I’m all over the place these days with house projects… working on the yard and designing our new deck, but also thinking about backyard entertaining and playing with the bean.
So here are a few recent faves from Pinterest (be sure to follow me!)…
Love this idea for outside near the grill- would be a handy ledge for the cook and a great place to put out drinks for guests, like above.
I love these all-natural scented cleaning vinegar mixtures – just as effective as icky chemical-based cleaners and safe for little ones and pupsters!
And how about these for fun garden markers:
So here I am, sitting at a national food magazine, waiting on more editing, reflecting on where I’ve been so far in my freelancing career. When I quit full-time work to pursue freelancing six years ago, I was terrified… no one was going to make me money but me. But each year, by the grace of God (and apparently my somewhat decent networking skills), my business has grown steadily.
However, it hasn’t always been easy… there was the 100-page book on foreplay that I committed to do, which led to regular trips to the local library to check out every sexuality title that they had (it got me plenty of strange looks from the librarians). But I got ‘er done. Then there were the trade mags I agreed to write for (hey- a girl’s gotta eat), but let me tell you: editing/writing about medical waste as well as mining, with no previous knowledge on either topic, is daunting, to say the least. And kinda dull.
But there have been very cool, rewarding moments that make self-employment totally worth it, like when I filled out my 100th invoice, and then my 200th (and now I’m at 650ish). There were interviews with celebs (like Cary Elwes from The Princess Bride, my ALL-TIME FAVE movie ever, and Kevin O’Leary, whom I love!). There were the press trips to Sedona and Pennsylvania, where I was treated like royalty (those vacations are second-to-none… too bad I had to do ‘em solo), and local press events where I met celebs like chef Chuck Hughes and was treated to local spa days and meals at some of the city’s best restos.
I went from writing articles for as little as $30 a pop to charging the highest industry rate… and getting it. I went from writing articles for tiny foreign websites that no one ever saw to penning features for nationals and having family halfway across the country telling me they saw my piece!
Today on #tbt, I don’t feel like being humble… I’m looking back on my career thus far with immense pride. I really have the best job in the world.
Easter is coming up and I’ve been on the hunt (haha pun intended!) for Easter crafts and other fun seasonal stuff. Here’s what I’ve found on Pinterest so far…
How cute and clever is this?!
I love any sort of handprint craft!
Yum… homemade Reese’s eggs
Fantastic, especially for snacks after church or as appetizers before Easter dinner
I’ve fallen in love with Pinterest even more since becoming a parent… there are endless ideas for crafts and learning tools that make for great DIY projects. Here are a few of my faves…
I hate these little balls (I had said “pleeeease no” to auntie and uncle and then Gammy bought em), but this looks like a fun, cool way to make use of them and teach the little one his colours too.
A fun version of hopscotch that can be played with colours and shapes. I would cut differently coloured shapes out of cardstock and stick them on the floor.
OK, so my almost-2-year-old isn’t quite ready to start learning subtraction but I pinned this for later because it’s a clever and easy way to work out math problems.
I think I’ve posted this before but what a great idea to help a child along in holding a crayon properly (which is surprisingly challenging for wee hands).
A fantastic way of teaching contractions. I know a few grown-ups who could use this educational caterpillar too.
Monday’s Mommy helper: Making plans for toddlers – DON’T DO IT!
If I’ve learned one thing having an almost-2-year-old, it’s this: don’t bother making any plans with them.
I learned this the hard way… by making lofty plans only to have them ruined by a fight over mittens or potty-fake-outs or a never-ending insistence that we must play with this puddle for an hour.
My son has suddenly become the most indecisive, annoyingly independent, slowest-moving staller in the free world.
He’ll be 2 in two weeks.
I don’t know what happened but we went to relatively peaceful bedtimes to looooong drawn-out nights of chasing him down the hall to corral him for bath, wheeling and dealing to get him to put PJs on, and endless chats sitting in front of the potty while he smiles at us mischievously, obviously not needing to go but knowing that once again we’re sitting around waiting for a pee and killing time before bed… on his terms. We argue over bedtime stories… which book will we read, how many books will we read, and why we will stop reading if we keep using our foot as a bookmark.
He wants to go to the mall. He wants to stay home. He wants to go to the mall. And now we’re just whining at the top of the stairs not knowing what we want (but it’s certainly not anything mummy suggests).
I’ve quickly realized that either you make plans and just stick to them irregardless of the moody toddler, or you just stop making plans for awhile and play each day hour by hour (or sometimes minute by minute). I am the type who makes plans and wants everything to go a certain way (read: a control freak) so to keep my sanity, I’ve given up on plans and we just fly by the seat of our pants.
How do you deal with your indecisive toddler??
I remember how often the bean slept Superman style, and someone told me that it meant he was very secure… that infants usually want to be bundled and swaddled, so if they stretch like that, it’s because they’re secure.
We just thought it was cute.
Seems like forever ago and then again, just like yesterday…
These are three fave finds on Pinterest this week…
Make your own coffee creamers
Rent a glass igloo in Finland to see the Northern Lights
Monday’s Mommy helper: Recipes for dough, fingerpaint and more
1/2 cup white Elmer’s glue
2/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon Borax
2 glass bowls
In a small glass bowl, mix together glue, 1/3 cup warm water and food coloring (add enough drop until desired color). In another glass bowl, mix Borax and 1/3 cup warm water. Pour glue solution into bowl containing Borax mixture, gently stir together. It will be wet, and within a few minutes it will set.
You’ll need 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/2 cup water and food coloring. Combine the cornstarch and water. Mix until smooth. Add a few drops of food coloring. Make a few batches of different colors. Use paintbrushes, foam paint rollers or sponges to paint the sidewalk.
Mix together equal parts dish washing liquid and washable liquid paint or powdered tempera. Mix until it’s a creamy consistency. Use paintbrushes. Easy to clean from windows with a moist paper towel, too.
1-1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup salt
1 packet Kool-Aid unsweetened drink mix
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 cup boiling water
1-1/2 tablespoons oil
wax or parchment paper
Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Add boiling water and oil; stir with fork until cooled, then mix with hands until well combined. Place on wax paper; knead until no longer sticky, adding additional flour 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency. Store in refrigerator.
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup liquid dish soap
Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a small pan. Slowly add the cold water and mix thoroughly. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring frequently, until it is smooth and gel like. Once it starts to boil (5 minutes), turn it off. Add the dish washing liquid and stir. Divide the mixture into small containers. Stir in food coloring. Cover when not in use.
TUB SOAP PAINT
1 cup of Ivory soap, grated
1/2 — 3/4 cup water
Put the soap shreds in a food processor. Gradually add water until it is a gooey, sticky consistency.
Put frosting tips on plastic bags. Scoop the mix into bags. Add the coloring to the bags and mix with your hands to distribute color.
1 gallon water
2/3 cup liquid dish soap
2 to 3 tablespoons glycerin or corn syrup
Stir together. Test and adjust ingredients until desired results are reached.
BAKING SODA AND CORNSTARCH DOUGH
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 cups water
Mix baking soda and cornstarch in a pot. Add water and mix until smooth. The mixture is very runny at this point. Place the pot on a stove over medium heat, stir constantly. The mixture will start thickening soon. When it’s turned into dough, cover it with damp paper towel or fabric. Let it cool.
Food coloring (optional)
Cups, spoons, bowls, play dough toys, etc. (optional)
There’s only one step! Just pour any amount of cornstarch, and squirt about the same amount of shaving cream on top of the cornstarch (you can add more of either if you need to as you mix it until you get a moldable dough). Then just mix it by squishing it with your fingers (my daughter really loved this part!). You can also add some food coloring if you want to add some color. That’s it! Super easy. Super quick. Super fun! Enjoy!
PRETTY!!!!! Copycat Recipes
I love copycat recipes… I’ve mastered Big Mac sauce and Kraft Thousand Island salad dressing, and these are a few recent Pinterest copycat finds that I can’t wait to try out…
Twix – by far my all-time favourite chocolate bar (remember when they had different flavours like peanut butter and cookies n cream?)
Panera’s Mac & Cheese – I basically love anything from this place
Almond Joy – my fave American candy bar. Mounds are awesome too – guess you could just omit the almond in the recipe!
Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts – a comfort food staple without the added packaged garbage