Ramblings

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So I began writing this neat and orderly post and just thought it was pretty boring.  Instead this will most likely resemble the ramblings of a typical mom!  I’d like to say I’m more organized and put together but the truth is, just like most moms I have good days and bad days.  And lots of interruptions.photo (1)

I really did have the best intentions!  I was so proud of myself for creating a chore list that the kids were actually using and a bucket list with the promise of a perfect summer!  Last week I even came out of my room to find my kids huddled around the fridge checking out what chores were to be done!  This was one of those moments that went incredibly right!  I was sure this was due to my amazing parenting skills and my angelic children.  As it turns out it was the moment that was perfect and sadly it did not last too long.

Lazy river

As the week marched on we began our activities.  We did go to one of the local pools and enjoyed the lovely weather.  I was diligent enough to lather on the SPF 50 on my sweet kiddos (I even re-applied twice!!).  Being the diligent mother I completely forgot to apply my own sunscreen!  Ooops!  Well after several hours of conquering the majestic water slides and floating in the lazy river it was time to head home!

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It turns out that my kids still took in more sun than their delicate skin could handle. :(  Of course you can conclude if they burnt I was roasted!!  Next time we will definitely break out the SPF mayonnaise!!  I suppose I should have realized how warm it was when even my poor phone gave me a temperature warning and quit!

Spf

Does everyone else get their initiation sunburn at the beginning of the summer?  I mean it’s not like I don’t know how hot it is and that there is a possibility of turning into a crispy critter!  [This same principle applies in the fall somewhere around Halloween.  I see candy corn in a cute little bowl and think oooo a treat!  I put one in my mouth only to realize I really really dislike candy corn!!]

Tangent aside, I was at the store a couple of days ago and upon my daughter’s insistence we purchased SPF 110.  I can’t wait to test that one out!

After spending so much time in the sun and lathering on the aloe vera we have been hibernating inside with the air conditioning cranked down!  We have crafted, watched movies and even worked on our Project Life album!  I am still getting the hang of this but the kids are catching right on.  Both of my girls are happy to write about their daily adventures!!

Project life Layout

I can’t wait to see what new adventures await our family this week!!

Mission Kitchen

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I think the question, “What’s for dinner?”  has the power to strike irritation in the heart of mom’s everywhere.  It’s not that we don’t want to feed our dear children.  In fact if you are like me you love going into your kitchen, opening your fridge,(which is fully stocked with the freshest ingredients), creating a new exciting entree daily that will be presented as a culinary masterpiece that even Chef Gordon Ramsay would be impressed by!

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What’s that you say?  You enter your kitchen that has a sink full of dishes, a fridge that hasn’t been replenished in two weeks because little Jimmy has the flu and there is a toddler attached to your leg?  Yes this is closer to the reality for most of us.  Even the best laid plans can be difficult and sometimes turn into a cereal kind of night.Image

Between you and me, I’d settle for something in between.  When I was planning our Summer Bucket List one of the thing we all agreed on was that everyone needs to know how to cook.  This item simply says, Learn to cook.  I put it on the list and didn’t really think much more about it.  I know… not great planning.

Today my hubby and I were talking about this weekend’s plans.  (We have our calendars synced up on our phone through Google but it is beneficial for both of us to talk out our game plan on who is taking which kid where.)  In the conversation we were talking about meals.  (We love to talk about food!)  We decided that it would be a good idea to do the grocery shopping on Friday night and then do some of our weekly cooking on Saturday in order to do the prep work for our dinners.

Insert relevant tangent here:

Last month I had a really bad case of bronchitis and my hubby ended up having to do the bulk of things around the house.  This included grocery shopping.  When he mentioned he was taking our three children with him I worried that he might be in over his head.  Even I can become frustrated when we grocery shop.  He came home in record time and everyone was happy!  (I figured some sort of miracle only second to Moses parting the Red Sea had taken place!)  I had to know how this was possible?

He simply said I gave them each their own mission!  I was a little confused for a moment.  He then explained that he broke up the list and asked each of the kids retrieve specific items!  This is brilliant I thought.  (Disclaimer:  I would not do this with younger children.)Image

With this information I think I’m armed with a great plan we now refer to as Mission Kitchen!  This includes the planing and delegating of every task revolving around the question, “Mom, what’s for dinner?”.

My kids will each pick the meal that they want to cook and help compile a grocery list.  My hubby will take the kids to the grocery store and each child will have a mission to find and bring back specific ingredients.  (Mom can take the kids grocery shopping too.  My kids just think my hubby is way cooler.)  Saturday morning I will help each child (one at a time) prepare a meal that they will serve during the week!

Our very first Mission Kitchen will be given this weekend.  I am looking forward to this resulting in a loving and harmonious kitchen and stress free dinner time.  Oh yeah, I am also hoping to delete the phrase,  “Mom, what’s for dinner?”, from my children’s vocabulary!  Update to come next week!!

Summer Bucket List 2013!!

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Summer is here!!  You know what that means, right??  Yep, sandals, swimsuits, barbeques and vacations!  Oh yeah, also kids who are so full of energy they can run circles around their parents!  I have learned in my 13 years as a parent that busy kids are happy kids.  I have also learned that between all my daily responsibilities keeping three kids busy is one of the more challenging things I have ever done!  That is why when I saw the post about a Summer Bucket List on Becky Higgins’s blog I was thrilled!  It was planning schedules in one of the most fun ways I’ve seen!!

The first step was to talk to each of my kids to see what their summer priorities were!  My ten and eleven year old daughter was more than willing to share.  However my 13 son was a little less enthusiastic.  I’m pretty sure teenage boys are happy to eat pizza and play video games.  As we continued the conversation and really started to throw ideas around even my teenage son was pretty excited to put together ideas for this summer!

We all agreed that swimming was going to be at the top of the list!  Then after talking a bit more we decided that not only would we swim but we would visit some of our local pools with fun water features!  Do you see where this is going??  Yep, as we talked we came up with more than fifty different ideas for our summer!

After seeing Becky Higgins’s blog post I also decided I wanted to keep track with Project Life.  Here is what we came up with for our little Summer Bucket List/Project Life command center!

Bucket List Poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kids love it!  The girls are already journaling about their day.  I’ve handed the camera over to my son to be our official photographer.  We are all on board and I can’t wait to see the finished project at the end of the summer.  Our last item on our bucket list this summer is to put together a time capsule to be opened in 10 years.  One of the items that will be included is a letter written by each of us to ourselves.

Here is our first day of summer photo of my cute kids!  Even though they are older they get super wiggly and goofy when it comes to taking a picture together.  It’s not a perfect shot but they are perfect to me!

First day of summer

This process has made me realize how important the little things are.  My children continue to teach me daily about family, love and happiness.  I am definitely excited about this summer and am positive that the phrase, “I’m bored will not be spoken in our home!”

To link up to the Summer Bucket List Challenge stop by The Happy Family Movement.  You can link up your blog, check out the Facebook group or follow their Pinterest board.  There are so many fun ideas for families of all ages!

A New Perspective

Last night after I was hoping to fall asleep I was laying in my bed thinking.  Of course this is the most convenient time to have great ideas right?  I think most of us have been there.

I was contemplating how I’ve arrived on this exact path that I am currently on.  No, nothing is dramatically wrong in my life.  Actually when I thought about it I realized how very blessed I am.  I’m sure there are plenty of you not wanting to hear how picture perfect my life is.  And no I’m not going to list every wonderful thing in my life.  (We would be here a very long time.)

It’s not that I have everything I want and no my life is not without trials and struggles.  It is that I’m coming to realize with all of the great wisdom I’ve accumulated in my great 34 years that I can be happy and have peace in the journey that is the path I call my life.

Several months ago, well that’s what it seems like, but really almost a year ago I had this distinct feeling that I wasn’t progressing.  Yes I went to work every day, yes I did housework, yes I played taxi for my kids various activities, yes I was active in my church and yes I generally kept up with the daily hum drum of my routine.

I think because we are all on this revolving carousel of daily monotony that it is difficult to feel like we are progressing and really connecting with those around us.  To me this made me feel a little empty.  (It goes without saying that I love my family and all that they bring to my life.)  I just had this desire to connect with others and feel like I was making some sort of additional progress.

Last July I established my crafting Facebook page, Tulip Garden Crafts.  At the time I was a little unsure just how I was going to utilize this great resource.  I have been a crafter for so many years.  My poor mother found that out the hard way when she came home to me cutting up her original pictures that were irreplaceable. (Ooops… Sorry Mom!)  When I was introduces to scrapbooking almost twenty years ago I was completely hooked!!

I began posting pictures of the crafts I was creating and the response was so positive!  I had people ordering items and was getting so much positive feedback.  I hate to be so vain as to admit this but every time the number of “likes” grew I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to see the number grow.

As I began this project what I didn’t anticipate was building this incredible network of others who were incredibly inspiring to me.  I began to learn all kinds of things.  It was a challenge to learn new skills and really improve upon my skills and talents.  There was a sense of progress and connection that I can’t explain other than it filled something in my life.

Then I began to feel overwhelmed.  I have so many responsibilities in my life.  We all do.  Things began to feel a bit out of balance.  I decided to get back to my basics and really evaluate where I was going to put my time and energy.  I stopped taking orders and even unpublished my Facebook page.  I focused on trying to feel more balanced.

I realized I missed having that connection with those whom I have learned from and who I now consider friends.  After careful consideration I have decided to re-publish my Facebook page.  This time I have some new goals in mind.  I will not be taking orders.  Instead I am going to try to keep focusing on connecting with others.  I’ll still post lots of pictures and craft ideas.  I want to learn how to do video tutorials too! (We’ll see how that goes.)

Something else I want to do is focus on my blog.  I will be posting my blog entries on my Facebook page.  I do want to blog about a lot of different thoughts.  (I need to free up some space in my head.)  I know that everyone will have different ideas and I respect that.  I want to continue to connect with others because I believe we all rely on one another.  I need to continue learning.  I believe I have thoughts that others might learn from.  If nothing else my spelling might improve.

My future post should not be nearly this long.  I promise I will post pictures too.  I’m looking forward to the journey!

Day 1

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Good morning!!  Well I guess it’s almost afternoon now.  Do you ever feel like this about weight loss?  It is amazing to me because even friends that appear to be completely “skinny” seem to beg frustrated over this.  I have more than a couple of pounds I’d like to take a hike but we all seem to feel the same way about this topic! Frustrated!

It’s like there are a zillion different options and how do you decide which one to do!  I have come to the conclusion that each of us is different and we each just need to discover what works for ourselves.

With all that said I’m very excited about a new goal I have set.  I joined a Health Challenge.  Notice I didn’t say weight loss???  Nope, it’s a health challenge.  You can follow this 90 day challenge on Polka Dot Pixies.  I love that there are various aspects that it focuses on, not just food and exercise.  Those are both essential to this challenge but it also covers other areas that help us to be whole, well-balanced healthy individuals.

One thing we are required to do is to journal or blog each day, so get used to hearing from me lots!  Another thing I love is that we get to set a personal goal each week to work on.  This week mine is going to bed by 9:30 every night and getting at least 8 hours of sleep.  This can be pretty difficult with my schedule and responsibilities.  I am determined to do this though.

If you wonder why I’m mentioning all this here it’s because it helps to have support from those who know and love you.  It also keeps me accountable!  So today is day 1 and I’m ready to go!

 

 

Ever had one of those days????

Have you ever had one of those days??  You know the kind where things just don’t go quite right no matter what you do?  That’s kind of how this past weekend was.  We experienced everything from car problems to sick kids throwing up in the car!  Yuck!  I suppose it could have been worse.  I guess my patience level has severely dropped as the temperature of the Summer heat has risen!  (I don’t like the heat!)  I was sure that all of the extra curricular issues we were experiencing in our home (and cars) would spill over into Monday!

A funny thing happened and I think the Monday faries took pity on me and decided Monday would be a turning point!  The kids suddenly felt better and the car problems were no more!  Even our dog was behaving.  If I was ten years younger and had the space I might have done a cart-wheel!  Okay maybe not.

To add to my great Monday I got an email from a Heidi over at Polka Dot Pixiesasking me if I would mind being a continuing contributor!!  This is pretty exciting news for me and I am excited to get to flex my crafty muscles!!

If you have not had a chance to take a look at Polka Dot Pixies blog come take a peek.  To the left is one of the free printable you can find on her blog!!  This is my theme right now with school starting and having had a rough weekend.  There are lots of other great things to see so don’t miss the fun!!

Exciting News

Happy Tuesday!!  Today I’m so excited to share with you the Polka Dot Pixies Blog where a few of my cards were featured!!!  There are tons of cute ideas on this blog!  I love it!  Of course it’s also fun to see a few of my cards posted also!!  Come check it out!!  I’m not going to post my cards here but the names are Happy Birthday, Joy and Key.  You can pop on over to take a peek!!

This is a recent card I made from items I had in my scraps box!  It is simple yet is coordinated and fun!
I’ve been busy crafting away cards recently.  You can see more on my Facebook page Tulip Garden Crafts!  I try to update daily with new things I’m working on!  Come on over and “like” my page so you can keep up with all the fun craftiness!  I also would love to see what else you all are making.  Feel free to post your crafts and thoughts!

Happy Crafting!!

 

Wild Card

I love to scrapbook!  I’ve been doing it for close to 13 years.  I never really got into card making though.  I always felt like my cars were plain and not as cute as they could be.  A while ago I purchased the Wild Card Cricut Cartridge.

My thought was that if had all these cute templates to play with my cards had the potential for becoming at the very least above average!  Well I’m not sure where my cards currently rate but I saw this particular template and had to give it a whirl.  I really love that it’s round.  I cut the first image blacked out and the second has an open edge. I love the layering effect it creates.
What I’ve also realized with cards is I can go through my stash and pull from my scraps and those miscellaneous embellishments I haven’t used and add all those fun finishing touches!  This card I’m going to give as a birthday card!!

I have a few other things in the works that I will post over the next few days!

It was an accident….really!

Remember this banner???  Just a simple banner really.  I made it for a family birthday party.  Mostly I really just wanted to play with my new cartridge I purchased for my Cricut.  Well I love sharing my projects and I posted it on Facebook.  I got lots of replies and positive feedback!  I even had several people ask if I sold them.  Of course my response was, “Yes!”

So really it was an accident.  Although I have to admit it was a great surprise!  The short version of the story is I now have an established page on Facebook , Tulip Garden Crafts.  Here are a few items I recently posted.  These are a couple of kits for Happy Birthday Banners!  Once they are assembled they will have ribbon strung and any additional finishing touches.

 

 

 

This is another Happy Birthday Banner.  I’m also in the process of putting together additional kits for banners for baby shower and bridal showers!  The really great part about these banners is that I can make them in any color or pattern available.

 

 

 

 

These colors are for a baby shower banner that will say, It’s A Girl.  I’m excited to be adding more and more items to my inventory!  I’m having fun and getting to rub shoulders with lots of other talented crafters!

Happy Birthday!!!

Do you remember being a kid when you got a new toy and you couldn’t wait to play with it?  Well that’s kind of how I feel each time I get a new Cricut cartridge!!

Each month my family gets together and celebrates birthdays that have occurred that month.  Things have been a little bit busy this summer for our family so Saturday we got together to celebrate a total of 7 birthdays!  I decided ahead of time that we needed to add a few decorations.  I recently got a new Cricut that cuts larger so I went hunting to see if there was a cartridge that could specifically cut banners.  I was so excited to find the Pretty Pennants cartridge!

I can’t wait to create all kinds of fun things with these!  I layered the two shapes and then just used my Storybook cartridge to cut the letters.  This is the first banner is the first one I’ve made and it is pretty simple.  I used the basic primary colors because we celebrated 7 birthdays of all different ages and genders.

I also cut large tags and circles out of my Tags, Bags, Boxes & More cartridgee to spotlight each birthday!  It was so much fun for each of the kids to see their pictures pinned up on the wall and hear stories about them!  My camera wasn’t working so I’m waiting to see if someone else got a couple of shots I can post!

In the mean time here are some additional pics of the banner.  Next time I am going to add some additional embellishments and ink the edges to add more depth and dimension.

I can’t wait to see all the fun projects this will allow me to do!  It really was so simple to put this together!

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