Things Learned in 2014

Some people are starting the #Whole30. Some people are purging to create capsule wardrobes. Me? I’m sitting in bed in three layers of clothing while snarfing popcorn.

(You’re welcome for that mental image).

To celebrate my inability to commit to popular resolutions, I’ve decided to kick off my 2015 posts with a look back at things I actually did well or learned in 2014. They’re not ground breaking, or even very exciting – but I made them happen, dammit, and that’s all that counts. And because I just can’t NOT whore out my Instagram feed, let’s throw in an insta pic with every “lesson”, shall we?

1. How to wear bright(er) lipstick and that yes, I can absolutely pull it off. I know this sounds pretty basic (and that the lipstick below doesn’t even look that bright), but this is a huge deal for me. Don’t judge.

bright-lipstick

2. I’m okay with not using my DSLR on a daily (or even weekly) basis. I truly used to think in order for me to enjoy photography I had to a) use a fancy camera for everything and b) be the best photographer in the world or nothing at all. Pffffft, dumb. 2014 was the year of coming to terms with my love of iPhoneography. I’m still working at it, but I have so much love for the ability to be able to snap something wherever I am, regardless of what I’m carrying with me. A DSLR does not a photographer make.

iphoneography2014

iphoneography

3. One-on-one time with my boys is oh-so important. The momma/son trip the Mouse and I took to DC this fall was one of the best trips of my life. I so enjoyed three days of just him and me – and I can’t wait to do the same with the Froggy once he turns six as well.

dc-trip

4. Speaking of six – wow – I totally love six years old. Hands down, my most favorite age so far. They’re old enough that you can actually do legitimately fun things, but young enough that they still want to hold your hand when they cross the street. It’s bittersweet, my friends.

six-years-old

5. To be completely happy with the way my body looks now, but always strive to be healthy. I am never, EVER, going to be the girl at the gym 5 times (okay, even 3 times) a week (and let’s be real, I love cheese … and beer), but that doesn’t mean I can’t make smarter eating choices when I can. Sometimes I won’t make smart choices – and that’s okay too. My body is constantly fighting evolution which is saying, “Store fat! She’s in prime birthing age! Pack it on in her lower belly where it can flop around nicely!” … and while I’m not necessarily okay with the floppy belly, I know that it’s a part of me – and I refuse to be miserable because of it.

Untitled

6. Keeping the house clean lowers my stress level by a factor of 10. This is super dumb, but it’s so true. In the past 6 months or so I’ve learned how to get up off my ass and clean now, to save myself from a meltdown later. My husband is totally behind this philosophy as well.

clean-home-less-stress

7. Investing in well-made luggage is important when one travels a lot. Ask me how I know. Grrrr.

buy-good-luggage

8. It stresses me out, and I complain about it constantly, but I kind of like training the puppy. The bitch wears me down, but I loved working with her this past fall. She makes me get up off my butt and get outdoors, and learning how to train her has been an interesting endeavor.

labrador-training

9. I am 110% glad we decided against any more kids. I like the place our family is at. I thought with several babies being born around me this year that the baby fever might be hard, but NOPE. You ladies go on with your amazing utes – and I will go home to sleep through the night.

follow-the-leader

can't-pick-and-choose-parenting.jpg

10. Blogging is still important to me. I wasn’t sure it would be – I keep waiting for the day everyone keeps saying will come, the day when I’m “over” having a blog. But it hasn’t. And even though this blog has become a different kind of space for me, it’s still just as important as it was in 2009. Geez, I’m old.

blogger collage

Happy New Years, friends! Thanks for being here.





How to Make an Infinity Scarf

Just so we’re all clear – this whole “how-to make an infinity scarf” post is all because I am probably the biggest nerd in the whole world. Several weeks ago I went looking for a Deathly Hallows infinity scarf on Etsy, and I just couldn’t really find one I liked. But then I found this fabric and thought “how hard could this really be .. I can totally sew straight lines”. So I watched a few YouTube tutorials and as it turns out, yeah, making an infinity scarf is really quite simple – provided you have a basic understanding of how to use a sewing machine, and have a few tools handy at home.

I’m going to give a basic run down here, but really, YouTube is the place to be. This is video I watched (several times) and emulated, but I also used this blog post as a guide as well. I am going to do my best to write this post in SUPER DUPER layman’s terms – because this is not a crafting/sewing blog y’all and really, I don’t know the proper terms for most of this stuff.

How-To-Make-An-Infinity-Scarf

Okay, stuff you’ll need:
2 yards of fabric (I’ll talk below about what kind you should choose)
Scissors
Straight sewing pins
Tape measure
Sewing machine
Matching thread
Needle

First, you’ll want to cut your fabric. The tutorial I was following suggested cutting it with a width of 12″, but I found this to be too short (I made several of these bad boys) for me. While the fabric I’m using had an awesome print (I mean, AWESOME PRINT), it’s a pretty stiff combed cotton and not really what you want for a scarf. I would recommend a knit fabric of some kind so that it hangs a little better than mine does. Regardless, 12″ is kind of thin considering you’ll be folding it in half – I ended up going with 18″.

It doesn’t matter how long your fabric is (mine was 52″), you’re going to double it up and loop it around your neck anyways.

do-it-yourself-infinity-scarf

So, to recap, cut your fabric (18″ x 52″). Now, fold in half length-wise with the pretty side faced-in. Pin the two edges together to make sewing easier.

Now, sew a really easy straight line all the way down the length, creating an inside-out tube of fabric.

harry-potter-infinity-scarf

Turn the tube right-side out.

Now (and this is tricky to write directions for, you might want to refer to this video again), pull the bottom back over the outside – all the while keeping the hems lined up – until the two ends are matched up again (you should have basically folded the scarf wrong side out in half again).

easy-to-make-infinity-scarf

Make sure the edges are flush to each other, and make sure the hems are still matched up – now, sew the two edges together all the way around BUT LEAVE ABOUT 2 INCHES OPEN at the end. Also, this is a good place to remind everyone to make sure you’re sealing the beginning/ends of your stitches with backward stitches too … in this part especially you’ll want to make sure they’re nice and secure.

diy-infinity-scarf

Here’s the important part – pull the scarf right-side out through the small 2″ hole you’ll left at the top. Go slowly, don’t pull too hard because you don’t want to rip your seams, but pull everything out and you should have what looks like a now awesome infinity scarf once you’ve pulled it out!

make-infinity-scarf-directions

Your last step is to hand stitch that last 2″ hole closed. There are some really fancy ways of doing this so that the stitches are hidden … but ain’t no one (in this house) got time for that. Stitch ‘em closed, call it a day, wear that part of the scarf behind your neck where no one will see.

how-to-make-infinity-scarf-christmas-gift

Ta da! You’re all done! You’ve created a really easy, really inexpensive infinity scarf that you can now give as a gift this holiday season. Or, you know, just keep it yourself. Because there are few people out there who share my excitement for wearing Harry Potter symbols on their clothing.

infinity-scarf-diy-directions

Happy sewing!

Thoughts that old people have

Some people don’t like birthday, but I was really excited to turn 30 years old. I felt like “30″ finally made me an adult – no matter that I already had a college degree, a husband, a mortgage, a job, and a kid BEFORE 30 – in my mind 30 was the real deal. I didn’t feel any older, but I enjoyed the number. Now that I’m 33, and my kids are getting older … I’m starting to feel the “mid-thirties” thing. My kid is losing top teeth, laundry and/or home renovation is usually on my short list for “big weekend plans”, and last week I spent over an hour on the phone to a “financial planner”.

You guys, it’s happening.

Do you ever have a thought, and then immediately think, “OH MY GOD, that was an OLD thought!” Yeah, there are a bunch of those too. Even more scary, I don’t always immediately recognize them as “old thoughts”. They’re starting to just become daily “normal thoughts”. Here are some of the “mid thirties thoughts” I’ve caught myself having lately:

1. You know what I should buy? Some relaxed jeans. All my jeans are so confining. I need a pair of really comfortable jeans for the weekend and running errands.

2. Oh look, that big fancy charity event is happening downtown this weekend. Gosh, that used to be so fun to go to … when was the last time we went? Seven … Nine … oh my gee TWELVE YEARS AGO?

3. I hate buying underwear. Ugh, thongs are so uncomfortable. Why do women wear these?! Maybe I can get these ‘cheeky’ kind instead. They’re still sexy, right? Look, you can still see butt cheek, that should really be enough.

4. This might be the stupidest reality show I’ve ever seen. What is this person doing? Gah this is dumb, I wonder if the news got recorded …

5. Hmm, we could either use next year’s tax refund for an amazing vacation, or we could renovate the kitchen. The beach would be fun, but it would be so amazing to have one of those big barn sinks!

6. You know what I totally want for Christmas? A new steam mop. With two dogs now, a nice steam mop would be awesome. Ooooo, or a programable crock pot!

7. Oh my gosh – we don’t have anything on the calendar for Saturday. Not one thing. And it’s supposed to rain! We can stay home, do laundry, make chili, and watch movies all day with the boys. I bet I’ll get away with coffee in bed until at least 8am. This is going to be amazing!

You guys, I’m getting old.

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Things I Learned From Traveling with My Six Year Old

Last Month I traveled alone with my six-year-old son, the Mouse, to Washington DC. The trip was a success for a number of reasons, and we had a fantastic time, but there were definitely a few things I learned about what to, and what not to do while traveling with an elementary-aged kiddo. 1. Explain […]

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The Yin to my Yang & Supplies for the Zombie Apocalypse

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Mini Pumpkin Spiders!

I know this is last minute, but I couldn’t help sharing this SUPER cute Halloween decorating idea – mini pumpkin spiders! I pinned a version of this a few weeks ago, and promised myself I would get my act together and make these guys happen. And lookie there, I actually followed through on something! I […]

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Stitch Fix Review: Box #8

I’ve been meaning to do another one of these Stitch Fix box reviews – and then, well, life. I’ve had more than a couple show up since the last time I blogged about a fix I received – some have been really great, some … not so much. BUT – I’ve stuck with it, and […]

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Kid’s Turkey Craft and Feather Hunt

This is a post I’ve wanted to write for almost a year – I wanted to blog about it last year after it happened, but realistically, who wants to read about a Thanksgiving craft in December? Exactly. So, here it is … apologies for jumping the gun before Halloween, but I need to get it […]

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Paper Plate Candy Corn Pennants!

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Trip to Washington DC in Photos

It’s taken me a week to get this blog post up not because I had too many photos, or wasn’t sure what to write, but because I arrived home and was thrown into single-parenthood since the Husband left for a work trip the afternoon before I got home. It’s been a crazy week, but I’m […]

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Trip to DC with a Six Year Old – What to Pack

With the Mouse and I taking off for our trip to Washington DC in the next few days, it only makes sense that the OCD monster that lives inside of me start thinking about what we’re going to pack. How much does one pack for three nights away with a six-year-old dude? I can remember […]

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Six Years Old is Really Fun

About a month ago I sat next to my cousin’s pool and talked with her about upcoming vacations and trips we were all taking as the five of our kids played in the water. When I told her about how the Mouse was really ‘in’ to learning about the states and presidents and how much […]

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The Stuff I Rocked

I worry a lot. In fact, I worry so much that I worry about the amount of worrying I do. It sometimes becomes this giant circle of worry-suck that follows me around and tries to make me miserable. It’s with me at work, during my commute, at home, in my dreams … it’s just there […]

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A Return to the Crazy

Well – here it is, Labor Day weekend. Millions of parents throughout the country are looking around and thinking, ‘what the hell happened to Summer’? Unless you’re a stay-at-home parent … in which case I’m pretty sure you’re all doing the happy dance right about now. Props to y’all for surviving the Summer at home […]

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I hated breastfeeding

I know that the opinion I’m about to share in this post tends to be a rather unpopular one these days, but it’s one I need to get off my chest. In light of World Breastfeeding Week just ending, and the slew of beautiful breastfeeding images and articles that have shown up in my social […]

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