Dreams To Do

October 2012 archive

Three Things

Mentally, I’m in a much better place than I was when I started this blog nearly two years ago. And the crazy thing is that I’m busier than ever! I now have TWO children, I work 40 hours/week outside the home, I consistently post on this blog, I’m starting to take Bar Method classes on my lunch breaks (starting today! so excited!), I’m continually attempting to push myself in photography and craft projects, and I’m trying to focus more energy on discovering my passion and hopefully relaunching this blog/my own business next year!

In the past two years I’ve transformed from the laziest person you could imagine into someone who wants to make things happen. You’d think my mind was about to explode with all of the ideas in it and my busy, busy, busy schedule. But the truth is that I’m happier than ever. I’ve learned to let certain things go (i.e. laundry and a perfectly clean house). To stop and take deep breaths when I need it. And to stop taking my precious time for granted.

Here are three things that help me get through each day…

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1. Think of the BIG picture.

When I feel stressed or overwhelmed or like there are not enough minutes in the day I STOP. And I look up at the sky. Or I think about God. There is SO much more to life and our universe than my petty little issues and stressers. A few deep breaths and I feel renewed energy to move forward. Try it.

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2. Take time to play.

Even if your to-do list can’t afford a break, you need to take even just a few minutes to enjoy life. Never ever, ever, ever feel guilty for spending time playing with your children. If your toddler wants you to color with her, but you’re busy cleaning the bathroom or writing a blog post, just stop. Take 5 minutes (which feels like an hour to her) and color like your life depends on it. You will feel renewed energy to move forward with your tasks and your kiddo will be happy. Life is just too short.

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3. Give thanks.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many, many, many times again – Gratitude is EVERYTHING. It is in our human nature to feel sorry for ourselves from time to time and that is totally OK. When I find myself hating on my life, I’ve gotten good at resetting my mindset into one of THANKS. Stop thinking negatively and start saying THANK YOU for all of the little things in your life that make you happy. This takes practice, but I promise it will make a huge difference in your outlook on life.

What gets you through all of the craziness in your life?

PS – Lots of prayers and happy thoughts going out to the East Coast peeps and the families affected by that nasty storm. Please take a second and say a prayer for them, too.

Shout out!

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Image Source

I’ve always had a little bit of a tricky time making new friends. I think this stems from the fact that I grew up in a tiny town with the same group of friends from kindergarten through high school. Even when I went off to college, my freshman year room mates were my high school besties. If you met me in person, you probably would never know how socially awkward I really am. I’m pretty good at faking the outgoing persona, but inside I’m usually a mess in new social situations.
When I started this blog, the last thing I was thinking about was making new friends. Little did I know that this would be my FAVORITE thing about blogging. It has taken me a couple of years to really start getting into social media and interacting with other world wide web lovers, but I’m finally getting the hang of it.
I dedicate this post to a few of you out there who make this whole blogging thing EXTRA worth while. Thank you for being supportive of my little corner of the web!!! Not to name names, but…
Fiona @ Life Amongst The Palm Trees ~ Probably the most encouraging person I’ve met online! She always leaves the sweetest comments and inspires me to keep on writing. Her, her hubby, and their beautiful baby girl, Alidia, live in the Dominican Republic (a place very near and dear to my heart) where they run an awesome non-profit organization. Some day I want to go back to the DR to volunteer and hopefully meet Fiona! Thank you so much for lifting me up with your kind words, Fiona! It means a lot to me! 
Becky @ A Lazy Crazy Life ~ My blogging soul sister! We relate on a lot of levels… full-time working moms with no time for anything who still manage to consistently post on our blogs. We also both love to play around with our fancy cameras and take lots of photos of our kiddos. 🙂 Becky, thanks for your encouragement and for making me feel like I’m not alone and getting left behind in this crazy blogging world.

Melissa @ Completely Eclipsed ~ I don’t even remember how I found Melissa’s blog, but I was instantly drawn in to her witty and unfiltered words. I realized that she was writing a lot of things on her blog that I was thinking, but would never have the guts to say – ha! She’s a working mom of a 3 year old daughter (with one on the way!) and has been through A LOT in the past year. She is super inspiring even though she probably doesn’t think so. Girl, keep doing what you’re doing! Thanks for being supportive of my lil ole blog. I wish we could enjoy a girls night out on the town together! Maybe some day we can meet up for a weekend in Vegas. 🙂

Megan @ The Memoirs of Megan ~ This girl cracks me up! I can always count on her to put a smile on my face. 🙂 Her adorable daughter, Vivien (don’t you LOVE her name?!), is just a day older than Landon so we already have a lot in common right there. She is a big encouragement for me and is one of the few people I actually interact with on Twitter (I’m still getting the hang of the whole tweeting thang). Oh, and you should totally check out her Scentsy shop HEREThank you, Megan, for reading my blog and for your always kind words and tweets! I wasn’t lying when I said you made me cry happy tears the other night (drinking makes me emotional). I hope we can meet in real life some day!

Emily @ The Peck Life ~ Love her blog, love her photos, love her happy outlook on life! Emily is also a work-outside-the-home mom of a toddler and she’s expecting baby #2 next spring. Yay! She was one of the first people who actually started commenting on my little blog and it has meant so much to me to have her around. Emily, thanks for reading my blog and commenting and writing such a wonderful blog yourself! I always get excited when I see unread items from your blog in my Google reader. 🙂 And you have GREAT taste! I always love everything you share. 

Celeste @ Our Fabulous Life In The Suburbs ~ Such a beautiful, sweet girl who is expecting her first baby with her handsome hubby next spring! Celeste’s comments on my blog always put a smile on my face and I feel like we relate to each other a lot in terms of our cluelessness over our place in this world and what we want to get out of life. Thank you for your support of my blog, Celeste! I’m so excited to follow along on your pregnancy journey and throw unsolicited parenting/baby advice your way. 😉
Thank you to all of my internet friends! I really do love my computer because of you. 🙂

Monthly DIY: Jersey & Lace Infinity Scarf

For this month’s DIY project, I decided to make a lil something for myself. I keep coming across these pretty partial lace infinity scarves that I love. I’ve seen them on etsy and even saw a rather spendy one in a store. I figured, “Hey! I can probably make one!” And so I did…

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Now, my version is probably not as great of quality as the ones I’ve seen, but it looks good on and it was super cheap and easy to make. I’m definitely no seamstress, but I do know how to sew a (semi) straight line. That’s all this project took – sewing 4 straight lines, to be exact. I actually completed it in 40 minutes on my lunch break at home!

For this project I hit up Jo-Ann Fabric and found the softest grey ribbed jersey cotton/something-else material in the clearance section – score! You could totally use an old extra large t-shirt instead if you wanted to be resourceful. For the lace, I couldn’t find exactly what I was hoping for, so I settled on using some 7 inch wide lace trim that I found in the ribbon aisle. This whole scarf cost me around $6 to make.

Here’s the gist of what I did (keep in mind that I’m not good with sewing tutorials, so if you have any questions please ask!)

Supplies Used:

  • 14 in. wide x 33 in. long strip of grey jersey cotton blend fabric (I bought 1/2 yard)
  • 7 in. wide lace trim that I put back-to-back to equal the width of my scarf (14 in.)… I used a yard of it, so when it was cut in half each piece was 18 in. long (see below). Instead, you could find some pretty lace fabric of your choice, or even another color or pattern of jersey and cut it into a -14 x 18 inch strip.
  • Some grey thread and a good ole sewing machine
Supplies: jersey fabric + lace trim…

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What I did:

I lined up the short edge of my grey fabric to the short edges of my lace, pinned it, and sewed it together in one straight seam with about a 3/4 inch seam allowance…

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Then (this might sound confusing – I don’t really know sewing lingo) I opened up the two strips of fabric against the seam and folded the seam allowance back against the grey fabric and sewed another line. Hopefully these photos will help…

Sewing the seam allowance back against the grey fabric.
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Cutting excess seam allowance after sewing seam #2…
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The finished edge from the back…Photobucket

The finished edge from the front…
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Then, I finished my scarf into a loop (infinity scarf) by following those exact same seaming steps on the other ends of my jersey and lace.

Ta Da!

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To wear I just wrap the loop around my neck twice and position the lace off to the side. I love it!

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Notice that I did not finish the edges of my scarf.  The lace edges are already finished and the jersey doesn’t come apart, so I figured I didn’t need to!  Besides, once you put it on the edges of the jersey sort of curl and they aren’t even noticeable.

I think I’m going to make some more of these with different fabric/color combinations and maybe try to make one with double layers and finished edges. But, that would require more time. We’ll see. They would make great Christmas gifts, though!

Linking this post up with: Thirty Handmade Days, Whipper Berry, Just Us Four, The Shabby Nest, Simply Sweet Home

Wise Words Wednesday: Dog-Like

“A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not.” ~ John Grogan

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I’m finding myself feeling rather blah and uninspired this week. The weather is cold and dreary and I’m fighting, yet again, another head cold. I’m home on my lunch break and was greeted by a very happy little chihuahua who danced around my feet and bathed my face in wet kisses. I let him outside to do his business and when he came back in he ran straight for our bedroom and nestled himself in under the covers.

Oh, what a life.

Sometimes I wish I was a dog. So much happiness from the littlest of things and not a care in the world. Seeing Billy today got me thinking about how dogs can be good role models for humans. I mean, take the above quote for instance. They are professionals when it comes to appreciating the simple things in life and loving unconditionally. Something we should all learn to do a little more of.

Landon’s 1st Birthday

I wish I could be one of those parents who goes above and beyond for their child’s 1st birthday, but I’m just not. To me it’s more about quality time together (& my sanity) versus a huge, crazy party with lots of cool decorations, party favors, and gourmet food. Okay, maybe I’m just jealous of parents who can pull that off. Anyhow, Landon’s first birthday was simple, but perfect.

Enjoying his first gift, birthday morning…
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Banner made with Landon’s monthly pics, paper clips, & ribbon…
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We spent the day hunkered in at home baking cupcakes and getting things ready for Landon’s little party. Instead of opening the floodgates up to all of our friends and their kiddos (sorry guys!), we kept it simple with just family – grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins. There was some great food and some adorable cupcakes/toppers made by yours truly!

Look at those little Lando heads!
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I got the idea for the Landon head cupcake toppers from an image I saw on Pinterest. Unfortunately, the link on the photo was no good so I don’t know who to credit this awesome idea to. Aren’t they adorbs?

As for Landon and his first cupcake encounter, it wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped. He actually didn’t even get that messy. I think he was feeling a little overwhelmed throughout his whole party; just taking it all in!

See? Just in shock of it all.
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An abnormally calm little Landon in the midst of birthday chaos…
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This next pic is my favorite one of the day. After the birthday party craziness started dying down a little, Landon was able to enjoy some time with his new cars (from big sis!). So precious.

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After all the guests left and I was getting Landon ready for bed, the reality of the day finally hit me. Sure, a baby turning one isn’t that big of a deal. But when your baby turns one, it is a big deal. It wasn’t until I had a few minutes alone with Landon in the evening of his birthday that this precious day really hit my heart. He was rolling around on our king size bed, laughing hysterically (sugar high?) as I attempted to put on his jammies. I kept getting flashes of holding him for the very first time – how I wondered in that moment what he would be like at age 1, at age 12, at age 21… who he would become. The tears flowed. Not sad tears, though. Happy tears. Tears of amazement over life. Tears for this very special gift I have been given.

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