Happy Valentine’s Day

Love is something worth celebrating!

If you have someone in your life make sure to show them how extra special they are today.

Valentine’s day doesn’t need to be expensive or over the top. It needs to be thoughtful and real. You know “your” person more than anyone; show them how important they are to you!

This is Elvish… I’m a nerd

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?

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.

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??

Prime Day

Christmas shopping has started in our household. Thanks to Prime Day!!

I can’t go into what I bought my husband but I can talk about the kids. Well mostly Kenz benefited from Prime Day shopping.

She is already struggling between a girl and a young woman. Most of the items she requested were clothing, hair stuff and some craft items.

I know that she is super crafty and does not know how to entertain herself so I got her

I may return the squishies and get a different set

She is really into hair and makeup so I’ve been slowly building her supply

She also got some makeup brushes!

Tobias got a couple of items, I  am trying to get colorful and educational things for him.

My favorite items were some decor for around the house. I am slowly decorating the house and making it a home. My absolute FAVORITE things are pictures. I don’t know why but I love pictures of family and friends displayed on the walls!

So I got the 4 level picture hanger and 3 shelves to display wedding photos and mementos.  I only have the photos up so far.

I LOVE this

We got married at a vineyard so I covered the twine with dollar store vines and I think it looks fantastic!!

Some thoughts on Prime Day… I hate their organization or lack there of. It takes real time to scroll through their deals even within the categories they have them divided into. So if you are prime shopping, be prepared to scroll. I love how efficient they are, even with such a busy shopping day, I still got most of my items within 2 days. Lightning deals are actually my favorite, they have lower prices and you can put them on a watchlist to get notified when the sales are active. If you see something put it in your cart and buy it. I lost more than one item because I kept looking, they only let you keep the sale price for 15 minutes after it’s on your cart. If you keep track of how much you spend write the sale price down because once it’s gone, if you buy more than one item you don’t get to see the sale price again.

Well that’s it, be prepared to use these tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday!!

May the odds be ever in your favor!!

Did you get anything good on Prime Day?

Feeling Overwhelmed

I was supposed to do a blog post on Weds for Bonnie’s Book Club. If you were anticipating that, I apologize. I’ve been a little overwhelmed.

I have been biting off more than I can chew lately, it’s a pretty constant problem in my life. I constantly want to go go go but I put so much on my plate, then my depression kicks in so I get NOTHING done. My anxiety then let’s me know what a worthless POS I am and we go round and round.

BUT some great things are slowly happening… the kids and I got some Halloween decorations up

We got some much needed yard work done, we chopped down 5 trees and sprayed the weeds, I might need to do that again.

I have lost 6lbs!! I know that is a seemingly minor victory BUT for me it’s pretty huge.

Homeschool is going… ok… ish… there are great days and days when the kids and I scream at each other. We finally got to the library (our local is closed for renovations). The closest one we can go to is 45min away… and it is in a temporary building. But it was great to get new books!

I have done SO MANY LOADS OF LAUNDRY this week. I gave clothes away, donated some can goods.

I have been working really hard to get my life in order, but I still have SO MUCH TO DO.

That’s where I am this Friday night. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!! Got any definite plans? We have 90% chance of rain so we are staying in.

New Year… new me??

Quick answer is definitely no.

I’m not changing myself, there isn’t anything wrong with me!! <—- that’s me pretending I have self confidence

I have things I could improve on, like washing, folding and putting away the laundry in a 2 day period, max.

What I’m calling my New Year’s Resolution is Live a Life Worth Blogging About.

I want to make sure that my family is living, really living. Not stuck in front of the TV or in the house. I want them to live.

I have goals though.

1. I want to work out at least 4 times a week.

2. I want to read at least one book a month.

3. I want to make sure that I am prioritizing my business. I have a business that I haven’t really written about here and I’ve been really lazy with it.

4. My house… I am a slob IRL. I don’t prioritize cleaning AT ALL. But since buying a house, the kids having friends coming over, me meeting moms that come over and having a mom that is a clean freak who hates coming to my house because it’s messy. I want to do better cleaning my house.

5. My marriage, that is pretty self evident. You should ALWAYS work on your relationship.

6. Eat less. I LOVE food. Love it. I want to keep losing weight and my problem is food.

So those are my goals, most of them, maybe all. I want to hopefully keep these going. I sure you know that most people give up their resolutions within 2 weeks.

What are your resolutions? Do you ever stick with them or not buy into it at all?

Merry Christmas!!

Christmas has come and gone now. The gifts have been unwrapped, toys played with, food eaten and kids are now asleep.

Well most of the house is asleep. I am up finishing my book

I am going up to bed, but I thought I would blog the day.

Our Christmas Eve went according to plan completely. Dinner, church, toast, opening one gift.

If you are a parent or an aunt, uncle, grandparent or anyone who helps with a child you know the rush and work that gets put in on Christmas Eve night after the kids are asleep. There is last minute wrapping, toys that need to be built, organizing of the presents and various other tasks. All for giving our kids the most magical Christmas ever!!

On Christmas morning the nerves and excitement are coursing through your veins hoping they love everything, even though you won’t get credit for everything you did *Santa*. But it is all worth it to see the smiles on their faces

This year was a hard one for me. I did not buy my older 2 kids (9 and 8) a single toy! Not a one.

I did not come to this decision lightly and I went back and forth multiple times. My kids don’t play with toys much anymore AND they have so many that they really didn’t NEED anymore. I decided to get them gifts that they would use more than once and things that would stimulate their minds.

I almost cried when I went to bed last night after setting up because we celebrate Christmas with my family. My brother has 3 boys and their piles were HUGE, piles of toys.

I knew my kids were going to see those piles and compare theirs, which were much smaller.

*this is our first Christmas with one income and in the past, even as a single mom I SPOILED my kids*

I tried to think positive and say that they would appreciate what they got.

It was as almost true. My son loved what he got, his big present was a build your own computer kit and monitor. He will be able to code his own Minecraft games.

My daughter did not appreciate much at first, she saw the size difference between piles and she was jealous. She smiled as she opened her gifts, but there wasn’t her normal joy. She didn’t get a “big” gift so to speak, she got roller skates and a radio/bluetooth speaker for listening to music.

I was hurt and disappointed to say the least, but there was nothing I could do. The parents open their gifts after the kids and then we eat breakfast.

After breakfast she came to me with her skates and asked if she could try them. I was so excited!

We went outside and practiced… this was her first time in skates

She did well, which is normal. She excels at anything physical.

After that her whole attitude changed.

I felt so much better.

And despite not recieving any toys, my children never once said, I’m bored!!

Some random pictures

Oh yeah… I got a DSLR camera!!

The After Thanksgiving Blog

Since it’s almost Christmas day I figured it was finally time to write what I did after Thanksgiving at the beach.

1. Bitty and Beaus, I always stop there. It’s delicious coffee and supporting a good cause

2. Sushi on a boat with super nova sauce, delicious and mouth burning at the same time!

3. Axes and Allies, if you haven’t thrown an axe on a date, then you haven’t lived yet!

It was AMAZING!!

4. I went for a jog/walk on the beach

5. We had dinner with my Nanny and my brothers family. Which I didn’t get any pictures of, because I’m a terrible person!!

On Sunday the big kids came back and we started the trek home, thus entering CHRISTMAS time!!