Feeling Bratty

My kids are kind of awesome.  Here it is, the day before Thanksgiving, their first day on break from school, and their mama is sick.  Yucky stomach issues, just miserable.  When I was able to crawl out of bed to check on everyone, I saw this waiting for me on the counter:

 

A Get Well card, a bottle of water with a straw so I don’t drink too fast (Bella’s words), a cup of applesauce and a well done piece of plain toast.  (That is Tigger”s face on my toast, btw.  Awesome, I know.)

They prepared me a B.R.A.T friendly diet.  You know, that diet that you are supposed to follow when you are having tummy issues?  Short for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast, all foods that are gentle on the rumbly belly.

Yeah, my kids are awesome.

May Citrus Lane Box!

It’s another month, and time for another Citrus Lane box!  I’m telling you, it’s like Christmas when that sunny little box shows up on our door step!

This month’s theme is “Fun In The Sun.”

Well come on, Mama!  Let’s get the party started!

Lots of fun goodies this month that will be put to good use!

We were immediately greeted with this cheery, pink sun hat!

This is the iPlay Sun Protection Hat which retails for $15.00.  It is nice and big so it offers extra protection to delicate baby skin, including their little shoulders.  It is made from UV-protective fabric rated 50SPF+.

Perfect timing because we have an outdoor birthday party this weekend!  Sara will be adorable and protected at the same time.  Mama likes.

What’s this?

Speaking of sun protection…

Those yummy looking bottles are travel size versions of Episencial Sunny Sunscreen, made with minerals instead of yucky, harsh chemicals, to protect baby’s skin.  The lotion is nice and creamy, not greasy, and with no weird after smell like some sunscreens have.

Sara says they look good enough to eat.  But, to her, all things look that way.

This is Green Toys Stacking Cups, retail price $10.99.  No BPA or PVC, and they are made completely from recycled milk jugs!  How cool is that?  We have their tugboat, also made from recycled milk jugs.  It is a bath time favorite and very well made.  One spiffy thing about these cups, they teach math!  They are numbered on the bottom and are volumetrically accurate.  For example, if you fill cups 1 and 2, they will equal the volume of cup 3.  Ummm, that’s cool.

She already looks smarter, just holding the box!  I love how she is seriously studying the package.

We got a yummy snack in our box this month as well.  This is Plum Organics Greek Yogurt Blends, which retails for $1.49.  Organic fruit and veggie blended with yogurt, I am sure it will be a hit with Little Miss Saraphina.

If she can wait for me to open it for her…

This is the Kooshies Beach Bag, which retails for $7.99.  It is a breathable, lightweight backpack, perfect for throwing swimsuits, toys, sunscreen, snacks, you name it inside.  I also like that you can see through it, so you can instantly see what is inside.  Or what you forgot to put inside.  Not that I would forget anything…

This month, we generously received yet another $15 giftcard, this time to Joyus.com.  Just an added little extra for a belated Mother’s Day gift.  Nice touch.

And as always, there was the insert from Citrus Lane describing the products, offering bonus coupon codes and handy little tips for moms.

Adding it all up, this month’s value was over $50!  And I didn’t have to leave my home to get all these great goodies, they were all delivered right to my door.  That is awesome in my book.

If you are interested in joining Citrus Lane, so you too can get these awesome goodies delivered right to your door, sign up HERE.  I wrote a review of last month’s box as well, along with more details on how the service works.  You can find that post HERE.

Dream Meanings

Purple-throated Carib hummingbird feeding phot...

I had a dream last night that a hummingbird landed on my lips.  It was so delicate and beautiful, I held my breath so it wouldn’t get scared and fly away.

What does that mean?  I like to delve into the meanings of my dreams, sometimes I just analyze it myself and sometimes I like to look in a book or online to get inspiration for what it may mean.  Heres what I found online when I looked up the meaning of the hummingbird in my dream:

Hummingbirds

You are searching for the
sweetness of life. You may be literally focusing on how
to work with flowers or aromatherapy. You are learning
to be flexible and adaptable, making the most of
new circumstances. Your body is sensitive and intense
now, and you are focusing on your fierce appetite for
life experience. You need to raise your energy level
and have freedom from restriction. You are
looking for joy, and need to spread love and happiness
to others. You need to find the beauty and good inside
yourself and others, going deep, beyond the outer
layers. You are focusing on how to
live in the present moment and maintain inner stillness
while in action. Small ideas and concepts possess
much power. You are trying to shift away from having
flighty thoughts and frivolous ideas. Hummingbird is a
magical messenger, bringing special messages from
high spiritual levels.
So, there are a lot of things in that paragraph that could be relevant to me right now.  Maybe all of them are, a little.  Maybe I just dream about things I love.  I do love hummingbirds.  I like to think dreams have a deeper meaning though.  I have found that for myself, when I am able to analyze my dreams and try and interpret what they might be telling me, I often come to some surprising and often eye opening realizations about myself.
I’m all deep like that.

Feliz Dia de Las Madres!

We had a crazy busy weekend!  Matthew had his bowling birthday party on Friday night, followed by a sleepover with his cousin.  Saturday was filled with odds and ends, getting things done that needed to be done, and then there was Mother’s Day!  I love Mother’s Day.  I’d like to say I spent it doing absolutely nothing, but that would be a lie.  There’s always something that needs to be done, and Mama can’t rest until it’s done.  Correctly.  I’m OCD like that.

But one awesomely fun thing that I did, that I love to do, is work in my garden.  And now I have these gorgeous new tools to garden with:

Those beautiful tools were a Mother’s Day gift from my cousin.  They are almost too pretty to use!  Almost.  I love them.  I was not expecting a gift from her at all, but along with these awesome tools and super awesome seeds that I can not wait to plant, she gave me the sweetest, nicest card that literally made me cry.  It made me feel very loved, very appreciated, and very, very special.  I love her to pieces.

This Mother’s Day was also the day I got two, count them, two Keurig Coffee Makers.

Allow me to explain.  I have wanted a Keuring for quite awhile now.  They are nice, but they are definitely a luxury, not a necessity.  I would never buy one for myself, and I would certainly not ask or expect to get one as a gift.  Especially right now, when we are pinching pennies to buy our dream house next year!  Well, I am spoiled.  I really am.  Abe bought me a Keurig for Mother’s Day this year.  He originally bought me the machine on the right, the Elite model.

Now here’s where I may sound ungrateful, but let me assure you that I am not.  Abe works his butt off providing for this ever growing family of ours, and I try to always get the very best deals for our money to make it go that much further.  As it turns out, the machine on the left, the Signature model was only $10 more at Sam’s, and not only was it the deluxe, upgraded model, but being from a club store, it also came with a lot of extras that the original did not.  It came with the water filter, the My K cup for using your own coffee, and 36 K cups, compared to the 12 that the original came with.  It was just a much better value for the money, sooooo…… We went out and grabbed the Signature and ended up returning the Elite.

It was just too good of a deal to pass up, and I love my Keurig!  It is spiffy!  And having every single cup fresh brewed, mmmm, I definitely can appreciate the difference!

I told you I was spoiled!

We dropped by my Mom’s for a short visit yesterday.  We usually spend several hours together on Mother’s Day, but she is still recovering from surgery, so I didn’t want to stay too long.

I had this idea for a craft a few weeks ago when my lemonade pitcher broke.  It was plastic, and full of candy when it broke, thank goodness.  But the handle fell right off.  I have since decided to replace it with a glass pitcher, but not wanting to throw away the old one….

I decided to paint it, epoxy the handle back on, and use it as a vase for a Mother’s Day bouquet for my mom.  I don’t have the inbetween steps or even a good after picture, but I do have a picture of my mom with the kiddos and the vase.

You get the general idea.  Isn’t it pretty?  I liked how it turned out so much, I wanted to keep it for myself.  I figure that’s a pretty good gauge on if the gift you are giving is awesome.  If it’s so cool you want to keep it for yourself, good gift.  The flowers are silk.  My mama does not have the greenest of thumbs, and it’s kind of depressing when a pretty bouquet of flowers dies, don’t you think?

Anyway, that’s my Mom and her nasty surgery scar.  She is doing better every day, but is still feeling kind of worn out from the whole stress and ordeal of it all.

And here she is with the whole crew, Sara, Noah, Matt and Bella.  The kids are all looking at me, but Mom is looking at my Dad who is also taking a picture at the same time.  It’s still a good picture though.

So my Mother’s Day was awesome.  I was spoiled, I felt loved and appreciated, I spent the weekend with extended family and just having fun.  Yes, it was busy, but that is the life of a crazy person with four kids.  The craziness continues this week with dance class, dress rehearsals, recital, a sleepover, a birthday party, last full week of school, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, etc.  May is such an insane month for our family.  I will be welcoming June with open arms!

2 Liter Soda Bottle Doll Project

Mattman is in fourth grade this year, and was recently assigned his first “big” school project.  He brought home a list of famous Missouri people and was to write a paragraph about what made them famous and then, and here comes the fun part, make a doll of said famous person out of a 2 liter soda bottle.

Huh?

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “2 liter soda bottle doll”?  Something fugly, am I right?  Me too.  I groaned at the thought of the poor ugly thing before it was even made.  Also, what ever happened to just writing reports?  Or drawing a picture to go along with the report?

The name that stood out on the list, for obvious reasons, was Walt Disney.  Um, yeah.  We are Disney freaks in this house.  This was a no brainer.  No Daniel Boone, no George Washington Carver, we wanted to pay our respects the the man that created Mickey Mouse.

Last weekend we gathered supplies from Michaels, my regular supplier for all my crafting fixes.  We grabbed lots of felt, a big, way overpriced styrofoam ball for the head, and a tub of buttons that I had been wanting to get for various projects.  Two birds, one stone if you will.

I already had yarn and glue and lots of other things for inspiration.  I have to say, the fugly little doll, along with Matt’s awesome imagination, turned out….well, cute.  Really.  He decided to give it big button eyes, like a LalaLoopsy doll, and so of course it needed a stitched mouth.  Here’s what it turned out like:

We took artistic license, obviously.  But he has the dress pants, dress shirt and tie he was always seen in, along with Mickey Mouse ears and a folksy little stuffed Mickey in his arms. On the front of the hat, Matt made a Mickey Mouse Logo that Says Disney Land 1955, which is the year Disney Land opened.  On the back of the hat:

(sorry for the crappy, blurry picture) It says “Walt”, made with red yarn and glue, to look like the awesome personalized stitched ones that are so popular.

Okay, come on.  It’s not as fugly as you thought it would be, is it?  It’s even kind of cute.  Also, I learned a few things while helping with this project.

5 Things Mama Learned Whilst Assisting In The Fugly Doll Project:

1. Hot glue melts styrofoam.  Like, really, alot.  We’re talking massive craters.

2. Hot glue melts soda bottles.  Like, really, alot.  We’re talking crazy, warping.

3. Hot glue melts skin off of fingers.  Like, really, OWWWWWWWW!!!!  Holycrapballs!  I have only had my hot glue gun for a few short months, and I have always followed Martha Stewart’s advice of having a bowl of ice water handy, just in case.  Except this time.  The time I decided to get my very first hot glue gun burn.  And holy crap, does that hurt!!!  Alot!  Lesson learned.

4. Hot glue does not work well on felt.  Maybe I was just so annoyed and in pain from my burning flesh that I didn’t give it time to work well.  But we went to my old standby, E6000.  That glue is AWESOME.  And I have been using it for over 10 years without any injuries.  That’s the kind of track record I can appreciate.

5. Don’t doubt your kid.  I envisioned fugliness from the very beginning of this project and had tunnel vision, not able to even imagine a doll that didn’t suck.  But Matt amazed me with his creativity, as he always seems to do.  Sure, it’s not an exact replica of Mr Disney.  But who cares?  It was creative and it got the job done.  I love it.

So we survived the first “big” school project.  I’m sure as the years go by the projects will get harder and less fun.  But in the meantime, I enjoyed being proved wrong by my awesome kid.  He’s cool like that.

Fairy Gardens

I had mentioned before that we noticed some new construction in our fairy gardens, and wouldn’t you know it, it would appear that they moved into their new homes this weekend.

The house looks small, but they are magical beings, so they make it work.

Isabella named this fairy Violet.  She looks a bit shy, doesn’t she?  Abe said she isn’t a fairy because she doesn’t have wings.  Isabella and I know that fairies are magical and can hide their wings from buttheads that say they aren’t fairies.  Obviously, that is what happened in this case.  Obviously.

We named this fairy Azul.  Fitting since that does appear to be his favorite color.  Abe said that he is a gnome, not a fairy.  We know better.

This fairy garden is in a very sunny spot outside, so we picked plants that love full sun.  I just adore the teeny tiny little flowers!  So happy and pretty!

This fairy garden is in the back of the house, where it’s pretty shady, so we chose shade loving plants.

The shady fairies seem to be hiding in these pictures, but I’m sure we’ll catch them out and about in their garden soon.  They must have heard about the butthead that calls them gnomes and decided not to come out to play.

Teacher Appreciation Day!

Teachers are awesome.  They are underpaid, under appreciated, and they spend their days molding the minds of the precious little germ muffins that they call their students.  I always like to send the kids teachers little gifts throughout the year, and as the end of the school year approaches, so does another Teacher Appreciation Day.

This year I scored some cute little things on clearance after Valentine’s Day to use as gifts for the teachers.

The clear apple shaped candy dishes had candy in them for Valentine’s day, and the two little flower boxes are Forget Me Nots.  Adorable and appropriate, don’t you think?  The tea I actually got for free with coupons, and the filler and bags are things I already had on hand.

I filled the bags with the tea and the apple caramel taffy, and decorated them with free printouts found on line.  The candy dishes were filled with the shredded paper and the Forget Me Nots and then tied closed with the original ribbon.  The kids both also made a card for their teacher which will be given along with the gifts.

Simple, inexpensive, and cute.  Yes, I shall deem this idea awesome.

Cinco de Mayo

Français : Poste - États-Unis - Cinco de Mayo

Ahhhh, its that time of year again!  Two for one specials at the Mexican restaurants, margarita mixes on sale at the grocery stores, latin festivals planned.  And all for the fifth of May.

Do you know they don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico?

Do you know that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence day?

Huh?  Its okay.  Take another sip of your margarita, another nibble of your burrito, and allow me to school you on this often misunderstood drinking holiday.

There is an old saying in Mexico, something along the lines of ” Porque los Gringos celebran el Cinco de Mayo?  Porque no pueden pronunciar el dieciséis de Septiembre.”  Basically saying Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo because they can’t pronounce dieciséis de Septiembre.  

September 16 is Mexican Independence Day.  Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the unlikey victory of the Mexican militia over the French army in The Battle of Puebla in 1862.  Regionally in Puebla, they celebrate the holiday, but it’s not widely celebrated throughout Mexico.

There are more and more latin festivals and celebrations around this time of year that focus on celebrating Mexican heritage, but I think most people just like to use it as an excuse to have some margaritas and Mexican food.  Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that!  I’m all for margaritas on Cinco de Mayo, Junio, Julio, Agosto….any time really.

Salud!

Indian Strawberries

While sitting out in the back yard this past weekend, a flash of red near one of our trees caught my eye.  At first I thought it was some sort of flower that had accidentally gotten transplanted, either by wind or rogue gardening kiddo.  Upon closer inspection, I saw this:

What the what?!

Teeny, tiny strawberry looking fruit on what appears to be a strawberry plant.  But so small!  And alien looking!

I had Abe come out and look at it, and he declared it to be wild strawberries.  Upon further research on my part, I believe these to be Indian Strawberries, also known as False Strawberries, Mock Strawberries, She Mei, and Wild Indian Strawberry.  Also often confused for wild strawberries.

The fruit is edible, but completely tasteless.  We ate them and didn’t die, but I wouldn’t eat them again.

They are a perennial herb with several medicinal purposes, but are considered by many as an invasive weed.  Their location doesn’t bother me, so as far as I’m concerned they can spread as much as they like.  Its kind of neat to look out and see the tiny strawberries growing wild.  What can I say, I’m easily amused.

DIY Hair Bow Holder

Having little girls means lots of excuses to make adorable girly things.  I have been making Isabella hair bows and flower clips for years, and now I have a new baby girl to craft for.  Yay!

All the cuteness needs a place for storage though, and I never could make myself throw all the bows and clips I spent so much time on in a drawer or box to get squished.  That’s when I decided to make my own bow holder.  Sure, you could buy one, but where’s the fun in that?

I started with two frames I had laying around without a purpose.

The large one there is an old art print I had hanging on my wall at one point.  Don’t judge, I was young and didn’t know any better.  Anyway, it had an interesting frame that wasn’t being used so I decided it was perfect for this project.  The print and glass are pretty easily popped out.  Keep that in mind next time you are shopping at thrift shops or garage sales.  Try to look past the ugly and imagine what you can do with the frame.

I took the frames outside and gave them a few coats of spray paint on my fancy Potty Dance Mats.  Don’t be jealous, its hard work being this awesome.  I didn’t sand the frames, just cleaned them really well so the paint would adhere without a problem.  Then I waited for these puppies to dry.  That was the hardest part for me.  I am not a patient person.

Here I have my supplies for the next step.  The painted frame, a piece of foam core cut to fit the frame, and pretty fabric.  I chose Fancy Nancy because, well, we’re fancy people here in this casa.  Cover the foam core with your fabric and hot glue it in place.  Do you have to use hot glue?  No.  You could use any heavy glue you have, it would just take longer to dry.  Heck, you could use duct tape.  You won’t see it and it gets the job done!  I used hot glue because, as I have readily admitted, I don’t have a shred of patience in my body.  Be sure and pull the fabric tight so its nice and flat.

Next comes ribbon.  Now, you could get fancy and do the diamond pattern like you see on the store bought message boards.  I didn’t do that here because I felt like this way would hold more clips and bows.  Also, this was easier.  Just measure the ribbon so that you have enough excess on the back to glue it down securely.  I think using several different types and colors of ribbons would be cute too.

The last step is just to plop it back into the frame.  Pretty easy, right?  And I think it is super cute.  Fancy Bella agrees with me.

Here it is on the wall with just a tiny fraction of the bows, to give you an idea of how it works.  Easy peasy.

And of course, here it Little Bit’s bow holder.  Hers is smaller, but its all the same steps.  Do you recognize that fabric from the DIY Earring Holder?  I told you I loved this fabric.  So cute!