Monday, January 28, 2013

Make It Mondays - Between Us Journal for Girls

Welcome to my Make it Mondays!  Every Monday, I'll be sharing a little something I made for a loved one, a friend or maybe one of my crafty peeps!  This year, I'm focusing more making time for crafting for work AND for pleasure...projects will range from project with the kids, to handmade gifts to whatever I happen to pull together during the week :)
This week's share is a "Between Us" journal I made for my daughter and I.
I read about this idea (can't remember where) about a mom who started a journal for her daughter and it turned into more of a "safe" place to exchange their ideas, thoughts and questions.  Our kids are exposed to so much so young these days,
I need to know my tween feels like she can hit me up about anything that's on her mind

I lucked up on these chipboard journals at Michael's for 25 cents and altered one with the butterfly paper and my new crafting obsession, washi tape.
Here's a little peak at the mini-me is so excited about this, we got started this morning!  How do you encourage "real talk" with your daughter?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ready for 2013!

Happy New Year and welcome to my brand new spot!  My incredible EtsyMom Team is having a "Ready for 2013" Blog Hop this week and I thought it would be the perfect time to roll out my new blog...I am so excited about 2013 for many reasons, mostly because of what life-changing experiences over the past year have taught me.

You might say I was forced to CHANGE.  I'm talking my diet, my routine, my whole life because of an on-going health concern.  No, it wasn't a life-threatening disease, but a chronic condition most of us have never heard of: pelvic congestion syndrome.  I won't dwell on the details (google it if you must), let's just say the pain became so severe last year, I couldn't take care of my babies, my hubby or my business like I wanted.  This was a HUGE problem for me, being somewhat of a perfectionist (that's not you, I know!)  I just thought I could push through the pain, that it was my cross to bear in life...until the time I spent in bed went from a few hours to a few days at a time.  Doctors didn't have a whole lot of answers or options for me, aside from surgery.  Then, a friend of mine referred me to a health and wellness doctor who explained that my diet was making my condition worse.  Not that I was eating poorly, in short...I just needed to add a ton more  leafy green vegetables, minimize my gluten and sugar intake, get more rest and reduce my STRESS level...much easier said than done!! 

As for my routine, for 5 years I have been shuttling kids back and forth to two different schools, first in North Carolina and then here in Virginia, staying home with my youngest and building my Etsy shop, all with a husband who travels for business and little family close by.  None of this is hard, but it becomes taxing when your body isn't working the way you want!   Add in the kid's after school activities, craft fairs, AND trying to hang out with my other SAHM friends, the strain began to eat away at me, literally.  I dropped about 15 pounds in less than a year, which would have been awesome, if  I wasn't so small that friends wondered if I was ill and said I looked emaciated...not exactly the look I was going for!  As much as it pained me, I realized I needed to change my priorities and my routine and heaven forbid, ask for HELP

Old World Chicken and Vegetables from the Crock Pot
Here's the good news, change is uncomfortable but not impossible.  I decided to put my health first, which meant pulling back from all the extras (I stepped down as an EtsyMom co-leader), looked for ways to simplify my routine (crock-pot cooking saved my life) and talked to hubby about sharing the load.  We considered homeschooling or moving closer to the school, so the kids could walk, but didn't want the stress and $$$ of another move.  My daughter is thriving in her Spanish immersion program, so we want to keep her there.  Because there's more flexibility with the hubster's work schedule now, we went back to a routine that worked well our 1st year in NC...he takes the kids to school, and I gained about 2 hours from 7:30-9:30 to get important things done.  I also had to decide that now, while my kids are still young and I have one at home, is not the time for my business to go all-out.  I know my limitations, and if this means that I have to turn down custom orders, I do.  I set a firm deadline for closing for Christmas and I stuck to it.   I am making more time with friends because I need that time to unwind, relax and laugh out loud!  Of course I backslide, mostly with food (the holiday baking almost did me in), but mostly I'm headed in the right direction :)

Are there stressors in your life you need to face?  Do you need to ask for help from loved ones?  I hope you resolve to do what you need to do to create a sense of peace, happiness and balance in your life in 2013 :)

Thanks for popping in to read my blog, here's the Old World Chicken and Vegetables recipe:

1 tbsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp salt divided
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 medium green bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 cut-up whole chicken
6 ounces uncooked egg noodles

1. Combine oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, paprika, garlic powder and pepper in small bowl; mix well.
2. Place bell peppers and onion in slow cooker.  Top with chicken thighs and legs, sprinkle with half the oregano mixture.  Cover; cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours.  Stir in ketchup and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. Just before serving, cook noodles following package directions; drain.  Serve chicken and vegetable over noodles.  For gluten free, serve over spinach.

Be sure to check out what the other EtsyMoms have in store for you!!

Hi Mamma