Thursday, September 29, 2011

DIY Kitchen Memo Board

I am a list maker, and love anything I can write a list on.  One day I was in my kitchen wishing that I had a board to make my daily lists on.  I grabbed an old frame and scribbled a few things on the glass with a dry-erase marker, and had this idea to make a bigger and better Memo Board that I could hang up.   I grabbed a few supplies laying around the house, picked up a few things at Michael's, and $5 and about 30 minutes later, I had my wish!

(Believe it or not, I made this before I saw it on Pinterest, but the one I saw on there is so cute too!)

Supplies you will need:

-A large old frame, or a window with 4 panes
-Spray paint in color of your choice
-Scrapbook paper (I used 4 sheets for my frame) - or wrapping paper
-Ribbon in coordinating color
-Glue Stick
-Print out of the labels you want. I chose To-Do, Errands, Phone Calls, and Internet.
-Dry erase marker (the dollar store carries these)

Step 1:
Prep your frame by removing the glass, and spray paint the wood in color of your choice. Let dry.

Step 2:
Take the back of your frame and lay out the scrapbook paper on top.  Mine was a green paisley print and I had to match it up and cut it so it would overlap correctly, covering the whole square. The back of my frame also had a white paper covering it, so I was able to use a glue stick and glue the scrapbook paper directly to the white paper instead of onto the back of the frame.

Step 3:
Using ribbon, create 4 coordinates in the sizes of your choice.  Wrap around to the other side and tape.

Step 4:

Create the labels on your computer. I took a glue stick and glued the labels to some green cardstock I had on hand. Then I glued those to the scrapbook paper.

Step 5:
Assemble the glass, the frame, and the back of the frame.  Hang in a busy area where you will use it daily!

The GREAT thing about this project is that it can be easily changed for each season, or if you change the decor of your room.  It is low-cost and looks so much better than a regular whiteboard!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Common Myths About Breastfeeding

Today I am honored to be a guest blogger over at "Why We Love Green" on the topic of breastfeeding.

Hop on over to Christine's blog to read my post titled, "Common Myths About Breastfeeding."

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Pinterest Party!

 If you have not yet heard of Pinterest, let me tell you, it is amazing. Whoever thought of this site was brilliant!  Many of my friends are obsessed hooked, and it is inspiring me to try all sorts of new things, from wardrobe ideas to party ideas to home decorating.  If you are unfamiliar with Pinterest, it is basically an online bulletin board where you can post pictures you find from different websites (in one place).  You can make boards like: recipes, home decorating, hair ideas, wardrobe, funny things, etc...  You can also see the pictures your friends have posted, and re-post them to your own board.  It is a really fun time-waster hobby.

For instance, last night I was going to a concert with my husband (an Amy Grant/Michael W Smith reunion tour that was A-MAZING), when my sister took one look at my outfit and said I looked like one of the Duggar daughters. At first I thought she meant Jaycee Dugard and I was confused.  Then she clarified that I looked like one of the "19 Kids and Counting" Duggar daughters.  Um, yeah. Thanks, sister!  That's what sisters are for, right? Basically she said I was dressed like the Amish.

So, I remembered some pictures from my Pinterest board and came out dressed like this instead:

I call this one "I'm not pregnant, I just look like it."  Anyway, I digress.  I wore a Pinterest-inspired look and my sister approved, and off we went.

The day before, I had planned a Pinterest-themed surprise party for my best friend.  We wanted to keep it small and intimate, so there were only 10 of her closest friends invited, and all of them love Pinterest.  We chose Pinterest-inspired food and Pinterest-inspired dishes.  Each of us invaded her boards without her knowing, chose her favorite things, and showered her with love. It was SO much fun!!

I know, I know... I chose the side braid 2 days in a row, but what can I say? I got the idea from Pinterest!

My gift to her was a bubble gum necklace that I made (idea from Pinterest, which I will also blog about later this week)...

And this framed print that I found on Pinterest (but purchased from Etsy)...

While we were partying, we all pitched in and made her a wreath out of magazine flowers (another pinterest idea). It came out beautiful!

Overall the day was amazing - not only because of our amazing friend, but the fellowship and laughter we all shared together...

 Happy Pinterest Birthday Heather!!  :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

12 Years of Lovin'

This past Sunday we celebrated our 12 year anniversary - woo hoo!

In honor of 12 years, I thought I would write 12 fun/interesting/boring/whocares facts about US:

1) When we started dating, we waited 1 month to kiss.  That kiss was so sweet!  I was actually the one that kissed him.  I think it was the night before the 30th day, and it happened in the car outside of the dorms at college.  Not the most romantic place, but I just couldn't handle it any longer!

2) My great aunt was very close with his great uncle (in their 80's), and they knew each other before we even met.

3) I hate when he calls me "honey."  I noticed one day that he only calls me that when he is mad or frustrated.  He knows not to call me that anymore!  :)

4) He is 6 weeks older than me.

5) We had the same youth pastor - Rob was his youth pastor in junior high, and my youth pastor in high school.  We loved that he married us and knew us both since we were young!

6) We met when I was an RA in college.  He would come up to my floor with his roommate to flirt with all the girls.  I was disgusted.  Later he was my team leader for a Mexico trip, and that's when I fell for him.

7) We are both the oldest child; he of 6, and me of 3.

8)  He daily gives me the gift of SLEEP.  He is the one who wakes up early with the boys, and tells me to take a nap every day when he gets home.  (Does that say something about my moods, or what?) ;)

9)  We both love to sing and have performed together at weddings, church services, etc.

10)  The man does dishes.  Every day.

11)  He is the romantic one in our relationship.  I am romantically-challenged.

12)  We are opposites in almost every way. It has proved to be challenging but also made our relationship stronger.

I am very blessed and thankful for the man God chose for me.  He knew exactly what I needed in a man, partner and best friend.  Here's to many, many more years ahead!

Here are some past anniversary posts:

9 Things for 9 Years
Celebrating 10 Years
11 Years: Whale Watching

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Funnies

It has been so long since I've done a "Friday Funnies" post, but I've been saving up some good ones to share!

I said to the boys, "After breakfast you need to go straight to the couch and get dressed."  Micah replied, "Mom, the couch isn't straight.  If you want me to go to the couch then I need to go straight and then turn left."

Jaden and I were talking about how he came into our bed and fell asleep in the middle of the night. When I asked him why, his eyes got really big and he whispered, "Because I was infinity and one scared!"

We were at Target in the food section when we passed the donuts. Jaden shouted excitedly, "Mom!  You should buy donuts so we can play church!!"

Martin was talking to the boys about their memory verse, Galatians 5:22.  He asked them what "Goodness" means.  Jaden replied, "It means, like, 'Oh my gosh!'"

Jaden told me he had a "girl dream" last night. I wasn't sure what that meant, so I said, "What girls were in  your dream?"  He replied, "Strawberry Shortcake, and Dora and Boots."  "And what were you all doing?" I asked.  He replied, "We were finding deer and shooting them to eat them!!"

Micah was helping me do laundry and I asked him to put Martin's boxers in the washing machine.  Micah asked, "Why does daddy wear underwear for boxing?  Wrestlers wear pants."

When the boys want to play a game against each other, they are often overheard asking, "Can I verse you?"  (play versus you)

Jaden walked in the bathroom as I was getting undressed to hop in the shower. He took one look at me and exclaimed, "What are those big things?"

And the winner of the week goes to Jaden for this conversation:

We were driving and Jaden asked, "Where does milk come from again, mom?"  I replied, "Cows, Jaden."  He quickly responded, "and boobs too, right?"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Off to School

School finally started in our neck of the woods, weeks after many of my friend's kids around the country were already in school.  For some reason we start on September 8th around here, with preschool for Jaden starting today (Sept. 12th).  Both of my boys are in school this morning, and it is a weird feeling being here at home without them.  What do I do with myself now?  For 3 mornings a week, from 9-11:45am, I am free of children. I can't decide if this is a good thing, a sad thing, a wonderful thing, or what.  What I do know is that the time goes by very fast.  By the time I get to Costco across town and through the checkout, it's time to rush back to pick Jaden up.  I could go to the gym, but I'm already dressed for the day and don't want to get all sweaty.  I could go shopping, but I have no money.  I am already running into other mothers in my situation and we all look at each other wide eyed and ask ourselves, "What now?"

This is a good time for joining a Bible study, and I am actually thinking of starting one soon. It's also a good time to run errands, so that will take at least one day.  And for the other free day each week, I think I will take some time for myself.  Maybe I'll go sit at the beach with my journal and look for dolphins.  That's only $1 for parking.  :)

So right now I'm settling for blogging and drinking my coffee, and enjoying a few quiet moments to myself. While all of you with little babies at home dream of this day, it will come, my friends. All too fast.

Micah started 1st grade last week, and we were very nervous about who his teacher would be and who would be in his class. Last year was so difficult in so many ways, just the thought of this year stressed me out.  All of my fears were put to rest, though, when we found out the night before school started that he was assigned to a wonderful teacher this year.  She has a student teacher in her classroom full-time, as well as a full-time aide. That is 3 full-time adults with 30 kids - SO much better than last year's 1 teacher with 30 kindergartners.

We also found out that his best friend is in his class, along with 5 other kids he knows from his class last year.  He had a GREAT first day and there were no tears at all.  Although he was nervous, he did fine and on Friday announced, "I love first grade!"

Jaden started his 2nd year of preschool this morning.  Next year is Kindergarten; my baby is growing up! I am so thankful that he's not in school full-time yet (or even every day at this point), because he has 12 more years for that, and I enjoy my time with him on his off days.  I told him that every Tuesday and Thursday is his special time, and we can do things that he enjoys.  His idea of fun is to stay home and not go anywhere, so that's exactly what we did last week when Micah went to school.  We played cars, had marble races, colored together, watched some cartoons, ate lunch together, and then I cleaned the house while he played.  It's rare to get one-on-one time with each boy these days, so I cherish that time.

He must have been very nervous about starting school this morning, because he wet the bed twice last night.  TWICE!  He hardly ever wets the bed even once!  He woke up at 5:30am and said, "I don't want to go to school!" and we had to fight to get him to go back to bed.  Thankfully he fell back asleep and when he woke up, he was more excited to go.  

I know I'm biased, but they just look so cute!  Here is Jaden signing in to his class like a big boy.

So here's to a new school year, a new season, and cherishing time with our little ones while they are still little.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Worst Parents of the Year Award

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

It was Labor Day, we didn't have any plans, but we wanted to get out of the house.  One idea we had was to go on a beach hike, since there are various locations around us where you can take paths down towards the beach to explore tidepools, etc...  I hopped online and found 2 hikes we could go on, both leading towards some tidepools.  The first hike we had done before, and it was pretty strenuous and steep, so we opted for option #2.  Option #2 was called the "Shipwreck Hike."  Based on the reviews, about half of the people said it was fun and adventurous, while the other half said it was horrible and to NOT attempt it.  I went to Martin with the reviews in hand, and we decided that we would take a risk and do it anyway.

Dumb.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.

We got there and I jumped out of the car, ran down the trail and took a look.  Many of the reviews said to take the "drainpipe route" since it was 2 miles shorter, went straight downhill, and the shipwreck remains were only about a half mile from the bottom.  I had a bad feeling right when I stood at the top, and asked Martin to take a look.  We decided together that we would be adventurous and do it anyway.

Now, from this vantage point, it doesn't look too bad.

Sure, it's steep, but we could do it.  But this was a looooonnnngggg way down.  Pictures just don't do it justice, people.  Here's another view.

It pretty much felt like a straight drop down to our deaths.  Why didn't we turn around and head back up?  Because we were determined.  We slowly made our way over crumbling rocks and glass shards, all the way down.  I did not know why we were doing this, but every time I turned around and looked back up the hill, I knew that I did NOT want to climb back up.  About half way down, I started to have a panic attack. Every single step that my children took, I worried for their lives.  I actually cried at one point, hiding it behind my sunglasses.  I prayed for forgiveness. I prayed for mercy. I prayed for help. I prayed that we would live.  Martin was confident, though, and we just kept telling the boys, "we're almost there!" with fake smiles on our faces.

Finally after over 30 minutes, sweating and dirty, we made it to the bottom.  This was the second time I cried. I couldn't believe we made it. Our nightmare continued, though, as we had to step over large and small boulders alike, tip-toeing across them so that we did not break our ankles.  Micah kept crying, "I hate this hike! I want to go home!"  But we were determined to see this shipwreck that we had worked so hard to get to.

We hiked, and hiked, and hiked.  We only ran across 1 couple, who passed us and looked at us like we were crazy.  Because we were crazy (see the arrow right by the tiny people?  That's how far we had walked from the hill of death, through clouds of sand flies and stench from the seaweed).

The only thing interesting that we came across was a bum-hut made by other people who had attempted the impossible.

Oh, and the shipwreck?  Well, this was all we saw of it.

Yeah, that's because the REAL shipwreck remains were another 1/2 mile to a mile AWAY from where we were!  (see arrow)

And from what I had read, there wasn't much left.

So, after much crying from everyone involved, and sand flies all over our faces, we turned around to head back up the hill.  (Insert sobs here)

Seriously, these pictures make it look like it's a piece of cake.  But we made it back up with many rest stops, and much comforting of a very mad 6 year old.

Jaden was the only one who enjoyed himself, finding treasures along every step of the way.  Thankfully nobody got hurt, until we made it to the very top of the mountain and Jaden took off running towards the car. He fell flat on his face in the dirt, scraped up his hand, and cried a lot.  At the top of the hill, we saw a cop sitting behind our car. I was sure someone had probably called the cops on us for taking our kids on such a dangerous hike.  He left us alone and we drove away.

We awarded ourselves the "Worst Parents of the Year" award and left that dreadful place, never to return.  Labor Day will forever be etched in my mind as the day we almost died. Or I almost died. Of a panic attack.

So, what's your "Worst Parent of the Year" story?  :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Today I felt inspired to make this.  I don't know who took the original photo, but it was exactly what I was looking for.  The words were something God whispered to my heart.  I hope it encourages you today :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Coffee: Friend or Foe?

I never really was much of a coffee drinker until the last few years.  When I was introduced to the White Chocolate Mocha (WCM's) at Starbucks, suddenly a whole new world of flavored coffee opened before me and I was sold.  I still wouldn't consume much at home, though, since I never seemed to find the right ratio of coffee grounds to water. Home coffee just wasn't the same as Starbucks WCM's, either.  We entertain quite often, however, so I learned to make coffee when others came over.

Then we moved to a new neighborhood and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf called my name from the corner.  Now their White Chocolate Mocha's were to die for.  Martin bought me their white chocolate mocha powder, and my home coffee drinking increased a little more.  Last year I also acquired a Keurig, and with it about 10 boxes of various kinds of coffee.  It has become a hit, and people love coming over and picking out their favorite coffee from the turn style.  Suddenly the ratio wasn't a problem anymore, and I love being able to serve the perfect cup of coffee, chosen specifically for the drinker.

And so we come to today.  I don't drink coffee everyday.  I probably average about 3-4 cups a week.  But when I have it, I love it, and it is a comfort of sorts, smelling it brew through the house.  I love sitting down with the morning paper and drinking my coffee.  What is even more fun is meeting a girlfriend for coffee, sipping it slowly and savoring our time together.  It is a treat!

However, I have noticed something very interesting.  When I drink coffee, I am not well afterwards.  I am not well physically or emotionally.  I already knew that coffee exacerbates my hyperhydrosis (sweaty palms).  All the articles say to stay away from caffeine because it makes that problem even worse.  But I chose to deal with that and drink it anyway.  The other physical effects I have after drinking coffee range from shaking, to severe stomach aches, to headaches.  I know that if I drink coffee, I need to be near a bathroom for the next few hours.  The symptoms are sometimes not enough to notice if I am really busy that day, but then on other days, they are very noticeable and annoying.  I switched creamers to an all natural one (which I love and highly recommend), and the problems were still occurring (although it did help calm my stomach a little more).  I tried decaf, and the effects still happen, although not as strong.

Yet aside from the physical effects, I have noticed that my mood is remarkably different on days I drink coffee.  I am more emotional, I have more anxiety, I worry more, and I feel stressed.  On the days I drink it, I just don't feel right.  I brought this up to a friend this week and she agreed - she said the same thing happens to her.  She said if she drank it every day, she'd probably need therapy.  I completely agree.
I looked online to see if there were any articles on this correlation between caffeine and mood and found many.  

Is it just the caffeine?  I don't feel this way when I drink soda, so I looked up the caffeine content of coffee vs. tea or soda. According to the Mayo Clinic, coffee has between 95-200 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces.  A 16 oz. vanilla latte from Starbucks has 150 mg of caffeine. A chai tea latte has 100 mg. of caffeine.  A cup of black tea has 40-120 mg per cup.  8 ounces of Coke Zero has 35 mg. of caffeine and Diet Coke has 47 mg.  Typically I drink Coke Zero or Diet Coke.

So YES! I think I figured it out! Caffeine does not have a good effect on my body!  (Duh.)  The bummer is that there are many mornings where I feel like I need caffeine for a quick pick-me-up.  Decaf coffee has between 2-12 mg of caffeine.  Not sure that would be enough.  But for now, it looks like I'll be giving up my coffee habit for awhile, unless I choose decaf.

How about you?  Do you notice a difference in your mood or your body when you drink caffeine?  What other things do you recommend for a quick pick-me-up?