Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm thinking this turned out pretty cute.

I bought one of those decal thingys for walls (for the kitchen).

I think it turned out pretty cute.

Now Sarah wants some for her bedroom and Amanda wants some for her dorm room.  It turns out it was easier to do than I thought it would be.  I bought it at Target.

The best part is, when I get tired of it, I can just paint over it.

Here's a close up...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm a MOM....What's Your Superpower?

As mothers how often do we tease our children by telling them we have eyes in the back of our head...How often do we "hear" our children doing something rotten, before we actually "see" them doing it? It takes skill to catch vomit in our hands and not gag or throw up while doing it.  To take our kids chewed up gum and plop it in our mouths, because there isn't a garbage can at the ready.  To cook, clean or read to toddlers while holding a cranky baby.  To scale windows, when our little ones lock us out of the house for the hundredth time and we forgot to take our keys with us.  To soothe a colicky baby to sleep, to walk the halls late at night...stay up with a sick child...wash pukey or peed on sheets at 3 a.m. and still manage to wake up on time and get on with our days.

We joke that we're "powered by coffee or caffeine".  We survive on little sleep.  We are moms and it's all part of the job.  Whether we stay at home or work full time.   It's life...our life.   And most of us wouldn't have it any other way.  But lately, I have been feeling like a bad mom.  I usually only work 2 days a week, it's what I'm used to...I can do all the things I need to and still enjoy life when I work two days instead of full time.  I would love to be able to stay home full time like I used to, but right now, I just can't...and I guess I'm lucky that I only have to work the two days.  But the situation at my job place changed.  I work afternoon shift, and there are only two part time people that work afternoon shift and I'm one of them.  The other one can only work weekends, so I get stuck working weekdays and weekends...where ever they have a position to fill...I get stuck working it.  And with summer vacations happening, instead of my usual two days a week, I'm getting 3, 4 and sometimes 5.  I feel like I'm missing summer.  My garden is dying, because no one remembers to water it.  My kids miss the crap (well, at least the younger ones do) out of me.  The other day, Nathan practically chased my van down the street.  It was a good thing I saw him running or I might have hit him.  It was pathetic seeing those huge tears rolling down his face.  I cried all the way to work and still want to cry thinking about it. 

I feel sleep deprived and I'm grouchy, bitchy, irritated.  I don't feel like cooking or baking...and my kids (and Rich) have been missing out.  And I'm missing so many things.  I've missed baseball games and parties and picnics.  It just sucks!  I realize that that's life and millions of other moms are missing the same things and feeling the same way.  I realize that I should just suck it up and deal with it.  But, I still feel miserable all the same...and guilty for feeling this way too.

When I was a little girl, super heroes were all the rage.  There were cartoons, action figures, underoos, even tv shows.  We pretended to be super heroes at play.  Since I had a twin brother, I really loved the "Wonder Twins."  Wonder twin power activate - form of a......I wished that I could turn myself into a thousand objects and more than once wished that I could be invisible (especially during those awkward pre-teen years).  Lately, all I've been wishing for is a way to multiply myself, so that I can still work and get to enjoy all the things that life has to offer and be the kind of mother I love being to my kids.

I hate that I have morphed into this screaming, yelling monster.  I have no patience left for my family.   I feel like a terrible wife and house is absolutely disgusting, it's embarrasing.  I ask the kids to help out and keep what I clean - clean...but that goes in one ear and out the other.  I clean before I go to work and come home to a huge mess.  I get sick to my stomach when I have to leave for work, worrying about whether I will get mandated for midnight shift (which is also short staffed right now) and I worry about when I walk back through my door at night about the mess I'm coming home to.  I have been finding dishes randomly shoved under couches and beds.  And dishes in the kitchen sick are overflowed onto the counters.  Don't even get me started on the laundry.  I feel bad for complaining...I'm sure there has to be a way to do it all, but I certainly haven't figured it out yet, have you?

We all need to believe in a superhero now and believe we have superpowers and can do it all and when we can't, what do we believe in then.  I have to believe that somehow God is listening and he hears my pleads and some how, some way things will ease up and I'll feel a little less stressed and a little more peace.  That my family will see my tears and stress not as a weakness, but as a strength...what helps me become a stronger person and a better mother.   I can do anything, if I believe, that's my superpower...what's yours?

Linking to....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Winner of the Novica GC is.....

AubreyLaine said...

I would put it towards the Art mirror, 'Retro Floral in Green'.

littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

Congrats Aubrey...I'll be emailing you the code here in a bit.  And Thanks to all who entered the giveaway!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Commotion in the Ocean

One of our recent favorite books is Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae.  Nathan loves listening to  the rhyming paragraphs as well as reading about the creatures under the sea.  The illustrations by David Wojtowycz are bright and colorful and help bring the book to life.   I had several craft ideas in mind for this book, but since I was short on time, we only made two.  If you would like more ideas for sea life projects, such as Lobster, Penguin, Fish, Octopus or Whales, including a fun jellyfish lunch, Check out the kids craft and other project pages on the side bar.

*From the book....

"Jellyfish - the jellyfish just loves to jiggle,
Which other fish think is quite dumb.
She knows that it's not all that useful
But jiggling's lots of good fun."

Our first craft was a jellyfish windsock.

We used paper plates, yellow paint, red, orange and black construction paper, google eyes, orange and red yarn and crepe paper, glue and a black ribbon.

Cut a little bit off the bottom of the paper plate, just enough to round the edges and curve it.

Paint the back of the plate yellow.

Cut out some small circles using the red and orange construction paper and a smile out of the black paper.

Once the plate is dry, glue on the circles, mouth and google eyes.

Cut strips of yarn and crepe paper about 12 inches or so long and glue them to the back of the plate.

Loop the black ribbon and staple it the top of the plate to hang Mr. Jellyfish up.

Our second project is called "Ocean in a Bottle"

You can find the complete instructions Here

Basically, you will need an empty 1 liter bottle, water, blue food coloring, mineral oil, super glue and a funnel.

(As you can see, we added some little friends to our bottles...found these at the Dollar Tree)

Fill the bottle a little more than half way with water.

Add a few drops of blue food coloring to the water.

Add the fish, or whatever you want to put in the bottle (glitter, other trinkets, etc)

Carefully, using the funnel if needed, pour the mineral oil into the bottle.

To seal the bottle, use a bit of super glue on the lid or the threads of the bottle and tighten the cap on the bottle.

Ocean in a Bottle....The boys had so much fun with this little science experiment.  They have played with and rolled their bottles all over the place, including down the slide haha.

Special thanks to my friend, Susan...for providing the above link!

Linking to....
Shibley Smiles

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Tiger Tales for review purposes only.  The opinions and projects herein are my own and were not influenced by Tiger Tales.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fourth of July Frozen Jello Pops

Jello + Cream Cheese = YUM!

What you'll need to make these super sweet yummy treats:

1 cup sugar (divided)
1 pkg (3 oz) of jello - I used Berry Blue
1 pkg (3 oz) of another flavor of jello - I used Watermelon
2 cups boiling water (divided)
1 cup cold water (divided)
1/2 pkg (4 oz) cream cheese (softened)
1 1/2 cups Cool Whip
16  3 oz paper cups
16 popsicle sticks

Mix 1/3 cup sugar with watermelon jello; Add 1 cup boiling water; Stir for 2 minutes or until dissolved.  Add enough ice to 1/2 cup cold water to measure 3/4 cup; Add to watermelon jello; Stir til ice melts; Refrigerate for 25 minutes.

Repeat step one with the berry blue jello - only omit the refrigeration part.

Pour berry blue jello into the paper cups and freeze for 20 minutes.

Beat cream cheese and the remaining sugar with a mixer til blended; Stir in Cool Whip and spread over (the frozen) jello.

Next pour the refrigerated jello over the cream cheese mixture; Insert popsicle stick in the center.

 Freeze for 3 hours or til firm....we left ours in over night.

Doesn't this just scream SUMMER!?!


Linking to . . .

Oooh, another time sucker....

Pinterest.....Oh, how I love thee!

Yes, I have a new love.


Haven't heard of Pinterest?
What, do you live under a rock or something.

I love it..
..but it's majorly addicting!

There are so many creative people out there and I love being able to look at their ideas and styles, and being inspired to try new things.

A friend invited me months ago and can you believe I actually blew it off.
I know, what the heck was I thinking??

I'm still playing around with my boards, but if you'd like to check out the fun stuff I'm loving...
I double dog dare you not to become addicted too.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

4th of July Star Garland

All you need for this is some of those freebie paint chips and some ribbon.

I picked up red, white and blue chips and cut them into stars.

I sewed all the stars to a blue ribbon and wahla....a cute fourth of July decoration.

You could probably tape them all together if you don't have a sewing machine, might be a bit more time consuming though.

Either way you go about it, the results are totally adorable!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Novica Review & Giveaway ($50 Gift Card)

I was recently asked to do another review and a giveaway for Novica, a division of National Geographic. They feature artists from all over the world.  They have some very interesting items...from jewelry to rugs; and furniture to home decor; and masks to mirrors, vases, clothing and sculptures...there's definitely something for everyone.  

As per their website "NOVICA unites you with more than 2,000 extraordinary master artists around the world. Read about their lives, explore their fascinating cultures, and select from more than 30,000 handcrafted works of art."  One of their features is a "Spotlight on the Artist", which gives you a synopsis of the artist, where they are from and what inspired their work.

Novica is easy to navigate. Everything was broken down into catagories...Jewelry was broken down into earrings, necklaces, bracelets and so on.  To make your shopping experience even easier they also have a "special features" section which has several gifts to chose from such as corporate gifts.  Which features summer items like fun hammocks, along with bags and travel items, as well as entertainment and gift sets.  The only hard part is deciding what to buy.  

You might also enjoy looking at these other unique gifts or these eco friendly ones as well.  Another fun feature is their newest site - Novica Live which gives you the opportunity to have your own home based business and become a consultant for Novica.


For a chance to win a $50 gift card to Novica....go to their site, take a look around and leave me a comment telling me what you would buy.   For more chances to win (one entry per comment): 

Like Novica on Facebook
Follow Novica on Twitter
Follow Adventures In Mommy Land on Twitter
Like Adventures In Mommy Land on Facebook
Follow Adventures In Mommy Land on Networked Blogs
or....follow me via google friend connect.

I will draw a winner via random number generator on June 27 at midnight (eastern standard time).  Winner will have 24 hours to respond.  Good Luck!


*Disclosure: I received a gift card for product review purposes.  The opinions herein are my own and were not influenced in anyway by Novica or National Geographic.

This giveaway is now closed...winner will be announced soon, upon confirmation

Thursday, June 16, 2011

fun summer garland

If you want a fun project that the kids can do off and on all day.....this is it.  I saw this posted on Meg's blog and have been wanting to try it ever since.  

Super Easy and So Cute, Not to mention Cheap

Bright and Colorful Garland - perfect summer time decoration


All you need is some paper doiles.  You can use different sizes or all one size.  Walmart has them in the "wedding" aisle of their stores for a couple bucks each.

You also need some watercolor paints.

Less than $10 for a full day of crafty fun.

I say full day, because my kids started painting and then ran off for an hour or so to play.  Came back and painted some more.  Then, Nathan had a ball game so we went to watch him play and when it was over we painted some more.  It literally was an all day project - painting...playing...painting...playing.

(Ack....ignore the hole in Nathan's dirty sock LOL! - My boys are always running around outside in their socks - hence the dirt and the holes).

Later, after they dried, I sewed them all together to make a garland.

And just sew (haha,I know it's cheesy but I just had to...Ok?), we're's not easy sewing paper!

But, it came out cute.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Family Favorite Summertime Treat

These are SO Amazingly Good - You seriously have to make them, Right NOW....Trust me!

I made these last year and they were awesome!

An alternative to S'MORES......

Stick a toothpick in the marshmallow and dip into melted chocolate.  Roll them around in crushed up graham cracker crumbs.  Place on wax paper and chill for about an hour.  Then, try to contain yourself from devouring the whole platter full.

*I didn't think of this until this morning, but wouldn't these be even better if you used a small mini stick pretzel instead of the toothpick? Mmmm, I think so!

Note to self - next time, ditch the toothpick and use a pretzel instead!

Linking to...

Tip Junkie handmade projects