So, yeah, I realize that this is the second month in a row that I've completed my decor/blog post for the month on the last day. In my defense, I totally had another one planned for this month that had to get put on the back burner thanks to the massive dumping of snow that we got a few weeks ago. We still have several inches of ice covering a portion of our carport. Ew.
Anyway, after being cooped up in the house for almost 2 weeks, we got to escape to Hobby Lobby and I got my craft on! Knowing I needed something simple and quick, I hit up Pinterest for "DIY Wall Art". I found this birch wall art tutorial. I looked over it a few times and decided that it would either turn out awesome or terrible (no in betweens with this one), but it's been forever since I've had the chance to paint, so why not?
I picked up my supplies yesterday (yeah, I know, procrastinator extraordinaire), and got to work as soon as I got home. I already had most of the paint, as well as masking tape. I got the canvas for 40% off thanks to my Hobby Lobby app (originally $19.99, paid $11.99), so all in all, this cost me less than $15 out of pocket!
I started by putting tape on randomly across the canvas. Since I have wider areas of the walls that I want to cover, I decided to go horizontal rather than vertical.
I like the blue that was used in the original, but in my imagination, if I'm going to be in a birch forest in springtime, it's going to be green. I had nearly the tint of green that I wanted, but not the shade, so I got mixing.
I love the swirls ^_^ They remind me of oil paintings I made in elementary school.
Then I filled in all of the negative space between what would soon be my branches. It took me a couple of coats, and I let it dry for 5-10 minutes between each coat. Then I let it dry overnight.
The next part was tricky for me. For some reason, I couldn't figure out which tape strips to remove first. If I did it over again, I would just use thicker tape. But I used what I had on hand, and I eventually figured it out (though thinking about it still makes my brain hurt).
Once I got the first set of "trees" untaped, I started with a layer of beige paint using the card trick. I had a feeling that it would give the trees more depth, reality, and character.
Once the beige was sufficiently dry, I added the black paint on top.
I continued until I had filled all of the tree spaces, letting it dry for 30 minutes or so before starting the next "layer" of trees.
And here is the finished product! I actually really like how it turned out. Unfortunately, in my last-minuteness, I forgot to get something to hang it with, so for now it's sitting on a shelf behind the couch -_- But that will be taken care of shortly! It's the perfect size for the wall space I wanted filled. Additionally, it was inexpensive, used stuff I already had on hand, was relatively easy, and made minimal mess. Personally, I'm calling this one a win! What do you think? Pinterest win or fail?
Recently, yoga pants broke the Internets. Because I am opinionated, and because I love yoga pants, I have to throw in my two cents. I know, too many people have already said just about everything there is to say. But I’m going to say what I have to say anyway.
First, I want to commend the original poster for making the statement that no longer wearing yoga pants or leggings was a personal decision, and that she doesn’t feel like it’s every woman’s job to follow her lead. However, I disagree with her, and here’s why:
1. It is not my job to control other people’s thoughts.
Growing up in a Southern Baptist home-school family, I heard the “dress modestly so that you don’t make anyone stumble/lust/think bad thoughts about you” line a million and one times. Am I against dressing modestly? No. Here’s the problem: modesty is subjective. I have decided to dress in a way that makes me feel comfortable and occasionally accentuates my body. So when it’s 95 degrees and 95% humidity, you bet your floor-length skirt I’m going to be in a tank top and shorts. I am not going to cover myself from neck to ankle so that a random guy doesn’t have perverted thoughts about me. This puts all the responsibility on me, and not whoever might be looking at me. Their thoughts are not my responsibility. Which leads me to my second point.
2. This train of thought encourages victim blaming.
When it becomes my responsibility what others think about me by the way I dress, it perpetuates victim blaming. Saying, “Well, s/he wore [clothing], so s/he asked for it,” when a person is sexually harassed or raped is victim-blaming. When I was raped, I was wearing jeans, sneakers, and an over-sized, baggy band t-shirt. But even if I had been wearing a miniskirt and a crop-top, it still would not have been my fault. I was overpowered and forced into an act that I did not want to commit. My clothing choices had nothing to do with it. In fact, I’m pretty sure if you were to ask the guy who raped me, he couldn't have cared less what I was wearing at the time, nor would he be able to remember. And yet, when anyone hears about something like that happening, one of their first questions is always, “What were they wearing?” This is unacceptable, and we as a society must stop blaming people’s wrong thoughts or actions on what the victim may have been wearing (or how much they had to drink, or how flirtatious they were being, etc.).
3. You're basically calling my son incompetent.
Yup, I said it. By saying that she will no longer wear yoga pants in public so that no guys think lustfully about her, she is also saying that men are animals and have no control over their thoughts. I hope that we raise our son well enough to where he is respectful of all people; and that, if he is thinking any “bad” thoughts about any person, he is able to change what he is thinking about. I already know that my son is not stupid, and if he is anything like his Papa, he will know and be in control of his own mind.
“But wait! I thought you were a Christian! What about not being a stumbling block for your brother?!”
Here’s the thing. If you read that phrase in context, what Paul was telling the church was to not do things that were not necessarily sins, but that they knew would make being a Christian confusing more difficult for newer converts. In other words, even though eating meat is no longer a sin, if someone else feels it is a sin, don't eat meat in front of them. But it’s still okay to eat meat.
I’ll put it this way. If someone in my church tells the congregation that they’ve been struggling with alcoholism, I’m not going to invite them to my home for beers. But that’s not going to stop me from enjoying a glass of wine or hard cider with dinner now and again. So if someone in my church says that they’re having a hard time not thinking lustful thoughts when they see women in yoga pants, I’m not going to wear yoga pants to a church function out of respect for that person. That person is still responsible for his or her own thoughts. 1 Timothy 2:22 (ESV) says, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” That means it’s the looker’s responsibility *gasp* to look away if they start thinking bad things, not the wearer’s job to stop wearing leggings and start wearing formless dresses that cover them neck to ankle.
In summation, if you feel convicted to stop wearing these or other articles of clothing, that’s fine. But just do it. Please don’t make yourself righteous and continue to enable the above points. You’re not doing anyone a service.
My dearest love,
In recognition of Valentine's Day, I wanted to share a short list of a few of the reasons I adore you so. In no particular order...
1. You always give me the bigger half - never begrudgingly or with any hesitation.
2. You tell me I'm beautiful every day, even when I haven't showered in a week.
3. You text me "good morning" every day you're at work.
4. You always kiss me last when you leaves, and first when you comes home.
5. You voluntarily and willingly conformed to my dietary restrictions at home before I even moved in with you.
6. You read the labels for me.
7. You never call me lazy or put me down for being a stay-at-home mama. In fact, you thank me regularly.
8. Actually, you never put me down in any way.
9. You actively communicate with me throughout the day, whether we're together or not.
10. When I ask you how your day was, you tell me about it instead of just saying, "good."
11. You encourage all of my efforts at entrepreneurship, and have never asked me why I don't get a "real job."
12. When I found it impossible to get a "real job" after moving in with you, instead of getting mad or frustrated, you took over my car payments happily, and promised to take care of me and Bean to the best of your ability, for as long as you can.
13. You are actively involved with Bean, playing with him, bathing him, and have said on multiple occasions that diaper changes are your favorite because you get to have one-on-one time with him.
14. You genuinely think I'm funny, and can pretty much always make me laugh.
15. You squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom.
16. You know my favorite order at pretty much every place we frequent.
17. You take me seriously, and never make fun of me.
18. You always take my side, no matter what.
19. You're always excited to see me.
20. We never run out of things to talk about, even when we start re-telling stories the other already knows.
21. You never get annoyed when I get on my soapbox; instead, you listen intently, and generally give your well-thought-out opinion.
22. You happily help out with Bean, even after a long day at work, so that I can work on projects, run a quick errand, take a shower, or even take a much-needed nap.
23. You rarely ask me to drive, even if you're sick of it, because you know how much I dislike it.
24. You never buy me roses (you know I don't like them); instead, you pick me wildflowers (my favorite).
25. You fully supported me in my desire for a home birth; and, when that didn't happen, were by my side the entire time we were in the hospital.
26. You did more research about pregnancy and birth while I was pregnant than I did, and you never missed an appointment.
27. You have supported my goal of breastfeeding Bean, and bring me food and water when I'm tied to the couch with a hungry babe.
28. You enjoy cooking with me and for me.
29. You still open doors for me.
30. When I'm upset or angry, you respect my space and never push me, but somehow you always know when I need and am able to talk about it and get me to talk it out.
31. You willingly help me with laundry, dishes, and housework without me asking.
32. Even though you makes 99.9% of the money, you call it all "ours", and respect me enough to ask my opinion on bigger purchases.
33. For my 27th birthday, you made me gluten-free cupcakes, after I told you that no one had made me a birthday cake in years.
34. You always put me first, and work to make sure I take care of myself, too.
35. You make time for all of Bean's appointments, in part so that I don't have to hold him during his shots because you know how upset it makes me.
36. You constantly tell me I'm awesome.
37. You are a fan of pretty much all of my favorite shows: Firefly, Dowton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Vikings, New Girl, and any History or Science Channel specials. Not only that, but you'll binge-watch any and all of them with me, over and over.
38. You love and respect my family, and are the reason I continued to strive for a relationship with my parents.
39. You love Ikea as much as I do.
40. 8 words: great green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts.
41. You hold my hand as often as possible.
42. You always smell good.
43. You never complain when you come home to a messy house and no dinner.
44. You drove 6 hours to meet me and drive another 3 hours to see a band you'd never heard of because they're my favorite band and I had an extra ticket and no one to come with me.
45. Motorcycle rides through EKY.
46. You fix my car.
47. Cuddling on the couch in our pj's and watching anime on a Saturday morning is just as romantic as a night out.
48. You never complain about my cooking.
49. You make the bed every night before we go to bed.
50. You still give me pedicures, even though I'm no longer pregnant and can reach my toes again.
I cannot thank God enough for bringing you into my life. You're an amazing father, and the most incredible life partner I could ask for. I'm proud to call you my best friend. I can only hope to be as wonderful to you as you are to me and Bean. My Sun and Stars, you are the light of my life.
I love you the most,
Holy cow, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated about Bean. He’s going to be 8 months this Saturday (Valentine’s Day!).
Why didn’t anyone tell me that he would grow up this fast?! J/k, j/k. Plenty of people did, I just didn’t believe them. It’s been a good 3 months since I last posted an update. I actually had to read what I wrote to see how far he’s come, and it’s far!
Bean now sits up on his own. In fact, he can now get himself up into the sitting position from being on his back or belly. He still scooches more than crawls, and since my friend called him Lieutenant Dan, I giggle every time he drags himself around with his arms, his little legs dragging behind him.
He went within days from being able to pull himself up to his knees to pulling himself into a fully standing position. He loves to stand up, but he’s not sure what to do from there!
Bean has also started eating from the table – well, his high chair. So far he has tried (and liked!), in no particular order:
He is still mainly breastfed, and I hope we continue through at least a year or longer! He’s mastered pinching with his thumb and finger, which is great for him eating, but not so good when it’s Mama or Papa’s skin.
Bean cut both bottom front teeth on Christmas Eve! I guess that’s all he wanted for Christmas. Haha! He’s also still a babbler. No words yet, but he understands “milk” and “more” in sign language, and has recently begun to sign “milk” when he gets hungry. Yay for communication!
He has become increasingly independent in his play, and he now loves Veggie Tales and Baby Einstein. He takes fewer naps (cries to self) and is sleeping longer periods through the night.
Bean loves when Bear or I blow raspberries on his belly, and he’s recently begun blowing raspberries on my belly! It is the funniest thing! If I lay down on the floor with him, he will pull himself to standing next to me, pull my shirt up, and start blowing at my belly. Sometimes he actually manages to get his face on my belly, and comes up with a grin of satisfaction after hearing the funny sounds he makes.
Bean loves being around other children, though we’ve had to limit his exposure due to the height of RSV and Flu season. He is usually gentle with other children, doesn’t get overwhelmed with having several others around, and likes to smile and laugh at them.
We got to visit our sweet friend in the hospital the day she gave birth to her second son. Bean was very curious, and not the least bit jealous when Mama held the new baby. I was so proud of him! It’s hard to believe that Bean was ever that itty bitty, and yet it seems like yesterday. I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty sure I have the fever again… Baby fever!
If you follow my blog page on Facebook, you may know that I'm a HUGE fan of Repeat Crafter Me's blog. Sarah is incredibly creative, and makes the neatest/cutest patterns. I'm pretty much addicted to her website. So when I got the request to do a penguin hat, her blog is the first place I looked!
Sarah's patterns are incredibly easy to read, and she gives the best points/tips. Every pattern of her's that I've used has turned out great on the first try. I highly recommend her page if you are into crocheting, even if you're brand new!
You can find her original pattern for the penguin hat here. If you take a look, you'll see that my project ended a bit differently than Sarah's. The original hat has cute ear flaps with pompoms on the bottom (love!), but the sweet lady who requested this from me wanted the long scarf with pockets instead.
The only alteration I made to her pattern was to continue DC's in place of the ear flaps. I crocheted 16 DC for 60 rows, then increased to 20 DC for 24 more rows. I followed her instructions for placing the second earflap to place the second half of the scarf. When I did the SC around the outside of the hat/scarf, I folded the bottom section of the scarf in half (12 rows of 20 DC) and continued to SC through both layers to hold it together.
See? This is why I don't write patterns. Haha! I'll leave that to Sarah and the rest of the professionals.
Didn't it turn out too cute? I'm so excited to put it in the mail tomorrow!
And thanks, Sarah, for the awesome patterns!
I've been so gratefully overwhelmed with custom orders. I was concerned that the orders would stop after Christmas and that I may have to work outside the home. I have SO much respect for the mamas (and papas!) who go back to work after baby is born. The thought of it breaks my heart. BUT I have maintained enough orders to let me stay home! It does take a lot of my time, though, especially with Bean teething and crawling and trying to stand, so if I haven't posted in a while and you're wondering where I'm hiding, it's likely behind a crochet hook! :D
Mama Bear of one Baby Bear, Bean, who both love Papa Bear, and live in a crafty, gluten-free cozy den.