Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The New Old Mantel

Do you remember months ago when I said that I had mantel issues?

Well, I never stopped thinking about it I just stopped trying to do something about it.  I decided that I needed to just be open to what came to me and see if it would come together. 

So for many months my mantel looked pretty shameful. 

And then it looked like this....which for some....may look pretty good...not so much for me.

But over the last month or so I have started to put some stuff together and though I know that it is not finished I feel like I don't hate it anymore.

I feel like it was like one of my inspiration pictures...

That layered look.  I kept the same mirror that I have always had there and then just slowly and surely I started to accumulate things to lean up there.

I drew this letter H from a vintage letter that I found on a website that I found on Pinterest.  I for the life of me cannot find that website again...which really bums me out because I really liked it.  Anyway, I just printed out the image and then hand drew it with a Sharpie onto a canvas that I had lying around.  Totally free and I love it!

The large canvas in the back is actually an old canvas that I have had that I just primed and then painted with some craft paint...I really love how it turned out too.  Now that black frame I got on sale at TJ Maxx back in January.  But Boo, when I took it out in June it totally fell apart.  I had to glue it all back together.  That picture of a very large and very pregnant me is not so good.  It was just the only black and white picture that I had on hand that would fit in the frame...I kind of hate it up on the mantel so I will be replacing it soon!

On the other side of the mantel I just want you guys to notice the AMAZING framed Japanese Woodblock print that I scored at the Goodwill for an amazing $9.99.  As if you couldn't already tell that it was fate or serendipity the mat on the print perfectly compliments the light green that I have going on in the rest of the house.  Yeah it was totally meant to be!

Behind the print is a frame that I have had lying around for years.  The frame was empty so I simply got a piece of foam board and transcribed Bible verses translated into French.  I don't really love how it turned out so I will probably be changing that too...as soon as I get a better idea.

Finally, no mantel reveal would be complete without me showing you the plant that I have already killed.  Yeah it really doesn't take me long, now  we are just waiting for the next victim perfect indoor plant.

So what do you think?  Have you been messing with your mantel lately?  Killed any plants recently?  Got any tips or explanation as to why I cannot keep anything alive?  Doesn't look good for my kids!  HaHa!


I am linking up to Laylas Summer Mantel Party over at the The Lettered Cottage.
The Lettered Cottage

Monday, April 30, 2012

On The Road To Achieving More!

So yesterday was a big day for me.  I ran my first half marathon...well actually I have run it on my own before but I actually competed yesterday.

Sorry about the picture quality... it was taken with my iPhone.

My Word Of The Year is Achieve, and one of the ways that I wanted to achieve more is by competing in a marathon.  Well I am not there yet but I am getting there and yesterday I proved it to myself. 

It was interesting.  It rained the whole time.  It was long...13.1 miles long.  It took me exactly 2:00:00.  Which was my goal.  Previously it took me 2:11:00.  So ultimately I was happy.  Today I can barely walk which makes me wonder how I am ever going to run twice as far.  But I guess that I will just have to figure that out. 

So what about you...have you reached any goals lately?  Do you have any goals that you are working towards?  I just love that feeling when you finally make it, don't  you?  Tell me all about it!!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

How Did I Get So Old

So my family was sitting down to dinner and the conversation got on the candy Skittles and my 8 year old asked if their were purple Skittles when we were kids. My husband and I laughed and said "of course". Quickly followed by " it has not been that long since we were kids".

My 8 year old then asked about iPads and I told him that there weren't iPads when he was born nor tablets or netbook computers.

Just then I hear my five year old say " yeah mom had to write in the dirt..... with a stick.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Apothecary Jar Terrarium

This last summer I read a post of the Nester about Apothecary Jar Terrariums.  I knew instantly that come spring I was SOOO going to make one.

So this late winter/spring I started gathering the supplies.

Here is what I got:


-Carbon (I got mine in the fish supply aisle at Wal-mart)


- Low light plants (I bought way more than would fit in my jar)

-The biggest apothecary jar that I could find.  (I got mind at Michaels with a coupon)

Here is what I did:

I put the carbon in a strainer with some small holes and rinsed it out in the sink.  It will start to run clean after a few seconds.  I set that aside for a minute to fully drain.

I placed a layer of rocks in the bottom of the jar, I used regular drainage rocks that I had from a different project but I think that smaller river rocks would really look great. 

 On top of the rocks goes a layer of the rinsed carbon.  The carbon helps keep the water from becoming yucky and stagnate. 

Then I layered the dirt.  I actually put too much in so I had to scoop some out, which kinda made the sides of my jar messy.  So try and add a little at a time.

Next came my plants.  I intended to have three different plants of varying heights and textures...but apparently my jar wasn't as big as I thought.  I could only fit one of the plants that I bought.  A mini fern, it is cute but I wish that I could have fit more.  Alas what is a girl to do?!

Then I added some rocks.  I wanted to add some cool moss, but I honestly have no idea where to get that in my neck of the woods.  So I am going to have to work on that.

So then I basically just added water, maybe a cup and a half.  As I was adding the water I let it stream down the side to try and get the rouge dirt off the sides, that worked pretty good but not perfect.  That is okay thought I can live with not quite perfect!

I am sure that I must have made a terrarium in school but I don't remember it, so I guess it doesn't count.  YAY!  I made my first terrarium!

I am enjoying it a lot, I just wish I had some moss.  Sigh!  I think that this plant has a fighting chance of me not killing it...as it is going to water itself.  Bonus

Now I keep thinking about all of the other containers that I could turn into a terrarium. 

How  about you, have you been busy with any "gardening" lately?  Made a terrarium lately?  Tell me all about it!


Monday, April 16, 2012

This Is My Hustle

Every stay at home mom that I know (with the exception of only one) has a hustle.  I mean a way that she increases the income of her family.  It is often selling things like jewelry, Scentsy, embroidery, daycare, blog writing etc. 

Well I am no different.  This is my hustle.


I am a school bus driver.  Yes I drive a 40ft long, 78 passenger school bus.  I affectionately call it my big yellow mini van. :)  I drive about 70 elementary kids aged kindergarten to fifth grade.

I started driving a bus almost 6 years ago, shortly after my middle son was born.  I was 26 years old, and my husbands sole military income wasn't quite cutting it.  We could always pay the bills but there wasn't too much left over for extras, much less emergencies.

So I knew that I must do something to help.  I wanted a job that would give me flexibility, one that I could do with my kids (I knew that I couldn't leave them at daycare), and a job that I would enjoy.

I entertained lots of things like stuffing envelopes, working at night, cleaning etc, but most just seemed to interrupt my life too much. 

Then one day my sister (who is a bus driver/stay at home mom in a town not far from mine) suggested driving a bus.  At first I thought "No way, I can't drive that big ole thing".  But then I thought that if she could do it so could I.

So I took the test, trained with my school districts bus barn, took my driving test, got my license, and have been loving it ever since.

This job has been such a blessing.  It provides that much needed second income, great benefits (like membership the gym, discounts at local businesses etc.)I really feel like a contributing $ member of my household. My kids ride along so they have never been to daycare.  And now that two of my kids are in school, I drive for their elementary school so I can drop them off and pick them up from school everyday.

In addition my kids and I have gone on a zillion field trips to some really cool places.  And because drivers get in for free we have gotten to go to places that I could not have afforded otherwise.  We must go to the Zoo like 45 times a year, in fact I am going to the Zoo this week.  I always get the priority of taking my children's field trips when they go somewhere, super bonus I get to be with my kids like all the other moms and dad but I get paid by the hour to be there.  It is like I am practically stealing people!  And I can always turn field trips down if I have something else to do. 

Driving a bus rarely interferes with my home life.  In fact my husband usually forgets that I drive the bus. 

There are a few draw backs to my job.  The first is both a blessing and a drawback, I have summers off.  Yay!  That also means that I don't get a paycheck.  Boo!  But we always think ahead and put some $$$ back to help.  The mornings are early, I have to get my self and three kids out the door by 6:50.  Which is a feat every single day!!  Oh and it is very cold in the winter.

All in all I LOVE driving a bus and just couldn't imagine doing anything else while I still have kids at home.

So what about you, do you have a hustle?  Or are you one of the exceptional few that is a solely stay at home mom/wife?  Or do you have a full time job? I would love to hear what you do.


Friday, April 13, 2012

I Went to Hawaii

So one of the biggest things that I did recently is I went to Hawaii!!!

I was so excited!!!  Because lets be honest here, I am a normal stay at home wife and mom that operates within a budget.  It is not a part of my normal life to jetset around without my kids.  Or jetset at all for that matter, kids or not.  A trip to Hawaii is never in the budget. So how did it happen you ask?  Well my husband was there for work.  He is always saying how I should come with him on these trips but I live here in the real world knowing that it won't work out.  But this time he was going in March over Spring Break, so I could leave the kids with family without having to worry about how they were going to get to school.

So the Hubs got me a ticket with frequent flier miles, he already had a hotel room and rental car through work and was getting per diem.  So yeah I pretty much went to Hawaii for FREE!!  HOLLA!!!  But shush don't tell anyone because I kind of feel like I pulled a fast one and am just waiting for someone to tell me the I  am not going to get off that lucky.

So I was there for a week without children, and for a few hours during the work week my Hubs had to go to meetings.  He said that he felt bad for leaving me all alone; but lets get real, I am the full time mother of three boys.  I am never alone, I truly relished the time that I spent alone!

I used some of my free time to:

Lay on the beach, and watch the people go by.

Read a book....in peace without being interupted by "Mommy I need a drink"

I worked out in the Hotel gym, at my own pace without the hour and a half limit that my gym has at the daycare.

We stayed on the island of Oahu, down on Waikiki Beach.  It was okay but it was a very touristy area so it was nice when we took a trip north to Kualoa Ranch to enjoy a horseback ride.

The ranch was really cool.  It is a 4000 acre ranch on the east side of the island.  The ranch has been used to film a lot of movies like Godzilla, Jurassic Park, and 40 First Dates, just to name a few.  The scenery was off the hook.

We also climbed to the top of a volcano called Diamond Head.

That was super fun and a really cool way to look down at Waikiki Beach.

"Look mom I can see my hotel from here!"

Anyhow, we also went and visited the Pearl Harbor memorial.  But ding dong me forgot my camera so, I guess if you want to see pictures of that you will have to Google it.  I am sure that there are plenty of images out there.

It was an interesting and sobering reminder of the cruelty that we as humans can inflict upon one another.  But also a stark reminder of the bravery and compassion that we can also display.  But mostly it made me think of my Grandpa.

There was lots of shopping and eating, and maybe a little bit of adult beveraging.

All in all it was a great time.  I feel so blessed to have been able to spend alone time with my best friend, and reconnect with him the way it was before kids, and mortgages, and soccer practice etc.  I just keep finding myself dreaming of the next time that we get to get away!

So how about you, have you gone anywhere exciting recently?  Have you been to Hawaii and can't wait to get back?  Or are you looking forward to a trip?  I would love to hear about it!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Greetings my friends from somewhere off the face of the planet where I evidentally fell off to.

Actually I took a break from the electronic world during Lent.  I took a break to evaluate the things that are taking up my time to see if they are important to me still.

The thing that I found out is that blogging is an important outlet for me and quite frankly I missed you guys.  You have no idea how happy  it makes my to receive comments from you my friends. 

Even though you probably didn't receive them I was blogging in my head the whole time...no kidding!

I also missed seeing what the rest of you were up too.  But I am happy to say that I am back and could not be more excited.

There were some significant things that happened in the last month that I will be sharing with you:

1.  I hosted a 1 year cancer survival party for my brother in law.  It turned out great and I made some cute and inexpensive table decorations that I want to tell you about.

2.  The family spent a lot of time on Pinewood Derby cars for Cub Scouts.  I have 3 boys and this will be a part of my life for the foreseeable future, so it is kind of a big deal.  I am happy to report that we had 3 winning cars.

3.  I turned 32.  Not much to say about that.

4.  I went to HAWAII!!  I have never been and I was so excited.  I got to go childless and spent some much needed alone time with the Hubs!!  I will tell you all about it.

5.  I did the Daniel Fast for Lent.  This had a big impact on how I live my life.  I also had a sabbatical from the internets, but I already mentioned that.  I will be telling you all about it and what I learned.

6.  I also got a little crafty and decorating for spring and I cannot wait to show you what I have been up to.

7.  I have been spring cleaning like a mad women.

8.  Finally I worked out like a mad women.  Not much to say about that either.

I am so glad to be back and I plan to spend a few hours catching up with you guys today.  So did I miss anything huge in the blogospere?  Anything on your blogs that I must see?  Let me know so I won't miss it.