Aug
15

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How To Fix Elastic

Eight years ago when I got pregnant with my first child my husband and I made the decision to learn to live on a single income. We didn’t do any advance planning and we had no savings to speak of, so I had to learn to be creative. This has meant years of cooking from scratch and fixing things that other people would just throw away. If you want to save some money learning how to mend can yield great savings. Watch the video to see how to fix elastic.

How To Fix Elastic

Aug
8

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How To Style A Bob

Licensed Beautician Renee from foreverfitlife shows how to style a bob haircut. All you need is some mousse, a brush, and a curling iron!

Aug
1

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How To Cut Hair In A Bob

Licensed Beautician Renee from foreverfitlife shows how to cut hair in a bob at home yourself. What a great way to save some money, even if it’s just touching up an existing hairstyle.


Jul
21

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Creating A Babysitter Folder

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My husband and myself in Versailles, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks ago my husband and I were blessed to go on a trip to France and the United Kingdom. If that wasn’t enough, our family and friends watched our kids while we were gone!! A trip for sixteen days without the kids…this could have been either be joyous or disastrous. I have to say that as our departure time was approaching I started to get very nervous and worried.

All of these questions popped into my head:

  • Was my son going to have an allergic reaction while we were gone?
  • Are the kids going to break down, miss us, and be inconsolable?
  • Will the babysitters (mother, mother-in-law, family, and friends) be able to find everything they need?
  • Are the caretakers going to be woken up throughout the night by the toddler?
  • Will my son wet the bed every night and wake up my mom? Will she forgive me?
  • Did I buy enough snacks?
  • Will my daughter be able to wean herself from nursing while we were gone (wasn’t too successful up to this point)?
  • How will they know how to reach us if there is an emergency?

Those were just a fraction of the questions and worries I had. While preparing everything for our kids I even had the thought, “Wow. It would be easier to just bring them with us.”

I quickly snapped back to it and realized I was being silly. During my high school, college, and post college years I had a job as a nanny to five different families. The parents that were the most compatible and rewarding to work for were the ones that had great organization and communication—like the adult world, right? When they organized everything to make my job smoother to care for their children in the ways that were best for the family and their specific needs, it helped me tremendously step in to their lives with a more graceful transition and hit the ground running. The one in particular person I am thinking about and often reflect upon was a mother that was super organized. Her house was exactly like Real Simple magazine. There was a place for everything and everything had its place. Plus, everything looked clean and modern. Of course, the cleaning lady helped with that. Ah…to have someone help clean my house. For another day, I suppose… The important detail here is that my employer had a nice folder which contained helpful information for me to refer to. It was easy to find information, schedules, and important information while working for this family. Upon reflecting on this experience while thinking about our trip it gave me the idea of making my own babysitter folder.

 

What My Folder Contained:

  • Temporary guardian authorization form
  • Our general everyday routine including mealtimes and naps
  • Medicine that needs to be given
  • Activities each child likes to do including special books they like, or specific toys that are their favorites
  • Directions to places like the zoo, playground, church, indoor play areas, grocery store, etc.
  • Our itinerary including accommodations, telephone numbers, and train or flight numbers
  • Meal ideas and what each child likes to eat for breakfast, lunch, and snacks
  • How to find things around the house (mainly kitchen and laundry)
  • Location of medicine
  • Food allergy list (what my son is allergic to and can’t have)

After typing out the above items, I printed them out and punched three holes in them to put into a three ringed binder (which I happened to have in our office, for free!) The binder had front and back pockets in which I put the medical insurance card, library card, and local gym card. Before we left I made sure my mom had a temporary membership to our local gym. This way, she had the option of taking the kids to the pool if she wanted to.

Putting this folder together didn’t take very long and gave me the assurance that everyone would have everything they needed OR knew where to find it.  Here is a Google Document of a few of the sheets I printed out. To see a new sheet click on the bottom tabs. You are welcome to download into Excel to add your info or print as is. If you would like to pass it on to someone, please send them to this page. We would love your feedback!

After being back and hearing how everyone’s experience with watching the kids went I took note of what I would add or change to the folder in the future if my husband and I were both away.

 What to Add for the Future:

  • I forgot to add cash in an envelope for any trips to the grocery store, emergency, fun outing, etc. This is one thing that just didn’t happen before we left the country. It was on the list, but somehow slipped through the cracks.
  • Directions on how to use the toilets locks we have in two of our bathrooms. Oops!
  • How to unlock the bathroom doors if the kids lock themselves in, Ah!! Totally happened, and we didn’t tell people where the keys were. You never know what random things will happen.

And all of those worries?? The kids ended up doing REALLY well for the most part. Our son had a few times where he got sad but was cheered up by our SKYPE sessions and family/friends. Our daughter did great and was her cuddly, feisty self. Would we jet away for another two weeks on our own anytime soon? Probably not. One, because we would have to save A LOT of money to do this and two, it was hard being away that long from the kids. Of course, ask me in a few months and I might think differently!

Jul
10

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Wife, Mother, Career & Katy Perry

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This weekend I took my two tween daughters to see Katy Perry’s documentary “Part of Me.” MOMMY DISCLAIMER: My 9 year old super fan knows that I don’t endorse her overtly sexy image and lyrics. I informed them I would take them but on one condition, they both had to “talk about the film” after… they agreed.

The film was well done, lots of color, high energy and a compelling story about Katy’s rise to fame. The conversation I thought I’d have after about “positive body image” ended up being a different one entirely. Turns out I was very moved about the story of Katy’s struggle to balance her marriage and her career. As wives and mothers we all have to make decisions that sacrifice one thing for another. Katy Perry is no different.

As the mother of two daughters on the verge of becoming women it’s my job to raise questions inside of them and to teach them about the choices they’ll have to make in life. How those choices have consequences both good and bad and sometimes there’s no clear answer. How we are living in an ever changing society where the “rules” of wife, mother and career woman seem to effortlessly collide, but I know better. I talked with my daughters about my sacrifice as a work at home mom and the many jobs I’ve turned down to stay at home for them.

MeLisa-and-Ryun-Album-CoverMost people that know me as a Mom don’t know that I’m also in a band. For over a decade I toured, recorded an album, wore tons of glitter and did the “artist life” with my duo MeLisa and Ryun. During this time my husband and I also adopted three children. Not exactly the career path most musicians take. I explained to my daughters the sacrifices I made including not going on tour in Europe for several months, but instead staying home with my children. Yes I wanted to be a rock star and tour the world, but I wanted to be a wife and mother more.

I still struggle with being a work at home mom and job opportunities that come my way that will take me from my family. It’s difficult to be a woman who is good at her job and enjoys it. But there’s nothing more heartbreaking in Los Angeles than seeing all the forgotten children who are growing up while their parents are too busy pursing their dreams. I’m still going for my dreams, but at a slower pace and one that allows me to be at every kid’s performance, have family dinner every night and gives me the freedom to pick up my sick kid at school.

That day I taught my daughters about making a choice and sticking with it no matter how hard it may be. Because when you choose to become a wife and mother that is a commitment you’ve made first to your family. Don’t ever let ambition get in the way of your most important job.

Jun
25

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Urban Farming

My husband and I have watched too many documentaries to not want to eat organic. We played the Whole Foods game for a few months but it was destroying our budget. I am super frugal and couldn’t bear to keep that up for long. So we decided to try our hand at urban farming.

We don’t have a huge yard. I think it’s a little shy of a quarter acre and I’m too lazy to go look it up. We live right next to a park so we decided to make it our goal to keep putting in raised beds until we don’t have to mow anymore. We’re now up to 5 raised beds and we’ve planted various berry and fruit bushes as well.

Everyone should be trying Urban Farming. Eating something you’ve grown is so fulflling.

We’re far from being the world’s best gardeners. Actually, we kind of stink at it. We kill about as many plants as survive. But it’s okay. We’re learning. I’d encourage you to plant something edible in your yard and if it lives GREAT. I read a survival book once that said something along the lines of “learn to garden now. It’s funny if you make a mistake and you can still go to the grocery store and buy food. It’s not funny if you’re depending on that food for your survival!

The best thing about our garden (next to the food) is the family fun that it provides. We got our kids their own shovels and gloves and they just love the freedom to dig in the yard. We even have a Mud Table (can you say messy!) which is a blast. The kids think they’re all sneaky when they eat all my berries. Meanwhile I’m thinking “why would I be mad that you just ate fresh raspberries and grapes?” Do you have anything planted in your yard? What would you like to plant?

Jun
19

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Fabric Storage

If you are crafty you know how important fabric storage is!

Jun
12

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DIY Crochet Cup & Saucer


 

Cup & Saucer Crochet Pattern

With a size H Hook & 2 colors of scrap yarn

To Make the Cup

Ch 3. Join to form a circle.

Ch 2, sc 2 in each of the 3 chains all the way around, join with a slip stitch

ch 2, sc 2 in each of the next 8 spaces, and join with a slip stitch

ch 2 (sc 1 in each of the next 2 spaces, skip 1) x5 , 1 sc in last space, join with a slip stitch

ch 2, sc in all 12 spaces, join with a slip stitch

ch 2 (1 sc in first space, sc 2 in next space) x6 join with a slip stitch

switch colors

ch 2 (sc 2 in first space, sc 1 in next 2 spaces) x 6

work into the row below with a slip stitch

ch 6 and connect to the bottom row with a slip stitch

ch 1 and turn, working a sc into each space until you reach the end.

Tie off. Cut and hide your thread.

To Make the Saucer

ch 3 and connect with a slip stitch

ch 2, sc 2 in each of the 3 spaces, and join with a slip stitch

ch 2 (sc 1 in the next space, then sc 2 in the next space) x 4, join with a slip stitch

ch 2 (sc 1 in the next space, then sc 2 in the next space) x6, join with a slip stitch

switch colors

ch 2 (sc 2 in each space) x 18, join with a slip stitch

tie off, cut and hide your thread.

Jun
11

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War Horse- Review

war horse

This is a story about dedication told by the many twists and turns that life may bring. Strength and courage are told through this movie. In short, War Horse is a story about a unique horse and World War I. Joey, the original name given to the horse is owned by a boy named Albert, whose father purchased him for more than he could afford. Albert and Joey become companions. Because of hard times and the outbreak of war, the boy and horse must separate. Albert vows to get his horse back. The horse finds himself under the ownership of many owners and wherever the horse goes, people are captured by his remarkable strength and beauty.

My husband was eager to watch War Horse thinking it was fast paced and action packed. To put it very pointedly, it was neither. What? Was it a misleading trailer? Perhaps? But aren’t they all? While it was nothing like we expected, it did have a beautiful story. So, in his words, after watching the preview, “Arnold Schwarzenegger as a horse”, “do not expect an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie in the form of a horse.” I reluctantly agreed to watch the movie with him not knowing much about what the movie was about (other than what the title reveals). He must know that I have a soft spot for horses.

In my opinion, I felt that the movie was quite long and the story could have been told in a shorter amount of time. The movie has some intense graphic war elements and some minor language therefore rated PG-13. This movie is definitely not for young children.

Bottom line: Watch it or not? Thumbs down based on misleading preview. While the story was compelling, the editing and timing/duration was much too long. The preview below is a much better representation of the movie than the one we saw.

 

Jun
8

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Father’s Day Ideas

This is embarrassing, but this is our shed in it's current state!

Last night I escaped to Target after the baby went to bed. My husband was happy to put our oldest to bed and relax while. A friend had mentioned Target had many kid’s clothing on clearance and I needed some items for an upcoming trip, so off I went to look around. While there, I was reminded that Father’s Day is on Sunday. Am I correct in saying that usually the dads don’t get equal treatment in this holiday? I think we mothers expect the full treatment on our day and think the dads won’t care as much about their day. This year I want my kid’s Dad to feel super special. He has juggled a lot and has not neglected to spend quality time with his kiddos. He deserves to feel loved on Sunday. A few ideas have been dancing around in my head, but no real plan or purchase has been to action. While pushing my cart, that was accumulating more items that I went in for, (how does that happen?) I kept looking around hoping that a Father’s Day item would jump out at me. Then it dawned on me, why was I searching for “stuff” when there are so many other practical things my husband would appreciate? Yes, there are some items he would love for the backyard and his office, but I knew the thing that would make him even happier. Having an organized shed!!

This is embarrassing, but this is our shed in it's current state!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a shed built in our backyard almost a year and half ago and it has yet to be organized. Many things have put it low on the list: A new baby, job promotion, and new outdoor projects like a brick patio and garden. How in the world did we manage those backyard projects without an organized shed? Well, with tripping over sharp objects, and constantly looking for gardening gloves, strollers, baseballs, sand toys and numerous other items. Now, would he appreciate it more if I organized it for him? Or perhaps he would prefer to have the opportunity to boss me around? Would my type A hubby appreciate it more if I gave him the freedom to have an afternoon to himself to organize it according to his plan? Or would he like to develop the plan and tell me what to do? I think B.  He would like the shed organized to his plan with a women’s touch. Well, I certainly have my work cut out for me (see above).

After thinking of the shed make-over present, I thought of many other items that my husband even or other dad’s would appreciate. Some of these ideas could be family outings while others are more “dad-only”.  We will have to revisit this list in a few years once I am done organizing the shed!

 15 Father’s Day Ideas

  1. A few uninterrupted hours to read a good book
  2. A pedicure (No, I am not talking about painting your hubby’s toenails. A nice scrub of the feet, massage, and trimming of the nails will suffice.)
  3. A movie of his choice as a family or on his own
  4. Afternoon bike ride with the family
  5. Dad’s favorite meal night—served restaurant style by the kids.
  6. Time to play video games
  7. Tickets to a local sporting event (great dad-son or dad-daughter bonding time)
  8. Tickets to a concert or play (see above) or check out what free summer concerts are available in your area. We LOVE free summer concerts.
  9. Picnic in the park-bring the frisbee along
  10. A round of miniature golf or big golf!
  11. An afternoon of fishing
  12. A long nap! (Would love that myself)
  13. Trip to Home depot with gift card
  14. Time to go to a coffee shop and bookstore
  15. Time to play instrument

 

I see a theme here….TIME. Time to give them to do something they don’t get to do often.

What are some of your ideas for Father’s Day?

Now that I have my husband covered, onto my Dad and Dad-in-law who are equally great dads.

 

Have a GREAT weekend!

 



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