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We love all home & decor things
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CRAP I'VE MADE
I have actually built up a large amount of enjoyable mama suggestions, techniques as well as parenting hacks in the process that I intend to show you!
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RAMBLINGS OF A MOTHER

I like writing staffs. Anything including abnormal thoughts, most family topic, interior design things.

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HOMEMADE-ISH Decor

I love to decorate my children's room with wall stickers, wall decals,etc.

DIY Book Ledges

The simplest way to DIY a book ledge for any wall!

Honestly, this project was completed months ago. I made sure to take clear, quality pictures of each step at the time of construction. And then somewhere between then and now, the amazing step-by-step pictures have been lost in the wide world of the interweb.

Sooooo, I took crappy pictures of an already finished project to try my darndest to explain how the heck I made these things.

Honestly, these DIY Book Ledges are a pretty simple concept. I used 1″ x 2″ furring strips, outside corner moulding and brass corner braces. That’s truly all it took. But, in an attempt to help you better understand the process, I will proceed below with my subpar pictures and most-likely even lower standard of explanation….

You’re welcome (and I’m sorry!)

The first step was to measure the length of the wall I wanted the ledges to hang on as well as how many layers of ledges there would be. I also needed to make sure I knew the width of the books I was planning on displaying as I was hoping to use outside corner moulding pieces (these are traditionally about an inch or so in size) and a thicker book wouldn’t fit. These particular vintage books were a find on Facebook Marketplace and were all fairly thin, so my idea was perfect.

Once I knew the length of the wall and width of the books. Off to Home Depot I went!

After picking up 4 furring strips and the outdoor corner moulding (that I had found in the clearance section because they had been previously cut and each had a warped edge), I found the braces that were also the correct width to fit the moulding.

I waited in line for quite a while on a Saturday morning to have these bad boys cut for me. I have my own saws at home, but it was rainy and cold and it seemed like an easier option to have Home Depot cut the trim pieces instead. It’s actually a pretty sweet service they offer at no cost to the customer and saves loads of time on your projects! Just make sure you are 100% sure of your desired length – otherwise you’re stuck with a wrong size wood piece that you’ve already purchased and brought home.

The first step to actually constructing the ledges was to attach the furring strips to the wall. I decided to paint these white first (so they would blend in with the already white wall) and stain the corner moulding pieces to give the ledges a ‘warm’ look. Our walls are stucco and completely thin crap. Seriously. It’s a crazy pain to even find a stud and anything, heavy or not, must be attached to a stud. The function of the furring strips was to allow a foundation for the ledges that could be drilled into a stud and then be fully covered with the corner trim.

Next, after waiting for the stain to dry on the wood trim pieces, I attached them to the furring strips using the braces. I used 3 corner braces per ledge – one on each end and one in the middle. Learn from my mistake and be sure to use a drill bit extender or else you will jack-up your wood like I did here.…

I Was Lost in the Laundry

The other morning I was watching a daily news program during my morning 15 Minutes of Silence (if you Mama’s out there don’t practice this habit, trust me, you need this! Start your day, before the kiddos wake up and the chaos ensues, with at least 15 minutes of only you, your fav coffee mug and whatever you fancy – Candy Crush, The Today Show, Facebook, planner planning, bible journaling, staring off into space, dreaming of going back to bed in 15 hours. Whatevs. You choose.)

And because wine is frowned upon in the mornings, this really is the next best thing. It is so good for the soul and for your AM ‘mom mood’.

Anyway, the reporter was discussing the increase of women reentering the workforce. They ended the segment for a commercial break with a question: “Why were so many women taking on ‘side hustles’ or choosing to become entrepreneurs?” It’s true.

I have noticed within my own inner circle of peeps that more and more of my beauteous women friends have either gone back to work, gone back to school, or have become distributors of skin care essentials, spatulas, herbal supplements, mascara etc. Here’s the thing – each one of my girlfriends appear truly proud of the business they represent.

Like, ‘shout it from the rooftops and tell everyone about it’ proud. I felt like I was right back in Mrs.White’s class in the 3rd grade. Raising my hand, flailing it around in the air, jumping up and down hoping the reporter would see me so I could answer his question. I knew why they had chosen to go back to work. Why they had chosen to say “yes” to themselves; “Ooooh! Oooooh! Pick me! I know! I know! Pick meeeeee!” It was so obvious: They were lost in the laundry! Duh!

Okay, so obviously these women are not lost in the laundry.

At least not in the literal sense (I hope). Although, sometimes the piles around here are so high this might actually be possible. {Sooo, if you don’t hear from me for a while, you know where to look.} For some women the choice to go back to work stems strictly from a financial standpoint -and we all can agree that extra moolah for Target shopping is never a bad thing- I do believe there are also women who are simply feeling lost. And I was most definitely lost.

You see, I have been a mom since I was 17.

It’s one of the few things I have consistently done in my adult years. And I don’t say that out of spite. It has just been my life for almost 20 years. I love my mom job more than anything, and I wouldn’t change a single thing that has led me to where I am. But, once upon a time, I was just a girl named Kristin. A nerd introvert that loved watching movies, reading anything I could get my hands on, writing stories and jamming to Rod Stewart while imagining my wedding to the Dirty Dancing version of Patrick Swayze.

And I had some plans. Some BIG life plans.

There was a moment a year or so ago that I found myself on the floor of my bedroom sobbing. It was one of those really ugly cries, my friends. Most likely due to the fact that my oldest son was making his own big plans.

Huge life changes were in his horizon. He spent his evenings after school and work applying for grants and scholarships. My baby was in the midst of deciding which college to enroll in and in turn, choosing a major he would earn a degree in that would eventually serve him and his future family for the rest of their lives.

And while I was blowing (honking) my nose into my tissues all alone, it occurred to me that the last time I knew what I was good at, knew what I was truly passionate about -other than my family, of course- was when I was a teenager preparing for a future that would never materialize. I had lost myself in these past 20 years.

I was so caught up in the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking, grocery shopping and taxi driving, the sports and the after-school clubs, the play dates and the PTO meetings that I wasn’t quite sure where I fit into all of this.

Where did I go? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love volunteering in my kids’ schools. I love that my kids are involved in activities and sports. And I really freaking love being their mom. But, who the heck was I anymore? Was I really just a non-yoga practicing, yoga pant wearing, messy bun rocking, soccer mom? What did I like to do? Did I have a hobby? Could I even say I had interests? I honestly didn’t know anymore.

I remember reading somewhere that journal writing helped to clear the mind and ease anxiety. So, I started there.

Once I began writing, it was like a flood of feelings overwhelmed me.

I remembered how much I adored taking a pen to paper. The journal writing then led me to start a ‘stupid blog that no one would want to read’. The stupid blog led me to start an Instagram page where I could share all of the crap I’ve made for my home. And guess what I realized? I was actually good at something that didn’t begin and end with an ‘m’ and have an ‘o’ in between! And most importantly, in the journaling, the stupid blog and the IG page, I found myself! It was like myself and I picked up right where we left off all those years ago.

I mean, sure, we were both a bit older and a smidge wiser with possibly a few gray hairs.

She was obviously a little worse for wear after being lost so long in that dang laundry, but all-in-all, we were …

TaterTot Casserole

Ingredients  

  • 2-3 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 3 cans Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 stick Butter (1/2 cup) melted
  • 4 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese <—- Super Secret Ingredient
  • 1 cup Half&Half or Milk
  • 32 oz Frozen Tater Tots

Instructions 

  • Grease dish and preheat oven to 350.
  • Brown beef in garlic salt.
  • Mix soup, cooked beef, milk, melted butter, parmesan cheese and 2 cups of shredded cheddar in large bowl.
  • Pour mixture into dish.
  • Layer tots evenly over mix.
  • Top with remaining 2 cups cheddar cheese.
  • Sprinkle a lil' more parm on top because why the heck not.
  • Cover with tin foil.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until tots are hot!

My Kids Would Make Crappy Friends

When your child makes a bad friend, your response determines your child's future social skills.

In the world of adults, we worry about our husbands having a drunken friend, or our wives having a best friend who likes to have an affair with someone, because we worry about the people around us being led astray, and we firmly believe that "those who are close to the vermilion are red, and those who are close to the ink are black." !

The writer Goethe also said, "As long as you tell me what kind of people you have, I can say, what kind of people you are."

This is true for adults, let alone children who are not familiar with the world. We will be more worried that he is not careful to make friends and learn bad!

  • Parents need to pay attention. Tom's mother was worried recently. She heard from the school teacher that Tom likes to bully children at school,give them nicknames, laugh at them, and join several children to fight against disobeying the teacher! He never used to be like this! When asked, we learned that Tom recently made a new friend, the child likes to do this, he found it interesting, so follow the example! Mom reminded him not to play with this child, but Tom didn't listen: "I want to play with him"!

The simple and brutal way to cut off your child from his friends is counterproductive!

Xiao Ran is a 13-year-old girl who just graduated from elementary school, but this child who was originally quiet and understanding suddenly turned bad at the age of 12. Irritable, irritable, disobedient, confrontational to mom and dad! Also often play with delinquent teenagers in the name of making friends, learned to smoke, drink, late, late at night, and even stay out all night …… turned out to be a female classmate of Xiaoran, often take her out to play.

The parents had no choice but to consult a psychologist and were reminded to realize that the time when the child became bad was the time when Xiaoran's father cheated and her parents quarreled every day. The two of them were fighting every day. Xiao Ran found that only when she was out late at night did her mom and dad stop fighting and make a concerted effort to find her, so she became more aggressive and just wanted a better relationship between mom and dad!

Sometimes a child's "bad behavior" is determined by a combination of factors. Such as family conflicts, parental indifference, insufficient family discipline, parents not teaching him the right concept of friendship, the child's own preferences, etc. Friends are not necessarily the direct cause of a child's bad behavior, but they are definitely one of the causes!

Parents need to pay attention to and help their children to build good peer relationships!

02 What does peer relationships mean to a child?


According to Francis Bacon, "The lack of true friends is the purest and most pitiful loneliness, and without friendship the world of ours is but a wilderness."

Developmental psychologists such as Piaget have also suggested that children have "two worlds in childhood, one in which parents and children interact, and one in which peers interact.

How important are peer relationships to children?
Research shows that 70% of human conversation time and content is related to socialization. The need for socialization is an innate psychological need. When children develop peer relationships, they are actually satisfying their social needs.

Psychologist Harlow, known as Mr. Monkey, did an "isolation experiment" with rhesus monkeys. To study the social behavior of monkeys without peer interaction. He bred a large number of rhesus monkeys. As soon as the young were born, he divided them into the following three living environments.

Complete isolation, no mother, no peers
living with only the mother and no companions
Only companions living together, no mother

Six months later the study showed that:
Monkeys that lived only with their mothers lacked maternal affection and were closely attached to their companions, who could act as partial substitutes for their mothers and had social behaviors. But not enough to have the same security effects as their mothers to interact normally with other members outside the group.

The mother-only monkey, however,which has an abnormal behavior pattern, is either avoidant or aggressive toward strangers, and suffers from social impairment.

Long-term interaction with peers can give children a sense of security and belonging, a relaxed, lively and pleasant mood, and emotional and affective development in a direction appropriate to social requirements, enabling them to adapt better to society in the future.

If a child is not able to have a good peer relationship, he or she will have difficulty adapting to school life and will be depressed and depressed, and will not be able to learn in a good state of learning.

Good peer relationships have a great impact on a child's mental health and can directly affect social patterns later in life.

03 How can parents appropriately control the world of children?
Choosing friends is a prudent thing to do." Good friends can work with children to move forward; bad friends can pull children down into the abyss. Therefore, parents must have control over their children's peer relationships!

When children want to get close to him and sit down near him, he will say, "I don't like you, go away and ignore you".

When playing together, he would dislike others who moved too slowly: "You're too stupid, I'll do it for you".

Gradually, children no longer like to play with him. Once the children played the game "Let's invite someone", and he was the only one who was not invited ……

Like Xiao Xi, or Tom mentioned above, when you find that your child suddenly has bad behavior, such as starting to curse, ridicule, speak badly, some toys inexplicably, or suddenly start to often lose their temper or silence, it is likely that your child's peer relationship has some situation. …

MERRY AND BRIGHT Marquee Sign

Christmas is right around the corner and my itch to start decorating my home is becoming more of a jolly, red, green and white rash. I can’t wait to deck the halls and make our spaces joyful. One of my most favorite parts of the entire Christmas season is all the lights. Houses, business and town gazebos lit up and sparkling, trees glowing in the night and icicle lights adorning front porches. Even though it’s cold and snowy, all the twinkling and shining just makes me feel warm and aglow. This Merry and Bright Marquee sign is perfect for any light-loving kindred spirit and will certainly put you in a wonderfully cheerful mood!

  • Step 1: Paint Plaque White

Spray paint the painter’s plaque white outside or in a well-ventilated space.

  • Step 2: Tape the Edges

After the paint has dried, you will need to use painters’ tape around the top edge to keep it clean for the next step.

  • Step 3: Add Glue

Using a decoupage medium and a foam brush, apply a coat of glue along the side of the plaque.

  • Step 4: Glitter Up the Sides

Making sure the plaque is over a tray or plate, sprinkle the glitter onto the wet side.

Continue working around the plaque, brushing on the glue and shaking on the glitter one side at a time.

Set to the plaque off to the side to dry.

Don’t forget to dump your extra glue on the tray back into your bottle!

  • Step 5: Paint the Letters

With a gold sparkle spray paint, paint the front of each letter spelling out “MERRY & BRIGHT” outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. You could also use acrylic paint in place of the spray paint if you prefer.

Allow to fully dry.

  • Step 6: Mark the Letters

Turning the letters over, mark where the holes for each bulb will go on the back of the letter using a black marker. Make sure you know how many bulbs are on your battery-operated strand beforehand so that you make the correct number of holes in each letter.

When making your holes, keep in mind the letters are thin wood that may split easily and staying in the center of each letter will prevent this.

  • Step 6.5: Drill the Holes

Using the Maker X Rotary Tool with the 1/8” drill bit, drill through each black dot on the back of your letters.

  • Step 7: Mark the Lines

With a ruler and a pencil, lightly mark a line 2” down from the top (for MERRY) and ½” up from the bottom (for BRIGHT) to use as a template for applying the letters.

The line will help you keep your words straight.

  • Step 8: Hot Glue the Letters

Hot glue MERRY & BRIGHT onto the plaque, making sure not to cover up the holes. (If you do accidently cover the holes with glue, don’t panic! You will wind up drilling through it anyway in the next step.)

  • Step 9: Drill the Plaque

Now that your letters are glued in place, it’s time to use the Rotary Tool again to drill through to the back of the plaque.

  • Step 10: Erase

Erase any pencil lines you can see.

  • Step 11: Velcro Battery Pack

With a 2” strip of sticky velcro, attach the battery pack to the back of the painter’s plaque in the opening of the frame.

  • Step 12: Insert Lights

Insert one miniature bulb through each hole, working slowly up and down the letters.

If you notice the lights pulling out of the holes in the back, a small piece of duct tape will help hold the pesky wires in place.

  • Step 13: Hot Glue Snowballs

For a finishing touch, take 5” white pom-pom balls and hot glue them randomly across the front of the marquee sign to give it a snowy look.

You can also open this video to check out super simple Merry and Bright Wooden Sign made from dollar tree items! The best part, once you make the DIY farmhouse sign frame, you can easily switch out the wooden saying and canvas for each holiday!! Go grab your supplies today so you can decorate for Christmas on a budget!

Homemade Mosquito Repellent

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always disliked spraying my kids with drugstore mosquito repellent products. When I read the label, I feel like they’re full of unknown crap and the over the counter sprays tend to leave their skin feeling sticky and gross. Not a good combination of feelings on hot summer nights.


I decided to try my own hand at a more natural, homemade option.
Now, I should definitely disclose that I don’t normally use essential oils for anything in my home other than to put in my cute lil’ diffuser that I absolutely love as a “cover up the baby poop smell” air freshener. That’s it. I’m not rollin’ it on my armpits or behind my ears or any other place that may be unmentionable. I purchased a set of 6 cheapo oils on Amazon for like $9 to use in said diffuser. This was literally the only time I’ve bought and used essential oils for any purpose.

  • I’ll definitely be using them a bit more now when I need to make a new batch of this mosquito repellent, though. Most of the oils in the recipe are fairly common to come across. I’ve seen them at the grocery store and at most drug stores. I did need to order the citronella oil online as that was the only ingredient I didn’t have on hand. (Yes, that absolutely means I had a huge bottle of vodka in our garage fridge. Don’t judge me, Karen. Sometimes alcohol makes me a better mother…)
  • I promise you that this DIY Bug & Mosquito Repellent is clean, fresh and doesn’t leave an oily residue. Plus, you can make it in under 5 minutes (and it’s cheap to make – once you buy the initial supplies, you have plenty to make many additional batches!)

Homemade Mosquito Repellent Spray
Print Recipe
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INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Witch Hazel
1 tbsp rubbing alcohol or vodka
30 drops Citronella essential oil
30 drops Lemongrass essential oil
20 drops Lavender essential oil
20 drops Tea Tree essential oil
20 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops Peppermint essential oil
*the essential oil amounts and types you use are really up to you. I personally love the smell of the spray with all of the listed oils together. But, if one or two of these oils aren’t exactly your cup o’tea, just omit them (with the exception of the Citronella as it’s the main ingredient to deterring those pesky blood suckers.)…

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