September 30, 2012

Sunshine Sunday - the cabin and a new project

Last weekend we headed up to G-ma and G-pa's little log cabin for a couple of days.


It was so fun to be away and unplug.  The boys had a blast. 


This little guy was made for the cabin life.

September 29, 2012

Soapbox Saturday - You're not the only one.

I've been thinking lately....yes, it's something I try to do on occasion :)  I've been thinking a lot about motherhood and all the emotions of it.  And sometimes I think we feel so much pressure to have it look perfect.  We want our children to wear gorgeous clothing, say all their cute phrases when other adults are around, and we want them to be little angels in public.

Well, mine definitely aren't like that.  And, it's okay.  I don't think they were given to me so that I could make them into little soldiers who perform on command.  I think they were given to me so I could help them discover who they want to be.


You may see pictures of my boys on my blog and think, "Wow, she's really got it together."  It's a picture.  Please don't assume that.  If you saw me in Target one of my boys might be having a meltdown.  If you saw me at home you might hear me raise my voice....and then feel really bad about it afterwards.  If you saw me at church you might just catch me giving one of my boys that look that says if-you-don't-knock-it-off-now-I'm-going-to-go-nutso-on-you!


I had a great conversation with one of my sisters the other day.  She is an awesome mother and her kids are amazing.  I asked her if she ever felt like she was failing as a mom and she said, "Absolutely."  It caught me off guard a bit.  I knew I had felt like that at times, but I didn't realize she did to.  And then I realized how much we ALL feel like at times.  We just don't always mention it.  It's pretty personal.

September 28, 2012

Technical Difficulties and Milli Vanilli

Unfortunately, yesterday I spent a good part of the day fixing some photo stealing problems.  It was frustrating, but I think it's all worked out.  Many times you readers have come to my rescue, reporting something to me that was stolen or even just sharing a feature that I never saw.  Thanks for having my back.

I don't have a "real post" today since I spent all my time clearing things up yesterday, but I thought I'd share with you a little onesie I just did a freezer paper stencil on for my niece, Millee.  Get it?  (If you haven't tried freezer paper stenciling the video tutorial is HERE.)


If you follow on instagram you've seen it.  If not, you can find me there as mommaroars.  I do Facebook because a lot of you like to follow that way and I do twitter for the same reason.  However, I really enjoy instagram.  It's pretty fun.  

Thanks for dropping in.

September 27, 2012

3-D Letter Sign

A while back I pinned THIS picture (shown below).  I loved the concept of the letters matching the wall, but still being visible.  I knew I wanted to do something similiar somewhere.


I decided to make a "Be Kind" sign for our mudroom.  It's something I've been working on with the boys and I thought it'd be a great reminder when we come and go.  (No, they don't read, but they watched me make the sign and they both know what it says :)

He's what I came up with.

September 26, 2012

Wake Up Wednesday


Last week's challenge was to change someone's day.  I wrote an encouraging note to someone who impressed me and sent something with it.  

There was also something I meant to do, but didn't.  I was in Target (very surprising, I know) and I saw this lady with her two kids who were pretty wound up.  She was being so patient and trying so hard.  I wanted to tell her she was an awesome mom, but I kind of chickened out.  I think motherhood is so challenging that we all need a lot of support.  So, I want to make good on this for next week.

Next week's challenge is to compliment strangers.  We've done this one before, and it's one of my favorites.  It gets me out of my comfort zone and brings instant joy to the receiver.


Did anyone get to change someone's day?  Let's hear about it.  Thanks for being here.

September 25, 2012

Napkin Holder

After making the fabric napkins for kids last week I needed a place to store the napkins.  They had to be accessible, but I didn't want them to be an eyesore on the table.  Here's what I came up with.


I found the holder at Hobby Lobby at 50% off.  I first bought a trunk-looking thing, but it was just too big.  I went back and got this instead.  


September 24, 2012

Catching Up

I'm busy doing laundry today because we headed up the mountain this weekend and just got back last night.  I told you Utah is beautiful in fall.


I loved how the trees matched the yellow lines on the road.


We got some great family play time in.


Be back tomorrow with a regular tutorial.  Thanks for checking in.

September 23, 2012

Sunshine Sunday - dress up, sleepers, and the zoo

 Anyone who says dress up is for girls probably doesn't have boys.  I love it when my boys put on their costumes.  They begged me to paint on mustaches for them too the other day.  How can these faces not make me happy?


Sometimes it's the little things in life.  Target always gets sleepers in around this time of year.  I love them and if you ever come knock at my door and I don't answer, it's probably because I'm wearing mine.  I purchased the Fox one this year and have requested that the boys call me, "Foxy Lady" while I'm wearing it.  They think it's as funny as I do.


We hadn't been to the zoo in a couple of years, I think.  I took the boys this week and it was SO fun.  The first thing we saw was a monkey and they both kept saying how cool it was to see a monkey.  I thought, "Oh you wait.  There's a whole lot more coming."  The seals were their favorite.  It was so cool to see them swim by.  I don't know why we haven't gone to the zoo more.  Man, they loved it.


I am also grateful that fall is on the way.  It's my favorite and I can feel it coming.  The trees in the mountains are so beautiful with spots of orange, red, and yellow.  I'll have to snap a picture for you to see.

What was the highlight of your week?  Thanks for reading.

September 22, 2012

Soapbox Saturday - a Marriage Class

About a month ago I got an email from a kind reader who told me about her husband, who is a Marriage and Family Therapist here in Sandy, UT.  His clinic, Amber Creek Counseling and Psychiatry, just started offering 3-hour classes.  The available classes are "More for Marriage" and "Decoding Your Teen."


She asked if I'd be interested in reviewing the marriage class.  I asked Mr. Roar what he thought and we both agreed that it sounded fun.  So last weekend, we got a babysitter and headed to the marriage class.  Here's Mr. Roar (on the left) with Kirk, the (extremely tall) therapist.  


I thought the easiest way to tell you about the experience would be to answer some questions that I originally had and that you might have as well.  Here we go.

Why should I go to a marriage class if our marriage is doing fine?

I think that often times we don't worry about taking care of things until we recognize they are falling apart.  Why not strengthen our relationship so that we don't have to get to that point?  We gained so much more from that night than we ever would have by just grabbing dinner and heading to a movie.  It was fun, educational, and gave us a lot of things to think about.  Who doesn't have room for improvement?

Isn't three hours a long class?

The class is broken up with dinner (or brunch depending on what time you select) in the middle.  The dinner is catered.  Ours was catered by Cafe Rio.  You can't go wrong with that :)

There was also a power point presentation, which I liked because it made it easier to follow along with.

How many people attend?

There were about 6 couples there.  Kirk tries to keep the classes small.

Are there awkward questions that you have to answer in front of everyone?

No.  You pretty much just listen, unless you have a comment to make or a question to ask.  We were very much at ease.  The class didn't stir up any issues between us.  It just gave us some things to think about and talk about.

What was Kirk (the therapist) like?

Kirk was really awesome.  His knowledge, combined with his sense of humor made the class really fun.  I was laughing really hard through a lot of the presentation.  (Don't worry - only when it was supposed to be funny.)  He is extremely passionate about what he does.  I admire that in any person.

What did you learn?

Mr. Roar and I both took different things from the class and it was great to talk about all of it afterwards.  The thing that stuck with us the most was trying to really emotionally connect each day.  It's easy to connect in a surface way.  "How was your day?"  However, it's different to totally know deeply how the other person is feeling at each moment.  We've been sharing more emotions and details with each other and it's been wonderful.

I highly recommend this class.  If you're interested or have more questions you can read more about it on their web site HERE.  Thanks for stopping in.

September 21, 2012

Feature Friday - glitter slime

You might have seen the glitter slime that I linked up at the water cooler last week.  You can find it HERE at 36th Avenue.  Well, Rex had a friend over so I whipped out the stuff to make the slime, attempting to be a cool mom :)


I initially had a lot of trouble finding Borax.  I went to Wal-mart, Home Depot, Walgreens, Smith's (a grocery store), and ShopKo.  No luck.  Then I called Target before going there.  They had it.  Why didn't I go there first?  Duh!  I go there more than any other store.


After mixing up the slime it's kind of hard to get it off the kids' hands.  After the slime is mixed then it's fine and won't be too sticky, but getting it off after the initial mixing took some scrubbing.

September 20, 2012

DIY Stickers with the Silhouette and a Promo

So the Silhouette company has come up with even more cool products to use.  There's white sticker paper (which I'll show you today), printable gold foil, and printable silver foil.  It's all pretty cool stuff.
See how they've used the silver one here?


Here's the gold.

September 19, 2012

Wake Up Wednesday


Last week's challenge was to set a goal.  I have never been as consistent as I should be with exercising. It's the thing that always falls to the wayside.  I go through periods where I fit it in and then long periods of time where it doesn't make the cut.  I have gained a lot of weight over the last two years.  Ugh.  Well, my goal is to workout at least three times a week.  I want to feel like I'm on my game.  I've been going for a couple of weeks now and I'm trying to make it part of my schedule so it will stick.  You might have to check up on me in a month or so to make sure I'm not slacking :)

This week's challenge is to change someone's day.  I made this little sign featuring one of my favorites quotes.  Feel free to print it or use it.


I believe we all have the power to change someone's day for the better.  I don't think it's even that hard.   It just requires a little thought.  This challenge has infinite possibilities.  I can't wait to hear what you come up with.  I don't have anything planned yet, but I'm excited to think of something.

Did anyone set a goal?  I'd love to hear about it.  Thanks for reading.

September 18, 2012

Fabric Napkins for Kids

Let me give you a little background info to introduce today's post.  My kids don't like napkins.  They are almost insulted when I push one their way.  Rex prefers to use his shirt, which isn't my favorite.  If they really need a napkin for a spill, they use a LOT for them.  Or they might only use a tiny corner of the napkin on their mouth and then they're done.  I find a lot of barely used but questionable napkins on the table throughout the day.  

Well, I put an end to that.  I decided to make them some fabric ones.  It's easy, it's green, and you can save money on napkins.  It's win-win baby.


I tried to decide what would be the best fabric for the job.  I remembered that I had some burp clothes that were thicker and flannel that I really liked when the boys were babies.  I let Rex pick some flannel to start.  He picked this print - no shock there.


I also made some from t-shirts.  I just cut out an 11" square.  If you are unsure about sewing with knits (stretchy fabric) this would be GREAT practice for you.  If you mess up, it's just a napkin.  No biggie.

September 17, 2012

Homemade Hexbug Tracks

We don't really do allowance at our house, but usually I'll give Rex the chance to earn a dollar once a week or so.  He'll do a bunch of extra chores and then he earns his dollar.  He's not a saver yet.  He likes to blow his money on random toys he thinks are cool (but since he's only earning a dollar a week, it takes him a while to buy one.)  His latest purchase was a Hexbug.


If you haven't seen them, they are these little plastic and rubber bugs that vibrate and walk around.  They're actually kind of fun.  He bought a nano, which is small and only costs $6.  I definitely wasn't going to whip out the big bucks to purchase any tracks or accessories.  I thought it would be fun to show him what we could make on our own.  So we got out some shoe boxes and cereal boxes and went to work.


We cut and folded pieces to make tracks and taped it all together.

September 16, 2012

Sunshine Sunday - this current phase

Yesterday we went on a family bike ride.  The boys are getting so old.  I love following behind them.


Since we can't fit all of our bikes in the car I dusted off my rollerblades.  Some things never change.  I still can't stop on those things for the life of me.  


Starting school this year has been great for our family.  Baden gets some time with just me.


And these two get along even better since they aren't together 24/7.  Yesterday Rex begged and begged me NOT to make Baden nap because they were having so much fun playing together.  When I see them playing happily together it makes me so deeply happy.


Life is really great right now.  It often seems like life gives you tough moments with little perfect breaks in between.  I feel like I'm in one of those breaks right now and I'm trying to fully appreciate it.

Thanks for all your kind comments and support this week as I announced some changes here.  I really appreciate it.  Have a great Sunday.  Thanks for dropping in.

September 15, 2012

Soapbox Saturday - things I love

I love hearing about products and ideas from friends and family.  Today I'm sharing 5 random things I am loving right now.  It's a random list, but they are all worth sharing.

1) I purchased this oven liner from Kohl's a while back.  It's a super simple concept.  You slip it into the bottom of your oven.  That way when things leak or drip you don't have to spend hours cleaning out your oven.  My sister introduced me to it.  I thought I'd still have to spend a lot of time cleaning the liner, but you can actually just flick the spots off of it.  They don't really stick to it.  Awesome.  (You can also get it a lot cheaper than the listed price because Kohl's pretty much always has a sale going on.)


September 14, 2012

Feature Friday - DIY Rock Candy

Ever since I saw THIS POST at Mom's Crafty Space I have been dying to try my hand at making rock candy with the boys.  


Last week we gave it a shot.  


It takes about a week for it to turn into the rock candy.  We followed Heidi's instructions.

September 13, 2012

Survey Results

Alright.  I've had a week to think about the survey results and a week to think about what I really want to do here on this blog.  It was so helpful to read your ideas and suggestions and I am really grateful that you would take the time to respond like you did.  I was floored that so many of you responded.  There were over 1500 surveys filled out.  I was so touched and I read through all of them.

It kind of gave me a pick-me-up that I needed.  I feel the same way so many of you do.  I feel connected to you.  You help me feel like I'm not alone in this journey.  I feel like we're friends and your thoughtful comments meant a whole lot to me.  Thank you.

Now I would like to tell you what I've been thinking.  I want to share some of the thoughts I've had and explain a few things.

Naturally, we all know we can't please everyone.  Some of you want more girl tutorials.  Some of you want more boy tutorials.  A few of you want boy tutorials, but not superhero stuff.  Some people love that there's a new post everyday.  Some don't mind if there are less.  It's challenging to read everyone's requests because I'm a person who naturally likes to please others.  However, I know that's not possible and I above all I need to make sure I love what I do (or frankly, you probably won't either).

So here are my decisions, responses, and plans for the next while here.  I've highlighted the questions and I'm giving you my take on things.  I put the most pertinent questions at the beginning, in case you don't want to read the whole post.  I know it's a bit long.

Are you going to quit blogging?

Someday I will, but I'm NOT going to quit tomorrow.  I still love it.  I appreciate all of you and feel the same way that a lot of you do.  Blogging helps me feel like there are other people in the same stage who I can relate to and I love the chance to share my ideas with you.

Let's get right to the controversial part and get it over with.  Are you going to truncate your posts?

If you indicated that truncating would be annoying, please hear me out here.  I will be as honest as possible.

September 12, 2012

Wake Up Wednesday


Last week's challenge was to visit someone elderly.  I took my boys and we picked up a girl from church.  We headed to the home of a kind widow nearby.  I try to tell Rex that when you do good things, good things also come your way.  He got to see it firsthand that day.

(Important Sidenote: Rex has been begging me for almost a year to buy him a nutcracker.  I thought it was a weird request, so I've never made the purchase.  He brought it up again a couple of weeks ago and we've been checking them out at Hobby Lobby when we're there.)

So we enter this woman's home and she has over 100 nutcrackers.  Rex is floored.  I brought my guitar and we sang her some songs.  We had a great time and before we left she went to her room and brought out 3 little nutcrackers.  She gave one to each child.  Rex was SO excited.


This week's challenge is to set a goal and write it down.  It seems like people only write goals in January.  Why not September, right?  You could make your goal with an end of the year deadline.  I think it's really important to write it down.  It kind of makes it official and more serious, rather than a wish.

I love this quote and I thought these stairs were amazing.


So, did anyone get to visit someone elderly?  I'd love to hear how it went.  Thank you for being here.


- Tomorrow I'm going to give you some info on how the survey went and where things are headed.

- I think this glitter slime looks super fun (and pretty darn easy, too).  Sounds like the perfect weekend entertainment for the boys.  It's HERE at 36th avenue.

September 11, 2012

Dyed Maxi Skirt Tutorial

The other day I sewed a long maxi skirt with a high waist.  I wanted to give it some more visual interest, so I decided to dye the bottom of it.  Here's how it turned out.  (It actually is a skirt, but I have a matching shirt on with it to make it look like a dress.)


After sewing the skirt, the dye process was pretty easy.  I used the Tulip one-step dye.  


September 10, 2012

the Zig Zag Bag

When I was at Hobby Lobby the other day I saw that they now have canvas chevron there.  I purchased a yard of gray and a 1/4 yard of red with the intent to make a bag for my church stuff.  (My Granny Chic Tote has served me well, but it's so big that I knock people out in the hallways :)  

Here's how it came out.


This tutorial will be rather brief in pictures, but if you have questions about any of the terms or instructions, you can reference the Tohoku Tote.  (It has really detailed instructions and the concepts are the same.)

I wanted the bag to be just big enough for a binder and a few folders.  I picked a bright cheery fabric for the inside as well.


I started by cutting two pieces each of the gray chevron, sewable interfacing, and the interior fabric all this exact shape.  The measurements are included on the picture.

September 09, 2012

Sunshine Sunday - kindergarten and today

Rex had his first day of kindergarten this week.  Can you tell he was a little excited?


We've been counting down the days.  He was really anxious to make some friends.  (Our neighborhood doesn't have a lot of kids in it.  He had a playdate this week already and he's loving school.  I kind of thought I'd celebrate his first day because Baden had preschool that day and I had 2 hours to myself.  You know what?  It was really, really weird.  However, I think I'll get used to it and love it eventually.


This week kind of made me more aware of how fast time is going.  You see, these fort days aren't going to last that long.


And it won't be long until snuggles from mom won't make everything better.  The super hero costumes will be given to D.I. (if they're still usable by then).  And life will be different.


So, I'm trying to soak it all in.  I'm trying to look past the tantrums and just enjoy holding them tight for now.  I'm grateful for today.

Thanks for stopping by.

September 07, 2012

THANKS!

I really wanted to say thank you for all your input yesterday.  I was so thrilled to have so many of you respond and fill out the survey.  Thanks for taking the time to do that and for sharing your feelings honestly.

I'm taking a couple of days to read the responses and figure some things out.  I'll probably be back on Sunday.

Thanks again!  I am so lucky to have incredible readers and friends like you.

September 06, 2012

Blog Reader Survey

Hello everyone!  I am asking you a favor today.  I need your help, input, and ideas.  Lately I've been evaluating this blog and what its purpose and focus is.  I'm been contemplating where I want things to go.  If you read this blog, would you spend a couple of minutes answering some questions for me today?  

There are 16 question and almost all of them are multiple choice.  I would REALLY be thankful for your input.  I just want to reformulate my goals and intentions here.  And since you're a part of this blog as well, I really appreciate hearing your ideas.



Thank you SO, SO much for taking the time to answer those questions.  See you tomorrow.

September 05, 2012

Wake Up Wednesday


Last week's challenge was to refrain from speaking negatively about others.  While I felt like I normally did pretty well with this one, it came to my attention that it's easy to slip up a little on this one within your own family.  We analyze each other's actions and then state our opinions.  And you know what?  It's completely unnecessary.  I've made a strong effort to change this.  I'm trying to only say things that are uplifting statements.  More "I know she'll work this out.  She's an amazing person." and less "I think she needs to...."

For this week I thought it was time to pick something a little less heavy.  This week's challenge is to visit someone elderly.  This is something we've done before, but I always have a great experience when we do this.  There is so much to learn from people who are farther down the road from you.  I think it's so enriching to have friendships with people who are in a different stage of life.  I have a plan to take some children from church to visit a couple of widows.  I think it'll be great.


That's all for this week.  Feel free to share any experiences you had from last week's challenge.  Thanks for stopping by. 

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