About me

I am a Stay at Home Mom. I love Chai Lattes, anything chocolate, and all of the Real Housewives. I hate cleaning bathrooms.

I've been with my husband since 2000, married since 2005, and together we have two little girls. Little Bear was born in 2009 and Crazy Plates in 2010.

This is my blog. A place where I share all the fun and frustrating things about being a Stay at Home Mom.

I hope you can enjoy, relate, and have a little laugh.

Friday, December 26, 2014

What To Do With All Those Christmas Cards?

This craft reminds me of my childhood.  Why?  Because I made a ton of them in my childhood.  Everyone I knew got one as a gift.  I think I first saw this project in a magazine while at the check out line of the grocery store with my mom.  It's really simple to do.  Make a cup of tea, put on A Christmas Story (don't you just love that movie?) and before you know it you'll have the cutest Christmas card tree ever.    

To start, you'll need a bunch of Christmas cards.  They can be left over from last year, or you can swing by the dollar store and pick up some new ones.  You'll also need a hole punch, scissors, a glue gun, a terracotta pot, a wooden dowel, and a Styrofoam block.  First, stick the wooden dowel in the middle of the Styrofoam block, and glue the block to the bottom of your pot.  You'll want to trim the block to be flush with, or lower than, the top of the pot.  And then, the fun begins. 

Make yourself a template.  What?  No free printable?  Not this time.  The size of your template depends on the pot your building your tree in.  It should be the shape shown in this picture, and should be a bit longer than half the diameter of the pot.  Make sure you write Template on it, so you don't confuse it for a leaf.  I've done that.  Not fun.

Use your template to trace out your first leaf.  Then punch a hole in the rounded part of the leaf.

Next, bring the two corners together and secure with a dab of hot glue.  You really don't need much glue to get the ends to stick.  I think it goes without saying, but the two ends that are glued together will be the underside of the leaf, so make sure the patterned side of the card is facing out.  

Ta da!  One leaf complete!  Now, make a some more.  Thread the leaves onto the wooden dowel, working around in a circle.  

Once you have completed 2 rows, trim the template slightly.  Make some more leaves, complete 2 rows, and trim the template again.  The leaves get smaller as you work up the tree, forming a tree shape.  Pretty clever, right?

Once you get to the top, your leaves will be pretty small, and you'll probably burn yourself with the glue gun.  But, look how cute this tree is!  Well worth it, don't you think?  You can even get creative and use all red cards, or all blue or green cards.  I made one once using the inside of the cards, so each leaf had the hand writing of my friends and family.  Top if off with a bow, or an ornament, or both, like I did.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Thoughts On Marriage

Yesterday (December 10th) was my 9th wedding anniversary.  Holy crap.  Am I really old enough to have been married for 9 years?  Anyway...my husband is great an all, but I think the thing I am most grateful for is having a partner to parent with, because, lord knows I couldn't do this alone.  Next weekend we're going away for the night, to celebrate, which means I'm also thankful for Grandparents and their willingness to babysit.  It really does take a village, don't you think?

Speaking of Grandparents...

My Grandpa passed away in March, at the age of almost 93.  A couple months before, in January, he wrote some words of wisdom in a birthday card to my husband.  This is what he wrote.

'At your early age you have accomplished a lot.  We are sure many more will follow.  Maintain your hard-working habits, nevertheless, have in mind that health comes before wealth.  Eat well, sleep well, and above all, together with your dear wife, take good care of those little angels.'

My Grandparents were married for 66 years.  I have often wondered how they did it, but I think my Grandpa, in his words to my husband in his birthday card, may have revealed their secret.  My Grandparents did everything for their family.  With every decision, where to live, where to work, where to vacation, even what to eat, they thought of us first.  Their family meant the world to them, and was their most prized possession.  I think that's what kept them so bonded to each other.  They realized that they were true partners, building a life not only for themselves, but for their offspring and their offspring's offspring (as my Grandpa used to refer to us).  This common goal kept them working together, never in competition with one another.  They always respected each other, and respected how hard the other worked for the family.  My Grandpa worked and my Grandma stayed home, but neither thought their role was more important.  This respect for each other and wanting to build a family together, I think, was the key to their many many happy years together. 

And so, dear husband, if you're reading this (and you better be reading this), on this, our 9th wedding anniversary, I vow to always remember that we are partners, working toward a common goal of a happy family.  I will not take for granted what you bring to the table, and what you do for our family, and I promise to go easy on you when you load the dish washer wrong or leave your shoes and briefcase in the middle of the floor.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Move Over, Laundry. I Have Christmas Crafts To Make

Push that laundry basket aside, grab your glue gun, and get to work.  Christmas is just around the corner!  Hopefully you've completed your DIY forest, because it's now time to focus on some DIY projects that are the perfect finishing touch for your decor, but also make great gifts.

Who doesn't love a handmade ornament?  I've recently fallen in love with twine, and so I of course had to twine up some Christmas balls.  It's really simple.  Starting at the top, using your hot glue gun, glue the twine to the ornament.  You can pick up ornaments at the dollar store or at Michaels, or, you can use ornaments you already have, but no longer love.    

Once you've covered the entire ball with twine, you can get fancy.  I had some left over ribbon, wraphia, and tiny star ornaments.  Not sure why I had the tiny star ornaments, or what they are supposed to be used for, but they work perfectly for this project.  Glue the ribbon in place, and then tie on the star ornament using the wraphia.  I did use a dab of hot glue to secure the wraphia, but I don't think it's totally necessary.  I'll leave that up to you.   

For this next one, I again used the wraphia and tiny star ornaments, and also some letter beads.  Start by threading the letter beads onto the twine.  Wrap and glue the twine to the ornament, pushing the letter beads down the twine (moving them out of the way, essentially).  When you get to the middle of the ornament, line up the letter beads where you want them, then continue wrapping and gluing the twine to the ornament.  Finish with the wraphia and tiny star ornament.  These would make cute gifts as well, don't you think?

And finally, I had a string of plastic pearls, so I added them to the this ornament.  Simply wrap and glue the twine, wrap and glue the pearls, then wrap and glue a new piece of twine to finish it off.  To unify the ornaments I again used wraphia and a tiny star ornament.  You can really use anything you have left over.  Ribbon, yarn, coloured twine, anything you have on hand.  

Continuing with the twine, for this super simple project I just tied a piece of twine to each ornament, tied the twine together making sure to stagger the ornaments, and voila!  I festive alternative to a wreath.  You could also add a ribbon to the top, or ornaments of different size and colour.  

This is a Christmas hack that I've been doing for years.  It's one of my favourites.  You'll need a fresh arrangement from a flower shop or grocery store, a pot, and an artificial wreath.  

Place the wreath around the openeing of the pot you will be using.  The inside of the wreath should be about the size of the opening of the pot.  

Next, put the fresh arrangements into the pot through the opening in the wreath.  It's like hair extensions for your arrangement!  The best part is you can use the artificial wreath year after year, and it will look like you splurged on those amazing big arrangements.  No one will know that half of it is fake. 

Happy crafting!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dear People Who Make Toddler Clothing...

Dear people who make toddler clothing.  Those sleeveless, sparkly, ruffled dresses that you fill the stores with this time of year, are so cute. You know what's not cute? The fact that those sleeveless, sparkly, ruffled dresses aren't warm enough to wear in the winter (because they're sleeveless), forcing me to buy the co-ordinating shrug. But, you know that, don't you?  That's why you make a co-ordinating shrug.  Because you know that in order for holiday dresses to be warm enough to wear in the winter, they require sleeves.  It's bad enough I have to buy a dress that will only be worn once, but now I also have to buy a co-ordinating shrug that will most definitely only be worn once because, let's face it, who wears a shrug any more?   Even if there were another occasion in my 3-year-old's life that would require her wearing a sleeveless, sparkly, ruffled dress with co-ordinating shrug, she will most likely have out-grown it by then. But that's all part of your plan, isn't it?   Next year, please cut the sleeves off of the co-ordinating shrug, sew them onto the dress, and offer me the whole outfit for one low price.   Thank you.

To see what else my kids are wearing, check out this blog post on back to school fashions.