May 15, 2018

Crafting with a Toddler: Mother's Day

Happy Belated Mother's Day! Hope your day was wonderful!

I'm excited to share that I finally had a chance to pull out some crafty goodies and create something! And with my two year-old daughter, no less!


Let me walk you through the fun and challenging process...

Step 1: Decide on a whim that you should really make Mother's Day cards with your toddler... Realize that you haven't created a card in over a year and really have no idea what supplies you even have!

Step 2: After moving a bunch of boxes around, rediscover your stash as you try to find just the right stamps to use. I knew that I needed something that our little girl could color along with a simple sentiment. I decided on these airplane stamps because our daughter LOVES vehicles right now.

Step 3: Select a simple color palette and decide on a rough design. Stamp the large images on white cardstock. Cut into "coloring pages" and leave out with some "special crayons" in the color palette for the little girl to discover.

Step 4: Enjoy the coloring! My hubby stays home with our girl during day, so he encouraged her to color away! She was so thrilled to color the airplanes and to use the "special crayons" (standard Crayola crayons in specific colors, which seem very special compared to her big crayons). She even colored some extra paper that we later slipped into the cards.

Step 5: Fussy cut your beautifully colored images. Wrestle the little banners out of your baby's hands. It all worked out since now the banners look like the wind caught them. Hehehe.

Step 6: Assemble the rest of the card after your little one has gone to bed. We're lucky cause our daughter goes to bed at 6pm!

Paper: Dapper Denim cardstock, Neenah Solar White 80# cardstock, Sunshine and Sparkles Designer Series Paper, Strawberry Slush cardstock, White Vellum cardstock
Stamps: Messages for Mom (Stampin' Up!), Thanks for the Lift (My Creative Time)
Ink: Dapper Denim
Embellishments: Washi Tape (Target), Baker's Twine (Target)
Tools: Heart punch

April 2, 2018

18 for 2018 Progress

Alright guys. It's April! Already? So, now that we're a quarter into 2018, I should be a quarter done with my 18 for 2018 list. Right...? Ummm. Not so much... I thought I'd share my progress anyway. Let's see how things are going!

1. Build LEGO Disney Castle
I actually started this one a while ago and made a good bit of progress. And then suddenly, I just stopped... but I've made exactly 25% progress on the castle!
progress: 25%

2. Find pants that fit and look good for work
I did find some pants from Lands End that I'm interested in trying out. I'm just waiting for a good sale since I missed the last big one! Does this count as progress?
progress: 25%???

3. Create artwork for our home
I won't be able to start this one until I finish #15, but, I've been organizing my pins, which has been helping me get a better idea of what I want to make.
progress: 0%

4. Get e-mail inboxes to zero
When I posted my list, I shared with you how embarrassed I am to tell you the condition of my mailboxes. Let me just tell you that I have four e-mail accounts - Work, Personal, Hobby, and Family. I've gotten our family inbox down to ZERO! Hooray! So that's 25% progress! Right on track! And actually, if you are talking about actual number of e-mails, I think I've made about 60% progress! 
progress: 25% or 60%

5. Konmari
The big picture idea of Konmari puts items into 5 big categories: Clothes, Books, Paper, Komono (miscellany), and Sentimental Items. So if you disregard the fact that the Komono probably amounts to about 60-75% of the stuff in your house, and just go with the 5 big categories, we could say that I'm 50% done because I've finished clothes, books, and am halfway through paper. But realistically, I think I'm only about 20% done since Clothes, Books, and Paper are only a fraction of all the stuff in my house.
progress: 20% or 50%

6. Make a card organizer
progress: 0%

7. Paint a room or closet
progress: 0%

8. Read 4 new books
I re-started reading a book. That makes me sound kind of lame, but really, this is huge since I'm not a big reader. I read How to Talk so Kids will Listen & Listen so Kids will Talk last year and really enjoyed it. I even shared it with one of the teachers at my school with the hopes that it will help her communicate better with her students. I decided to read How to Talk so Little Kids will Listen as a follow up (and hopefully to teach me some better ways to communicate with my own Little Kid.) I'm only into chapter 2, so I haven't made much progress on this one, but I do think this is a book that you read slowly so you can practice the strategies as you read.
progress: about 7%

9. Start Project Life
I'll be able to begin once I'm done with #15.
progress: 0%

10. Sell stamps and craft supplies
I've sold 3 (yes, count them, 3!) stamp sets so far. Which means a teeny bit of progress, but progress nonetheless.
progress: 5%?

11. Clean the attic
I won't be tackling this one until after I'm done with #5
progress 0%

12. Make something from Pinterest
I'm still in the process of cleaning out my pins. Why I decided I needed to go through ALL. MY. PINS., I have no idea! So... I'm still deciding what I want to make. Plus, I really think my office needs to be ready for me to get crafty...
progress: 0%

13. Complete an ASCA course
I've actually made progress here! I've slowly been reading the articles and such and am happy to report that I am about half-way done with one of the courses! Hooray!
progress: about 50%

14. Finish 2016 & 2017 photo books
I've made progress here as well! I just ordered one of the 2016 books that I've been working on. I have about 7 more books that I want to finish, so I'm about 12.5% done... ugh. It sounded a lot better when I said that I finished one. Hahaha!
progress: 12.5%

15. Set up the Craft Room/Office
Okay, so in the midst of doing my Konmari, organizing my paper has helped me to organize my desk area and files, which means I've made a teensy bit of progress.
progress: let's say 5%

16. Make 12 cards
Geez. It seems that there is a lot riding on #15...
progress: 0%

17. Organize my School Counseling Curriculum
So I've been organizing both my electronic and paper lessons in my office at work, and I think I've actually made a pretty decent dent. Honestly, If I just devoted an afternoon to it, I could get it all done. The problem is... there aren't any free afternoons!
progress: about 30%ish

18. Write 18 blog posts
Technically I've just written my 5th post, which means I've made over 1/4 of the progress for this item, but since my original goal was to provide updates once I completed each item, you could argue that I've  made 0% progress.
progress: 0% or 28%

Sorry that this was a lengthy (and probably boring post since there were no pictures!) I had planned to add photos, but I've just been so busy! Quite honestly, this is more of an accountability post for me... So, thanks buddy, for being my accountability partner! :)

March 5, 2018

Currently... March 2018

Yes! I'm so glad to be able to post my currently list for you today. It certainly has been a while... Anyway, here's what has been going on lately:

Image result for ponyo

We are big Studio Ghibli fans around here. And we've slowly been introducing our daughter to movies that we love. Ponyo is one of them and our girl is quite a fan. She loves the part where Ponyo declares "Ponyo loves Sosuke!" and loves to say "Ponyo loves me!"

Baby's Big World: Women Who Changed the World
READING: Board Books
I haven't started to tackle my reading list yet, but we do quite a bit of reading around here. Our daughter loves reading and quite the collection of books. We recently found this book which has been such a hit. The pictures are adorable and we love the message. 

Our daughter loves this page and pointing out Frida Kahlo's "pretty flower hair clips." 

Image result for happier podcast

LISTENING: to the Happier podcast
I mentioned this podcast before and I'm quite a fan. I started listening to podcasts in the shower a while ago and it has really helped with keeping me from feeling overwhelmed. You know how your thoughts run wild when you have a few free moments to yourself in the shower? Well I'd often feel overwhelmed from all the thoughts. When I started listening to a podcast during this time, I was no longer running through my never-ending to do list and it helped to focus my mind and also relax me. I rotate through a few different ones that I enjoy and Happier is one of them.

Image result for lindt chocolate blue

EATING: less chocolate!
I'm not exactly sure how I managed to do this, because it wasn't even anything that I consciously tried to do... I've stopped grabbing candy and chocolates from all the candy dishes at work. I still eat chocolate, and have a particular weakness for Lindt truffles, but I'm not constantly eating Reese's cups and Twix bars and haven't been purposefully walking by candy dishes all day long. I'm feeling pretty good about it, too!

DRINKING: coffee floats
So glad I've cut back on chocolate because I don't feel quite so bad that I drink a coffee float every night. Hehehe. My hubby treats me to one every evening after our daughter goes to bed. YUM. Makes my day!

WEARING: some fun Dr Seuss inspired outfits!
Last week was Dr Seuss week at my school and we had a fun spirit week. Above is my Sneetches themed door and you betcha I dressed up like a Sneetch! I actually love spirit week because I enjoy wearing creative outfits while having specific parameters to wear. I would honestly love having a spirit week every week. The truth is, I am not so good at opening my closet or dresser and thinking "What should I wear today?" and have ALL the options. I'd rather be told "Wear Silly Socks today!" and figure out an outfit around that. If you're curious about our Sprit Week, here are the days we celebrated:

Many Colors Monday (wear as many colors or as much of one color as you can!) - I wore a rainbow Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious tee, except I messed up... I should have saved this for Wednesday!
Fox in Socks Day (silly socks day) - I wore Mickey & Minnie socks and a Mickey Mouse dres
Read Me Shirt Day (wear a shirt with words or book-themed shirt) - I wore a Nintendo alphabet tee
Thing 1 Thing 2 Day (twin day) - my intern and I dressed up as a star bellied Sneetch and a plain bellied Sneetch!
Books, Blankets, & BEAR (Be Excited About Reading!) (pajama day) - I had planned to wear my Olivia PJs, but school was canceled on Friday!

MAKING: progress on my 18 for 2018 list
I managed to set some pretty big goals for myself, most of them requiring me to toil away for a while, so I've been working and making progress! I can't wait to share once I complete my first one! 

PLANNING: my days strategically
Or at least trying to! Work is so crazy that I have to be a master at productivity! I've been getting better at putting everything (including filing and organizing time) into my calendar. I've also been using Trello to keep track of my To Do, Today, and Ta Da lists. These three lists really help me focus on the main goals for the day, not get so overwhelmed with my ever-growing To Do List, and celebrate my accomplishments and feel like I'm actually being productive even when my days are super hectic. Right now I'm working on trying to force myself to plan out the next day before I leave for the day so I can start my mornings ready to be productive. If you have any awesome productivity tips or resources to recommend, please share! 

TRYING: to clean up my pins
This seems kind of like a slight procrastination tactic when it comes to my 18 for 2018 list, but I am actually feeling more refreshed and inspired as I clean out my pins. Its interesting to see how my style has changed so much since I first started pinning and which things I must REALLY love, since I've pinned them about 8 times. Hahaha. I also had this random secret pinboard that I just pinned anything and everything to. I've been working on organizing those pins and I love that my things are much more functional. Plus, I'm getting prepared for # 12, right?

WANTING: our new fridge to arrive already!
Last week our fridge died. As in, we woke up one morning and our refrigerator that was working the night before was no longer cold. So after tossing everything out, hauling my mini-fridge home from work, and doing some quick grocery shopping, we searched and searched for the perfect within-budget and within-space-parameters fridge. We knew we didn't want a built-in ice-maker or water filter and were pretty sure we wanted a side-by-side, so our options were pretty limited and made for quick and easy decision making! The only down side was that there was a two-week wait for delivery! So, we'll be living with a toddler and a mini-fridge for another week!

FEELING: guilty about missing Girls' Day
Hinamatsuri, or Girls' Day, is a Japanese celebration on March 3rd. We completely missed it! Hubby and I discussed bringing down the whole display and strategically planned when it would be brought down and packed up to maximize our enjoyment, while minimizing the destruction of our toddler, but we completely missed it. Our beautiful Hina Doll set (pictured above) is mine from when I was a little girl and my father carefully packaged and shipped it to us last year from Japan. It is absolutely gorgeous and so meaningful to us to put on display. I'm feeling pretty guilty that we didn't do it this year, but at least we have many more years to celebrate...

ENJOYING: my little package of goodies that my friend Naki sent!
My sweet friend Naki recently sent me a little package to help motivate me on my 18 for 2018 list (see #16) Although I'm not quite ready (or able) to start crafting yet, I've been admiring my new goodies and trying to brainstorm some ideas... and hoping to get crafty soon!

So how is your March starting off? Do tell!