Beach Crafts

I have posted several times about my love for the beach and I wanted to bring it home. So I decided on the downstairs bathroom being beach themed.

I am going to be honest with you, for the first year and a half of living here my “beach theme” beach was void of any actual beach items. I have been trying to slowly decorate our house more and make it more home-y feeling so I decided to concentrate on one of the smaller rooms.

My first move was to search for beach décor on Amazon because… I have a problem, lol. I found some cute stuff, but I felt some of it was over priced so I decided to try a dollar store copycat craft!

And this is what I have made!

Pretty good copycat!

So here is how I did it!

I took 3 5×7 photo frames from the dollar store and I painted them with some acrylic paint and I wiped off some to give them a distressed look. I look rope that I got from Walmart for under $6 (but the dollar store rope is cheaper) and I hot glued them together. My frame is slightly longer but I like it!! My piece is also over $20 cheaper, so I am pretty happy with myself.

Inspiration

What I did

These were Super simple statement pieces. I bought 2 vases and one mason jar from the dollar store. I used the rope from the last craft and hot glue to create the effect. I used sand from the actual beach but you can buy sand, sea glass, shells and the tumbleweeds at the beach. Total cost was about $6.

Inspiration
Actual pieces

I got the canvases from the dollar store. Painted them with a coat of bronze paint and then a layer of teal. I sanded them to give them a worn/distressed look. The “coral” is actually a vase filler I have had lying around for years and the shells were both store bought and found on the beach. The starfish was the most expensive item at $4, I got that from Walmart. Hobby Lobby has a 3 pack for $4 and you can use your 40% off coupon BUT they are much smaller and I wanted a big one. Altogether these were probably around $10. They do hang on the wall but I wanted a picture of them close together.

Inspiration
What I did!

I bought 8×10 frames from the dollar store and used the same spool of rope, hot glue and shells from the previous crafts. This turned out super cute but kind of pointless because who needs 8×10 pictures in the bathroom??? Lol. I will probably use my silhouette to make a design or….

I could make something like this again

So these are my beach crafts, I hope you like them! If you have any questions or have any other dollar store crafts you like comment below!!

The Colors of Winter

I got an amazing new lens to go with my camera and I have been practicing my photography. It is my absolute favorite thing, I stop taking pictures for awhile and then I start again and I remember how much I truly love capturing moments.

Right now is kind of a bland time to take pictures, there is almost a grey color to everything, but I still find moments of beauty. I also want to take them same pictures throughout the year as the outside world changes with the seasons.

Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom
Our Peach Tree
Our Angel came with our house
This bush attracts SO MANY butterflies during the spring and summer

These are all from my backyard, it is one of the most appealing things about my house and I look forward capturing these pictures during the spring, summer and fall!

Leaving 2020 Behind

Finally leaving this year behind. I want to reflect on what has happened… the good, the bad and the ugly.

This year has been full of ups and downs. Moments I have loved and moments I wish wouldn’t have happened. I obviously will not re-live all of these moments with you but some things I am concentrating on right now.

So for reference, here is what I wanted to work on this year

First reaction…. laughter

I want to make sure my family is really living… not stuck in the house…. I feel like I might be to blame for Covid….

Ok so…. literally nothing was accomplished on this list because CORONAVIRUS!!

Well… I can’t say that. I did actually read ALOT more than I have in the last 5 years; by which I mean listened to an audiobook OR actually read them. And I really enjoyed getting excited about what was going to happen to the character next, I love the anticipation that a good book can create! I will be continuing that into the new year.

But I basically failed at everything else.

In my high moments, I started homeschooling and honestly I love it! Yeah its stressful and there are rough moments but I love teaching my kids. We have spent A LOT of time together this year. The 4 (mostly the 3 of us, but the baby helps) of us have done some pretty fun experiments, like making a cloud in a jar or growing crystals. We have spent more time together outside then we have spent in a LONG time. Basically those are my good moments, our family time. We have really come together/bonded.

I tried making YouTube videos. I stopped because I have too much on my plate… but I tried!

These are dollar store crafts I made!

I started getting more of my projects done around the house, trying to make this place feel like home.

I threw some awesome birthday parties. Got really creative with decorations.

I took LOTS of pictures. I really do enjoy my photography hobby. I got to see the sunrise over the beach twice this year!

We went to the beach more this year. I need the salt air in my life, it cleanses my emotional palate and gives me a fresh outlook on life.

In my low moments… well both my grandmother’s died this year and I’m still healing.

My depression/anxiety has been at an all time high. I have not been in a good place mentally this year for so many reasons. I feel like most of us have been in a dark place for a least a little bit this year.

I gained 20lbs this year, I am heading into 2021 weighing more than I have ever weighed. My confidence is almost non-existent and my self hatred is at an all time high. I am stuck in this rut where I start to work out but get injured due to my weight and then stop working out to heal, get depressed because I can’t workout and then binge eat ANYTHING.

Throwback to when I was feeling myself
I am hoping to do more 5ks this year

Even my marriage has had some tribulations that I was not expecting. But we are going to be just fine!

So going into 2021 I am not going to list resolutions or goals. Going into this year I am creating a mantra….

Be better.

Be better about being nicer to myself

Be better about taking care of myself

Be better about putting my mental/emotional/physical health first

Be better at acknowledging what I get done and not focusing on what I didn’t.

Be better at taking compliments AND believing them

Be better about believing I am loved more than I am hated.

Be better about asking for help and demanding it if necessary.

Be better about remembering what life has already thrown at me because I survived it all.

So going into 2021 I am hopeful for a better year, a better me!!

Are you making resolutions this year??

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas, I hope your holidays are joyous and safe.

We had a great holiday, went to church twice yesterday. I didn’t actually get to enjoy either service because the youngest is in an extremely difficult mood ALL THE TIME.

For Christmas Eve, after dinner and church we have a toast towards the new year and then have snacks. Then the kids get to open one gift before bed. Every year my mom makes a ton of cookies, chocolate chip, peanut butter, jam filled. This year I wanted to help so I made several treats.

I made a yule log cake, the exact recipe that my Grandmother made every Christmas. This is our first Christmas without both of my Grandmothers (they both passed away this year) so I made one to honor her.

It tastes better than it looks!

I was extremely proud of myself because it turned out really well! My dad says it tasted just like the one his mom made.

I also made hot chocolate bombs, this years craze. They were pretty simple, if there is any interest I’ll blog just about them.

We made a MESS

The bombs are very fun and are not complicated to make. So we will probably make them as regular treats for our friends.

How was your holiday? Do you have any traditions?

Thank you!!

I just wanted to write a quick THANK YOU to my readers.

I have reached 102 followers!!

This has taken 2 years

1570 Views

341 Likes

1038 Visitors

And 71 posts

I know this is just the start of growing my blog because I only started posting consistently this year. Thank you to those who have been here from the beginning and to all those who have joined a long the way. I have enjoyed sharing my life and experiences with you all. I can’t wait to see what next year brings for my family and I!

Also a huge thank you to my husband, he is my number one supporter and the driving force some weeks to get a blog up. Thank you babe, I love you!!

Christmas Crafts

Decorating is underway in our house! I have the outside lights up and we have some of our inside lights up.

Our tree has been decorated and even though it’s fake, it’s looking cute!

That wasn’t the star that I originally wanted but the tree is cheap so the branches can’t hold much weight, but the red star looks great.

The kids and I have also made some homemade decorations, which I am pretty proud of!

Printer paper and floss is used to make hanging snowflakes! They are suspended in our dining room.

These are fabric Christmas trees. They are sticks from outside and strips of fabric tied around them. You cut the fabric into the shape of a tree and hang them up with ribbon. They were an easy craft for us to do!

These are both dollar store items. I spray painted the church white and I used spray snow on the glass (I wouldn’t recommend). I made the “snow” with Epsom salt and glitter. I used mod podge in the areas I wanted the snow and then poured it on. They look amazing! I can’t wait to have an entire village.

These trees are made of air dry clay that we shaped with a cookie cutter. The kids painted them and then I hot glued them to the twine. They are a little heavy, so when I put them up they will need to lean or be supported to avoid breakage

I also have put some decorations outside.

The wreath I got for free from someone in my neighborhood and I spruced it up. I glued the Christmas balls on there to add some flair.

I think it turned out pretty cute, so if you are on a budget always keep Facebook market place in mind or after season clearance. You can always repaint or tweak something to make it your own.

The “gifts” under the wreath are just Amazon boxes stacked up after I wrapped them. I put pretty ribbon that I got from the dollar store to give it something special. My gifts are never that well wrapped, lol. I am also hoping that they don’t get mistaken for actual gifts because we do have some porch pirates in our area.

Well those are my current Christmas crafts, if you need any help making them just comment below. Also if you have any other craft ideas comment below, I LOVE crafting!!

I hope this season is finding you well. Happy Chanukah to anyone that celebrates.

November 30 2019

It has been a year since I have seen your face, felt your smile or heard you say “Honey” the unique way that you did.

The last time I saw my Nanny was 11/30/19.

We had a makeshift Thanksgiving dinner in her trailer after our plans had failed. My brother, his family, Matt, me and Tobias all crowded into her house and ate our fill. She got to meet my niece Ava for the first time and see Tobias again. It was a tight squeeze but we made it work and I am eternally grateful that we did.

That night is not actually the last time I saw her though. I was supposed to drop off presents to her from my mom but Matt had taken them out of the trunk and did not put them back. The morning after our dinner I got up at 530am and drove the hour and a half to drop them off. That is the last time I saw her. I am extremely grateful I got those few extra minutes with her and I got one last hug; if I had known it was the last one I would have made it last longer.

My only regret is that I did not get a single picture and I know that I have the memory and that is a lot but I regret in general not getting more pictures with her. We saw her several times a year and I never took pictures. She couldn’t make it to my wedding because she was hospitalized again; but I video chatted with her and I wish I had asked the photographer to capture that.

We went to the beach again for Thanksgiving and I cried almost the entire way there. I tear up every time we head that way now because I know she isn’t there. But knowing that it had been one year since I have seen her was especially hard to process, I ugly cried several times and I am wiping some pretty substantial tears off my face as I type.

I can’t say much more on the subject now.

I love and miss you Nanny. I carry you here in my heart.

Marriage in the Time of Children

Being married with kids in an experience that is not for the faint of heart or those with a weak relationship. Kids change everything, they make more work, take money and focus and they cause more stress; that being said they are the most amazing addition to life.

But this post isn’t about kids today. This post is about being married successfully while raising kids and I say successfully on purpose. Anybody can be married and have kids but to stay together AND love your spouse after going through the terror of raising kidemons is a challenge.

kidemon— “kid demon” defined as child demon you created.

When Matt and I started dating I already had a failed marriage and 2 kids in my repertoire. My previous marriage failed for MANY reasons, but one of them was the burden of parenting. I learned a lot from my first marriage and I wanted to make sure that I prioritized my marriage this time around.

Flash forward to having a house, a baby, 2 older kids and a pandemic which leaves us in the house A LOT. We were struggling a little bit to keep the magic in our relationship.

I am going to talk about things that Matt and I do to make sure that our relationship is a priority on a budget(usually).

We watch A LOT of tv and movies together. We have OUR shows that we only watch together. We have introduced each other to shows that we have loved for years and we have discovered new TV shows together. We have been trying to get away from just movies though.

We go out on dates. This one is pretty obvious but can be a little pricey because lets face it, babysitting is expensive, as is going to the movies and or dinner, so we don’t do that very often. It is important to have one on one time with your spouse when you can’t be interrupted.

Here are couple of ideas for a few different things you can do together!

Hunt a Killer escape room in a box is a service that Matt and I subscribed to, you are literally a detective who has to solve a crime. It is so much fun and can be done with 2 people. You get a box every month for 6 months and they are all the same case.

There are actually date night subscriptions that you can subscribe to. We tried one by Crated with Love. It was super fun!

We also try new recipes together, I love cooking with my man! We have read books together, we take turns reading out loud.

If you go to Five Below they are many creative writing journals you can buy that ask fun questions, we actually play 20 questions with them. It is a cool way of getting to know your spouse.

We work out together. We have Beachbody on Demand and we put on a workout and give it our all. Matt likes to be ridiculous when he is working out and that makes me laugh(which also distracts me from the fact that I can’t breathe).

We are also listening to audiobooks together we actually just got The Horror Collection with our free monthly credit with Audible Premium Plus you can click the link for a free trial on Audible and get up to 2 free audiobooks. (we do get a referral bonus if you sign up for audible or purchase the book)

So those are some of the things that we do together. I think that dating your spouse is the most important thing to do and if you can’t always afford to get out of the house these are some great ideas to keep the magic alive!

Recipe worth sharing

Gordon Ramsay Steak Sandwich

This weekend my husband and I made an amazing meal based off Gordon Ramsay’s ultimate steak sandwich. I have the video linked above, so I won’t list everything in the original recipe, only what we did different.

It doesn’t look like much, but it is so amazing

We actually used pork instead of steak, we cooked it in olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. For the salsa I used jarred jalapenos instead of fresh and my husband had the genius idea of adding sauerkraut.

The food is cooking

The final difference is the bread, the original recipe called for ciabatta bread, but I HATE ciabatta. So we sliced up French bread and toasted it.

Terrible lightning, but the sandwich is piled

All in all it was an amazing twist on his great tasting recipe, barely had any leftovers!

Do you have a recipe you like to put a twist on?

We’re in the End Game

Yes, yes we are

Halloween has passed, which means it’s Christmas time!! Lol, I kid… sort of

Me

This past week did not go the way I wanted at all. I have sciatica and this past week it flared up for 5 days so for 5 days I could barely move without being in extreme pain. So any and all plans I had fell through.

Well almost every plan. I had to make my daughter’s Halloween costume and like a true procrastinator I waited until the week before to even start. She wanted to be Harley Quinn and at first I vetoed that idea because she is only 9 and Harley costumes tend to be sexy but I came around to the idea if I could make the costume myself.

Grabbed these from Amazon

I tried dying them with Rit and that did not work well AT ALL. So I decided to paint the clothes with acrylic paint and that worked surprisingly well!

I have decided that I won’t be putting my kids face’s on here anymore. People can download your pictures right off your blog… I didn’t know that.

I also did 3 mock classes for VIPKIDS, still trying to get approved to teach. I am not happy that I haven’t passed yet. But I’m hoping that it will all be worth it! I am excited to have a job again and financially contribute to the household. My next mock class is tomorrow night so happy thought would be appreciated.

Halloween was pretty amazing, our neighborhood went all out this year. The kids got 3 giant bowls of candy!

Just a random pic of my 2 biggest

The kids are learning about Native American history this month. I am pretty excited for the crafts I have planned and we will probably take another trip to the State Museum for some hands on learning.

NanoWriMo started yesterday!! Matt and I are both very excited, I got 1832 words logged day one and Matt logged in over 650. I stayed up later last night to type more.

The baby has balanitis. I spent 2 hours at urgent care yesterday to get him diagnosed. I hate when my babies are sick and this particular child does not take meds well… so this is going to be a struggle. He is on liquid antibiotics, tylenol and ibuprofen for pain/fever. He also had 2 creams that I need to apply to the infected area several times a day.

So our November is full already! I have to start taking down Halloween decorations and getting Christmas ones ready to go up.

How was everyone’s week? Do you have any exciting plans for November? When do you put up Christmas decorations??