I ended up with 8 strands but needed one more to fill a blank spot, so I put some beads on a piece of lace ribbon and hung that.

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8. Let dry for a day or so…. attach string to hoop for hanging your mobile…. I used lace ribbon.

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My colors: pale pink, gold, rose gold, white, light brown…. I did two strands each of pale pink tipped feathers, plain white feathers, gold paint and glitter dipped feathers, and rose gold tipped feathers.

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Baby Train

Hop on the baby train, people! I’m pregnant! This is actually old news, since I’m already 22 1/2 weeks along (I drafted this post and forgot about it months ago). We’re expecting a baby girl in early May. She’s a little surprise, but now that the shock has worn off and we found out she’s a she, we’re really excited. This does, however, mean that our humble little abode will need some serious shifting of furniture, re-working of spaces, and remodeling here and there. Our third bedroom- lovingly dubbed “Spare ‘Oom”- is currently home to a daybed for guests, a vanity area for me to gussy myself up (as our bathrooms are too tiny to accommodate that), storage for boxed books, costumes, Christmas decor, etc in lieu of the garage we don’t have, and the closet is full of all of Jordan’s clothes and a few of my lesser-worn things because our master closet is so horribly laid out, we can’t fit more than my stuff in it. Clearly we can’t fit a baby and all it’s baby things in with all that stuff, so it’s time to make a change (or 20). The first step in this process I’ve taken is to prepare the items we’re moving out or unpacking from their boxes to be placed in their new homes elsewhere in the house. This meant painting a few things so they look nice in said new spot. If you saw my Midas Touch post, you saw a lot of these items painted gold. We’re moving my vanity area out into the large TV room to serve the same purpose, but to look more like a desk/office space. Painting it all to match would achieve a cohesive look. Or so I’m hoping! We’ll need to remodel the master closet to accommodate both mine and Jordan’s stuff, move the Daybed into the Large TV room, add a ceiling light in the nursery, paint the nursery, furnish the nursery… good gracious. I need to lay down. So here we go! Let’s create a nursery! Stay tuned to see such changes come to pass!