Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolutions Chalkboard

Do you set New Year's Resolutions?
I am not very consistent at it, but usually have a few goals that I am working on and try to encourage my kid's to do the same. 

Our family motto "We can do hard things", because I feel like doing easy things makes no one great.
I've been wanting to make a sign w/ our family motto for years, and finally decided to make one with chalk paint, so we can each write down whatever "hard thing" we are trying to do.
Tonight each of us is going to set some goals, and we will write it down on the chalk board and hang it in my mommy command station, so we are reminded of it. 

2012 was the year of my 40x40 and I ran a marathon in 2013, I'm really not sure I can top either of those.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

How to Wish High School Teachers an Extra Merry Christmas

 So before I spent my days watching soap operas and eating bon bons, I was a high school teacher.  While elementary teachers can make out big at Christmas, pretty much anyone teaching anything higher than 7th grade gets hosed in the gift department.  

We all appreciate those that teach our teenagers, but buying them all gifts can be a little daunting (and pricey). I bought a 14 pack of gum at Costco and made little gift tags.

Voila.  14 little packets of holiday cheer for under 8 bucks.

Note to self: If I ever own a candy or gum company, I am going to name all my products that are easy to make puns out of. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

One Million Views

Tales of a Trophy Wife
So yesterday afternoon my blog hit one million page views!!!! I know that some blogs get that much traffic on a daily basis and it took me almost 3 years, but this blog had always been more about my personal journey than anything else, and  I thought I would do a little Best of My Blog.

My daughter's 14th Birthday Party- Night Owl Party wins for my most popular post. I guess we all love owls.

Whether it was eating cheese in Wisconsin or making a fool of myself on Let's Make a Deal, I documented my journey completing my 40 x 40 goals. Thanks so much for cheering me on.

My marathon training only got the occasional mention in the blog, but I couldn't wait to write it up and tell all of you that "I Ran a Marthon!!!"

I reviewed a lot of books on the blog ( I didn't count), but my favorites since starting this blog were Code Name Verity and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand,  and Unbroken.
I do a lot of sewing.  It was fun to do my Sewing 101 Course and help readers make skirts, pillows, and just be more comfortable in general with sewing.

The most popular sewing post was this Wrinkle Maxi Skirt, but my favorite was this skirt and blouse:

I started this blog, shortly after moving into this house and have done tons of DIY projects, but my favorite is still our playroom.

I don't love to cook, but do have a few recipes that I shared.  When people asked for one, it was easy just to say "It is on my blog". I even bought a crock pot and came up with some meals that didn't completely suck.

I have shared a little wisdom with you like how we survive road trips with kidsor how we rent out a home w/out a property manager

I even let out an occasional rant like "Why I Think Trophies are Stupid."

I tried out a lot of stuff I found online to see if it would really work for me. 

This will be post #627 full of bad grammar and photography.  Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Apron

Aprons make the perfect homemade gift.  

 It's much less stressful than trying to make them something for their home, that they might not like or even worse trying to sew someone else clothes.  

Who doesn't like a fun and flirty apron?  Also they are very figure flattering and can hide all those extra holiday pounds.

This one is is based on McCalls 6860. I left off most of the embellishment, b/c I like things a little simpler. 

All the fabric was under $20 and I knocked it out in the better part of an afternoon.  Despite the photographic evidence to the contrary-I did iron it.

My Mom is one of those people that loves to cook for her family.  I'm giving it to her tonight, so this year she can cook up some Christmas spirit.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Neighbor/ Teacher Gifts

Are you looking for some quick, easy, and cheap gifts for neighbors, teachers and friends?  Here are some of my favorite ideas:

  Owl want to wish you a Merry Christmas gift bags

Ice Cream Gift Card Holder

Sonic Gift Card Holder

"Soda-lighted to spend one Happy Hour with you each day!"

There are 10 ideas from me.  I'd love to get some ideas from you. It's December 12th and I am getting a little desperate. Please link up below or leave me a comment and share your cheap, easy and awesome ideas. 

Please only link up your gift ideas:)

To see where I link up or to add your party, please click here.
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Monday, December 9, 2013

French Toast

I wish I could say that my blogging absence has been due to the fact that I have been off doing something extraordinary, but mostly I have been wasting too much time playing Pet Rescue Saga. I also just got a new computer and it is just such a pain getting everything set up and figuring everything out. Change and technology are not my friends.

Friday, my youngest had to to get a molar pulled.  He was a super brave an co-operative patients. After we got home and the numbness wore off and the emotional stress caught up to him, he completely fell apart. Amid this emotional breakdown, he requested waffles or french toast for dinner.  I thought we'd try and combine to the two and it actually worked!
 I just dipped some bread in the typical egg and milk mixture and put them in the waffle iron.  I pressed down hard so it would make all the little waffle marks.

I topped with some apples that I had cooked with brown sugar, butter and cinnamon and a little whipped cream.

They were so good, we ate them again on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gratitude Extravaganza-Activity Day Girls

I am involved with the 8-12 year old girls at church. We meet twice a month for "Activity Days".  I am in charge this week and so I am planning a Gratitude Extravaganza.  There will be a craft, a game, and chocolate.

We are going to make these Thankful Corny Poppers.  The idea is that they will pick someone they want to thank and write all the reasons they are thankful for that person on little slips of paper and put them inside a toilet paper tube.  Then we will use yellow streamers and green tissue paper to make it look like corn. I stole the idea from Spoonful-check it out for the full directions When the "thankee" receives it he/she will pull both ends and they will be showered with gratitude. 

We are also going to make these super cute pilgrim hats from
Oh So Savy Mom

And these Native American Hackey Sacks from DIY Lifehomemade hacky sacks by Bethany Sanders on Flickr

So that's my plan. 
 I hope it works as well for a group 15 tween girls as well as one 40 year-old lady.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bracelet Organization

My daughter enjoys jewelry-it makes her happy.  

She has a lot of bracelets that are too bulky to store with the rest of her jewelry and she came up w/ a genius solution all on her own:

She simply hammered some nails into her closet wall.  Then she just looped a group of bracelets together with a rubber band and hung them on the nail.  


I'm not picky about my closet walls, but if you didn't want to put holes in your closet wall, you could hammer nails into a piece of wood as well.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I Ran A Marathon!!!!!!

I did it! I did it! I did it!  
I ran my first (and last) marathon last Saturday, and since about 1:00 Saturday afternoon, I have to exhibit tremendous self control so I don't shout, "I ran a marathon!" every 5 seconds. 

We share our family battle cry of "We do hard things", with my friend Aly's family.   To prove to our kids that moms can do hard things too, we decided to run a marathon. (It has also been awesome over the past few months when our kids have claimed to be too tired to do something, we could always come back with: "You have no reason to be tired I ran X number of miles".)

We are not runners, and would chose "not running" over "running" every day of the week. I may actually be the least athletically inclined person I know and so if I can do it, anyone can do it. 

We followed Hal Higdon's Novice Supreme's 30 week training schedule.   Despite sickness, children's issues, injuries, her Grandpa's funeral, and my rental property disaster, we still managed to log 529.6 miles. 
Running is hard. Running 26.2 is really hard.  In an effort to motivate myself, I dedicated each mile to someone who has inspired me.  I chose to run the marathon, but I have friends that did not choose to have sick kids, cancer, custody disputes,  deployed husbands, difficult adoptions, divorce, etc., but handle all those "hard things" with strength and grace.  Their names covered my arms and gave me strength.
I am so lucky to have some many supportive friends and family members.  I just felt so loved by all the calls, texts, and emails from people showing their support and telling me I was in their prayers. My friend Suzanne (who's emergency surgery prevented her from running a half marathon) even made me a gift bag. My friend Angie bought me my favorite candy bar, a "Take 5" for my post run treat. My parents watched my kids and my mom was so proud of me she couldn't talk about it without crying. I was feeling the love.

We choose to run in Abilene's Marathon For Miracles because it was at the right time, flat, and within driving distance. We didn't realize how small of a race it was.  There was a 5K and a half marathon, but only 28 people actually finished the marathon.  Despite the small number, the support staff was amazing.  They had water/ snack stations every 1.5 miles. It is just plain silly how helpful it is to have random strangers cheer you on.

Our husbands were the best support staff, and because the race was so small, they easily found us several time during the race.  We could hand off sweatshirts as it warmed up. They brought us chapstick and sunglasses when we needed them. They also took pictures (not that we are at our most flattering) and would text updates to those cheering us on at home.  Mostly I just loved seeing them.

Despite not being able the sleep the night before, the first 16 miles weren't too bad.  A big problem was that we had to endure all of our long runs in extreme Texas heat and humidity. Staying hydrated was a huge issue.  When we started our race, it was in the low 40's and so it was difficult to gage how much to drink.  I drank 32 oz before the race and took a drink every 1.5 miles.  I had to go to the bathroom at mile 18.5 and this was a disaster for me.  Even though, I only stopped for maybe 30 seconds, my body started to shut down and decided it was done running for the day. My muscles all started to cease up. My goal was to run every single step, but I was starting to worry that I may not be able to even complete it walking.  

Aly was way ahead and there were no other runners around, so I just kept talking to myself like a crazy person saying: "I do hard things", "I am a robot, the pain doesn't matter", "This will all be a bad memory", "right, left, right, left", "If I stop now, I have to do it again",  "I told everyone I was running a marathon and it would be embarrassing to fail", "I can do anything for an hour", and "I have already run over 550 miles, just a few more". It worked, and I never had to stop and walk. Everything still hurt, but eventually my muscles got a little looser and I was able to run without looking like C-3PO or a zombie.  

Then I saw a hot pink shirt heading my way.  My sweet friend Aly decided that she couldn't cross the finish line with out me and was coming back to get me. 

Seriously the woman chose to go backward for me! 

Running with her again, helped me pick up my pace.  My husband had been waiting at the finish line, but caught a glimpse of my zombie/ C-3P0 impression around mile 21 and was worried about me, so walked back and did the last 1.2 with us.  

We crossed the finish line, claimed our medals and then tried to regain control of our legs.  We both shook uncontrollably from pain and exhaustion.  We finally were able to make it back to the hotel, where I tried to take an ice bath. I was supposed to soak for 20 minutes, but I used up all my willpower during the race and so only managed about 20 seconds.  Those of you that can run a marathon AND take an ice bath are my heros.

It is less than 48 hours since the race,  and honestly with a healthy dose of motrin I feel just as good as I did Friday.

It wasn't pretty, but we did it!!!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Captain Literally Costume

The overuse of the word "literally" drives certain of my family members insane, so we enjoy Studio C's Captain Literally way more than we should.  

My youngest wanted to be him for Halloween (It beat his second choice as the pineapple from Psych).

I grabbed a pair of leggings from Wal-mart. I had an old red shirt and I bought some blue spandex for the cape, arm band and "L".

I made most of it up as I went along, but I got the Face mask pattern from Frugal Fun 4 Boys.