Category Archives: 31 days of funny

M is for: Multiples

Based on the title, you might have thought this post would be about the twins. But it’s not, more’s the pity…so sorry!

Back in June, I bought three pairs of sandals from LOFT. Three of the SAME pair of sandals…in different colors.

And at the time, I wrote this: “I’m not usually a ‘1 in every color, please’ kind of girl. I like variety too much.”

But then I posted this pic to Instagram after I folded up my birthday shopping haul and realized I don’t like variety that much.

stripes and polka dots

In fact, apparently, I really like stripes and polka dots. In my defense, although there are some multiples, most are (at least a little bit) different—long-sleeved, short-sleeved, sleeveless. One is a dress, and one is a night gown. Oh, and that one on the bottom left, I already owned.

Plus, the average price/item was about $6. Not nearly as good as my Goodwill deals, but I did have gift cards!

Still, apparently, I’ve really had patterns (and a similar color scheme) on my brain.

And after seeing the repetition (and after wearing one of the shirts with the semi-attached polka dots and the twins’ yanking 5 of them off likethat), I’m not sure I will keep everything. Thoughts?

So, tell me: am I the only one that gets home with a bag full of clothes that all look alike? It’s not a habit or anything (the bag full of clothes or the repetition). But I surprised myself with my consistency this time around.

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Wardrobe Wednesday: A Pretty, Scary Good Giveaway (Hair Clips and Earrings and Ribbons…oh MY!)

Editorial note:

I know some of you are having trouble entering the giveaway. If that’s you, could you leave me a comment or shoot me an email with exactly what’s going on, so I can figure out if the problem is on my end, or if it’s Rafflecopter?

Thanks!

Okay, so by the complete and total absence of any reference to Halloween here on the blog, you might have already guessed that it’s not really my thing.

However, I am all about any excuse to celebrate, and I think a national holiday + blogging for (almost) 31 days straight + a birthday month + newborn twin girlies + having the most awesome readers evah = a pretty dang good reason to celebrate.

Which is why, today, for Wardrobe Wednesday, I’m offering you not one but THREE fun things to win as the grand finale for our:

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{Because what’s more fun than free stuff??!}

1.

First up, one lucky girl will win this adorable Who’s Hoo Flexi in the small size from Lilla Rose.

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It’s only available through today, so if you like it, you’d best snap one up fast for yourself or a loved one (can you believe it’s less than 2 months until Christmas???!)

When Jackie, an independent consultant with Lilla Rose, contacted me about doing a giveaway/review, I was excited at the prospect of trying something other than a rubber band that might actually keep my uber-thick hair out of my face—especially since Lilla Rose has a variety of sizes to choose from.

They also carry a really pretty selection of hair bands, bobby pins, and other hair accessories.

I especially love this Enchanting Medley hair band.

After I described my hair to Jackie, she thought I would need the extra large Flexi clip, and it turns out she was absolutely right.

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One of my favorite ways to fix my hair is by twisting pieces of it back into a messy up do. There’s not much rhyme or reason to it (which you can probably tell from the pics), and a lot of times I don’t even use a mirror, but one thing is pretty much always true: about an hour after I secure it with 134 bobby pins, it’s falling down.

My hair is just too heavy and unruly.

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But with just a few bobby pins to keep my layers from falling down in my eyes and the extra large Flexi, all of my hair went up and, most importantly, stayed up without feeling like it could come tumbling down around my ears at any moment.

Which makes me feel like this:

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I chose the same Who’s Hoo Flexi that I’m giving away because I just couldn’t resist his cute little owl face!

2.

If you win, you’ll also receive these gorgeous Serenity Stone Drop earrings in the color of your choice:

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What’s even cooler is that Tonya, an independent Stella and Dot stylist, has set up a trunk show just for the blog.

What that means for you is if you see something you like for yourself or for a gift for someone else, you can use this link to order: http://www.stelladot.com/ts/cm3l5

…and then I will do a giveaway of all the hostess credit that we accumulate from our orders next week.

Obviously, the more we order using that link, the more Stella and Dot credit I’ll have to offer you guys! : )

And with oh-so-pretty options like Stella and Dot’s 3 bestselling items:

The Soiree Studs in Hermatite:

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The Renegade Cluster Bracelet:

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and

The Goddess Tear Drop Earring:

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…there’s plenty to choose from!

I’m personally drooling over these:

Capri Chandelier Earrings

which would look fantastic with this:

Olivia Bib Necklace

Tonya also has an awesome giveaway going on on her Facebook fan page! Anyone who makes a $50 purchase by 11:59pm CST October 31 (that’s TONIGHT!) will be entered to win $50 to spend on whatever they want from Stella and Dot.

You can order here.

3.

And, finally, as a personal thank you to y’all, my amazing readers, you’ll also win three of these no-slip ribbon and velvet headbands made by moi…

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…in these three fun patterns:

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Winner takes all, and you have lots of chances to win using our easy Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy entering!

You guys really are the best!

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Try-it Tuesday: How to make the best ho cho (hot chocolate) in the world

“Brr, it’s cold tonight! I could really go for a cup of ho cho!”

So says Lorelai in Season 4, Episode 15 of Gilmore Girls, thus forever affecting my ability to call my favorite hot drink anything but “ho cho” for the rest of my life (although, I’m not quite so far gone as to call frozen yogurt “fro yo”…I have my dignity limits).

I like to consider myself a hot chocolate aficionado. Not just any old brand or brew will do.

So, today, I thought I might share my method for producing the perfect cup.

Are you ready for this?

I hope you’ve got your pen and notepad ready because it gets a bit tricky somewhere in the middle

STEP 1::

Find a cute container to hold your impending creamy deliciousness. If it has your initial on it (which you just happen to have because your awesome father-in-law bought a mug for every letter of your name), all the better.

Fill it with 6-8 oz. of hot water.

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STEP 2::

Grab a packet of hot chocolate mix and open carefully to avoid the danger of paper cuts.

(It’s not absolutely necessary to tear exactly along the dotted line but highly recommended).

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STEP 3::

Pour entire contents into waiting hot water, making sure to give the packet a shake or two to dislodge any clinging particles of chocolatey powder.

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STEP 4::

Stir clockwise in a vigorous yet controlled fashion until every last bit of chocolate-esque powder has been absorbed into the water.

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STEP 5::

ENJOY! (just don’t go burning your tongue)

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I’m thinking about writing a book all about the process called The Perfect Ho Cho in 5 Simple Steps, and this might be my cover photo.

What do you think?

I really hope you leave me a lots of positive feedback on this one, folks, because this recipe is my baby, and it would really crush me to receive negative comments.

See you tomorrow!

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Ahem.

{I can just see a few of you tapping your toes with this “I am not amused” look on your faces, so I suppose I should start behaving now}

So.

What do I really do when I make my ho cho?

Well, quite honestly, I really do Steps 1-4 from that super-complicated process above.

But then I also do a little t-w-e-a-k-i-n-g (movie reference?), and it’s that tweaking that makes all the difference.

First, I start with these 4 simple ingredients:

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The only item that I get picky about in terms of brands is the cocoa mix.

Believe me, I’ve done extensive market research on all the others (i.e. tried them all at least once), and Nestle/Carnation has the most authentic chocolate-y taste without that chalky after-flavor that so many other brands (*cough* Swiss Miss) have, so if you like your cocoa rich and sweet, pay the extra 10 cents and go with the good stuff (and, no, they are not sponsoring this post…I wish).

{I’m usually a milk chocolate with mini-marshmallows girl all the way, but I bought that box when the store was out of the mini-marshmallow variety, and I was desperate for a ho cho fix).

So, after Steps 1-4, here’s what I do:

  • Add 2-4 tablespoons of milk (whole milk tastes best)
  • Stir in 1-2 Tbsp. of chocolate syrup
  • Reheat for another 30 seconds (I like my ho cho sear-my-tongue hot)
  • Top with a generous shot of whipped cream
  • Drizzle with chocolate syrup

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I realize that these tweaks probably sound pretty darn elementary, and they really are, but I’ve played with it a fair bit and found that this particular combination/ratio of ingredients produces the creamiest, chocolate-iest, most deliciously satisfying cup of ho cho I’ve ever enjoyed (and that includes gourmet cups from fancy-pants coffee shops).

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I suppose I should add one last step, which would be to zealously guard your mug if you have children, or you might find yourself the victim of ho cho theft.

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{I caught him before he could strike, but he was definitely eyeing it with great love and covetousness}

So, now, for reals…what about you guys?

Do you have a favorite way you prepare your hot chocolate (or another hot drink that you’re equally obsessed with)?

I’m always up for trying new brews (of the non-coffee variety…don’t hate!).

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Saturday Special: Video Smiles

It’s TECHNICALLY still Saturday, so I thought I’d share something fun I’d been meaning to show you guys for a while.

It really has nothing to do with anything except that it put a huge smile on my face when I saw it, and I try to pass those along as much as possible.

The last half of the video is sweet, but the first part is where the money is (where did he find that many people to participate??).

Enjoy!

 

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Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL {#40} + a House Update

Hi there, folks! It’s Friday!

And what’s even better (for us here in East Texas anyway), we just experienced a 30 degree drop in temperature, which means it actually feels like fall around here!

So, it’s a crisp, cool Friday!!

And, yes, I do plan on using an exclamation point (or 4) to end most of my sentences today! The cold weather gets me EXCITED!!!!!

{i’m done and will now proceed to avoid all capitals and punctuation of any kind for the rest of the post as penance}

Okay, let’s shove my strange mood aside for a moment and talk about something super fun around these parts.

A loooooong time ago, I showed you our garage addition and asked for help in choosing what color to paint (or repaint) it and the rest of our house.

Well, you guys gave awesome feedback, and after a lot of hemming and hawing, we finally decided to stick with the original color but to repaint the trim lighter (since its original yellowish tone had always bugged me a bit).

So, here’s the before:

Because of the lighting, it’s a bit hard to tell, but the trim was a buttery yellowish/cream.

And here is what the addition looked like pre-painting:

And HERE is what the two look like together, with the same green color as before, lighter and brighter trim, and a trimmed out garage door.

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I didn’t grab my wide-angle lens because I was losing my light when I snapped these shots, but I think you get the idea.

I love it.

But I’d also love to know what you think.

Did we make the right choice?

Speaking of choices, you guys always make it so tough on me to choose features with all your fantastic projects and ideas to choose from, but this week, I managed to choose a few to share with you that really caught my eye.

Like this DIY bedroom makeover from It’s Overflowing:

And these Greek Style Chicken Quesadillas from Barns and Noodles (Aimee’s second blog…what an over-achiever!)

And this Antibes Green dresser makeover from Pressing On (it was fun to see the same green that I used for the boys’ room desk makeover on a completely different piece).

Also, this uber-fun Halloween gallery wall from Meeha Meeha.

And this DIY chevron stencil from Crazy Wonderful (check out the curtains she used it on!).

And finally these DIY “hot mess” no-slip headbands from Holy Craft (I am so excited to make some of these because I canNOT, for the life of me, get a stinkin’ headband to stay on my bullet-shaped head!)

So, whatcha got up your sleeve this week?

I can’t wait to see!

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5 Things Thursday: Comments + Thrifted or Grifted Results—Dresses + Denim Jackets

I’ve said it before, and I doubt I’ll stop saying it as long as I write this blog: I abso-flippin’-lutely love reading your Thrifted or Grifted comments.

{And all your other comments for that matter; I read every single last one}

My husband said something the other day…to the effect of: “You have really good commenters.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

Seriously.

Y’all are so funny and expressive, and it puts a big ol’ grin on my face every single time I get a new comment notification.

My husband also pointed out that yesterday’s comments were so lively and detailed that I was going to have a hard time choosing my favorite.

And he was right again (that man knows his stuff).

So, I figured I wouldn’t limit myself to just one favorite comment today but instead choose 5 (since it’s 5 Things Thursday and all), and in the process answer some questions and extend some thanks—sort of a multiple bird-killing with one stone kind of thing (wow, that sounded violent).

1.

Tiffany Martha said:

“Wow-wee… you look amazing. my gut is telling me A is thrifted. my gut is also telling me I want a cupcake… but I’m trying to ignore that! :)

Okay, so I mostly chose this comment because of the cupcake part (girl, I feel ya; I just ate 5—FIVE—oreos!!), but lest you think me egotistical for choosing to feature a comment that starts with compliment to me…let me ‘splain.

(No, is too much; let me sum up : )):

Historically, I am terrible about taking compliments. Like, truly awful. I have been known to argue with the complimenter about why I’m not deserving of the compliment.

And that’s just annoying.

I’ve gotten better, but I still somehow feel that, if I don’t think I deserve the compliment, or if I just say thank you, I am somehow being either a) untruthful or b) arrogant.

{Overthinking it much?}

So, I’m working on getting better at just saying thanks.

And that’s what I’m doing now.

Y’all have been SO incredibly sweet, encouraging, and just downright stinkin’ awesome about your comments on my post-twins figure in Wardrobe Wednesday posts that, even though I feel a bit look-at-me for bringing it up, I also feel like I would be rude not to acknowledge how much of a self-esteem boost they’ve been and how greatly appreciated they are.

So, yeah…

THANK YOU!

There, I said it. : )

2.

Leigh Anne said:

“Soooo happy you are feeling better! And even happier that you feel well enough for T&G! Woot! Woot!
Clearly, I’m terrible at this guessing, but I’m going w/ B. Not sure why….just gotta gut feeling. Or is that hunger…..not sure!
Either way, you are looking great Hot Mamma!
(And maybe I’ll get picked for best comment due to my overuse of exclamation points!!) ;)

I’m sensing a theme—apparently reading T+G makes you guys hungry (is there some sort of food hidden in the pattern of my dress that’s sending out subliminal messages?).

And I just can’t resist featuring Leigh Anne’s comment because a) it’s funny and cute and has an overabundance of exclamation points, and b) Leigh Anne is one of my nicest, most incredibly uplifting readers who never fails to put a smile on my face with her comments.

Sadly, even though we live in the same state, we are still 10 hours away from each other. Darn your ginormousness, Texas!

3.

Maggie said:

“A is thrifted. Because that dress is gor.ge.ous. And when you come across a find like that at the thrift store, you thank your lucky stars and then brag about it for years. Thrifted perfection. I’m sure of it.”

Maggie, your confidence is too much to pass up. And thanks! I like the dress too! : )

Check below to see if you were right.

4.

Emily T said:

“i voted b is thrifted because a) i remember the saga of the jean jacket that you’re wearing in a (and it was a good one) b) i really hope i can just go out and buy those shoes in a and not have to find them in a thrift store because in these parts they’d be hard to come by and c) i really like your hair. that has nothing to do with anything i just wanted you to know.”

I chose Emily’s comment because a) she was one example of several of you who remembered the jeans jacket saga, and I’m so impressed she (and the rest of y’all) were paying such close attention, b) I felt the need to publicly apologize to her for her inability to find those shoes anywhere but a thrift store, and c) she was one of several to comment on my hair in this post, so I wanted to say THANKS and give the link to the post I wrote about how I style it since I had at least one other commenter ask me whether it’s naturally curly (yes).

5.

Judy said:

“I’m choosing B as thrifted because the dress is a little shorter than you generally wear, and I can imagine you having a somewhat limited view of the mirror in Goodwill, what with the shopping cart, Della, the boys, (I’m assuming you bought this prior to twins) and whatever “distractions” you brought to keep said children amused.”

At least one other person commented on the length of the dress in B, so I figured I would explain: I actually bought it without trying it on and have only ever worn it in the photos from the post.

But thank you so much for giving me the benefit of the doubt, Judy, because the explanation you gave actually makes total sense and makes me feel like I’ve got a thrifting cyber-friend, which is fun!

All five of you are getting 5 entries into our next giveaway…I hope one of you wins!

OKAY…

So, my poll went totally haywire and ended up saying that I only had 9 votes. (Which is off by a couple hundred at least).

But, no matter what the number said, the percentage consistently indicated that majority of you guys thought that OPTION B was thrifted.

So…

Were you right?

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Dress: Target ($13)
Jacket: Old Navy ($18)
Shoes: Urban Outfitters ($20)
TOTAL: $51
Dress: Goodwill ($6)
Jacket: Abercrombie and Fitch/Ebay ($23)
Shoes: Fioni/GW ($6)
TOTAL: $35

Nope. Sorry.

It was A.

Also, I’m sorry about the confusion of the Ebay jacket.

I was not trying to trick you. And I debated whether I should use it, but since it is a secondhand item, even though I did not get it from a thrift store, I decided to go with it (notice I actually paid more for it than I did my Old Navy jacket…mostly because of shipping).

SO!

This post is getting pretty darn long, but I had one more question for you:

Should I keep the Old Navy jacket?

I know, I know.

I’m all about asking you guys whether I should keep jeans jackets, but it fits a little strangely through the shoulders, and now that I see it in pictures (instead of just a fitting room mirror), it looks a little strange too.

Thoughts?

I’ve even included another poll, which hopefully will work in its intended fashion this time.

Should I keep the grifted jacket?

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Wardrobe Wednesday: Thrifted or Grifted—Dresses + Denim Jackets

Hey there, folks!

Thrifted or Grifted is baaaaaaack!

Which means I must be feeling better if I got dressed in not one but two outfits (including heels!).

I am.

Thanks so much for your sweet comments, emails, and prayers!

Okay, so if you’re a Thrifted or Grifted regular, then you’ve probably already skipped past all this and are busy scrutinizing every last detail of the outfits. 

But just in case you’re new here, here’s the breakdown:

Thrifted or Grifted is a silly little fashion game I came up with in which I wear two similar ensembles, and you test your thrifting savvy by deciding whether an outfit is:

A) 100% Thrifted: (adj.)—previously loved and therefore ridiculously cheap…aka Secondhand

OR

B) 100% Grifted: (adj.)—swindled or cheated…aka Retail (NOTICE THE “R” IN GRIFTED! SOMETIMES, I GET EMAILS FROM PEOPLE WONDERING WHY I DO A GAME ABOUT “GIFTED” CLOTHES! : ))

…and then you vote and leave me comments telling why you chose the one you did!

(Disclaimer: No, I don’t actually think you’re getting ripped off every time you pay retail, but I do believe that if you can’t tell the difference, you shouldn’t have to pay for it).

If you’re a Thrifted or Grifted pro, then you know the drill—put your computer on the floor and then look at it while doing downward dog or standing on your head…whatever it takes for you to feel fully satisfied that you have sufficiently scoured each outfit for telltale signs of thriftedness (WRINKLES DON’T COUNT!) and then comment away telling me why you chose which one you did.

The commenter I find most entertaining (there’s nothing fair or random about it! ; )) will get 5 free entries into our upcoming giveaway (very soon!):

So…

Is it?

OPTION A

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{Ignore the bag; I’ll go ahead and tell you that it’s thrifted, since I was planning on carrying it with both outfits with the disclaimer that you shouldn’t factor it into your decision…and then I decided on a different Option B that didn’t coordinate with the bag, but I was way too lazy to retake the pics of Option A without the bag; make sense? not really? Sorry about that}.

Or…

OPTION B

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{Clearly, zero remnants of my summer “tan” are lingering on my uber-pasty skin}

Okay, so if you’re tired of squinting, how about you go ahead and vote?

I’ll leave the poll open until 8 AM tomorrow since I’m posting later than usual.

Which outfit is 100% Thrifted?

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Try-it Tuesday: How to craft a fall family tree

I shared this fun little kid-friendly family tree craft over a year ago as a guest post but never here on the blog, so I figured I’d post here today so you guys have something to read, and my brain doesn’t have to be bothered to actually be…um…what’s that word I’m looking for?

Oh yeah. Coherent.

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Originally posted October 7, 2011

I’m not usually one to get terribly crafty with my children (unless scheming how I can have chocolate ice cream while they’re still awake without their eating it all counts as “getting crafty with it”).

It’s not a strength of mine at all.

But every now and then, the crafting inspiration strikes me, and I just go with it.

Which is what happened a few days ago, with the end result being this:

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Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

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    • Canvas (I found mine—which is 10”X14”—at Target on clearance for $3, and it was already cute, but I didn’t really have anything in my décor to match its Asian flair, so I decided to repaint it). You could easily use poster board or wrap cardboard in fabric. Feel free to be creative with your background
    • Brushes
    • Craft paint (both of these are assuming that you’re starting with a canvas that you want to paint)
    • Straight pins
    • Fabric scraps (I chose two patterns and two solids)
    • Glue (I used a combo of hot glue and Elmer’s, though only the hot glue made it in my “ingredients” pic)
    • Puffy paint (this is for writing your family names on your leaves and could just as easily be a felt tip marker or fabric marker)
    • Trunk/leaves template. You can, of course, make your own, or you can click here for my PDF template if you like what I’ve done.

1. If you’ve got them, recruit a couple of willing helpers like these cute little gents:

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Although this project is fairly kid-friendly, it might be best with ages 7 and up. Mine are 5 and 3 1/2 (the boys) and 10 months (the girl). So, the boys’ main occupation was slathering the canvas with paint, and the girl was pretty busy sticking everything in sight in her mouth, while I…

2. Cut out the trunk (and fished leggos out of baby mouths):

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…and leaves

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3. Glue your trunk to your canvas (I hot-glued mine to make it extra-secure).

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4. Assign your helpers the incredibly important job of leaf-gluing. I would not suggest assigning them the incredibly important job of leaf arrangement if you plan to display your family tree art anywhere anyone might actually see it!

We used Elmer’s for this step to avoid the inevitable burnt fingers that would have resulted from any proximity of three-year-old hands to hot glue (who am I kidding? Mama’s just as bad as the 3-year-old!)

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5. Using your puff paint or markers, print your family names on the designated leaves. Obviously, the light leaf/dark print combo works best for visibility. Also, if you go the paint route, be sure to proceed slooooooowly. The paint tends to explode from the tip and glop up your painting before you even realize you’ve given it a good squeeze. Fortunately, I had the good sense to test it out first (I can think of many a project where this was not the case), and I got a good feel for the ornery little critter. I’m not saying it’s perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but there were no paint explosions, and I call that success!

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6. Find yourself somewhere to proudly display your magnificent artwork. I had the perfect spot in mind:

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I even had a couple of pretty white birds just waiting to perch in its branches. Okay, so maybe they were a little big and probably would have smashed my little tree to smithereens if they’d actually tried, but they sure looked good roosting just beside it.

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And there you have it! A fetching little fall craft for you and your tykes.

………………………………………………………….

“Current day” Me again.

Okay, so apparently, I need to add two more leaves for Evy and Nola.

Yeah, that’s jumping right to the top of the to-do list.

Okey dokey.

We’ll talk soon. When there’s less burning and itching to distract my brain cells.

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Move-it Monday: Let’s try this again…

Hi there, folks.

If you’ve been following along with:

five days five ways | because every day is different

…then you know that until this past Saturday, I’d been blogging all things fun and funny for 19 straight days, with the goal being to complete the full 31 in the month of October.

And then, I didn’t post on Saturday or Sunday.

BLOGGER FAIL!

But I had a pretty good reason.

Remember this post in which I mentioned various ailments I was combatting, including back pain and poison ivy?

Well, it turns out when you combine intense nerve pain in your back with blisters that start turning purple, you don’t have back pain + poison ivy at all.

You have Shingles.

And if you base the prognosis for your survival on the tone of voice and facial expression of the PA at Urgent Care who pronounces your sentence diagnosis, you’ll probably suspect that you only have a few weeks to live.

By the time you get home and are considering tearing your own skin off and throwing it away, you’ll be convinced of it.

Which is all to say that this past weekend has not been my favorite.

I’m feeling a bit better this morning, but blogging new stuff is still fairly low on the “feel-better” protocol list, so I thought I’d repost my first ever fitness vlog for Move-it Monday, since watching me bumble around making a video seemed to entertain some of you the first time around and might be a source of amusement again or maybe for the first time for those of you who are fairly new around here.

P.S. If you’re feeling motivated, you can even take the fitness challenge that I issued at the end of the post. It may be 10 months old, but it will still make you sore, I promise!

Originally posted January 16, 2012

 

A couple of editorial notes:

1) As an amateur vlogger, v-logger, or (just in case there really is a silent “l”) vogger, I wasn’t super-familiar with how loud to talk. You might want to turn the volume on your computer all the way up for the mumbly parts and then down again as needed.

2) Yes, it’s January 16th, and I’m wearing a sleeveless top and shorts, which is made possible by a) the fact that it wasn’t very cold—maybe 60-65 degrees and b) adrenaline (such as the kind that warms the blood when one is attempting one’s first vlog).

3) I was reacting to the slight chill in the air by some mild congestion (which turned into full-fledged nose-wiping later on…be very glad that part didn’t record right). Hence, the nasally quality of my voice (or maybe that’s just how I sound on video).

4) Yes, I realize I’m like 4 miles away from the camera (and I’m too much of an amateur to figure how to crop the video…I tried…it didn’t go well). I was trying to make sure that you could see all the cool moves I was going to show you. 

Did I already say “blogger fail?”

Hope you were at least mildly entertained by my first attempt at vloggitude.

Here’s a “real” video that I snagged from Youtube to help you understand the basics of a bodyweight squat (or, if you choose the more advanced options they show you toward the end, a weighted squat).

A couple of editorial notes on this video:

1. If you have any knee issues, squats may not be for you. However, you can always test the move by doing “baby squats” first. The chick in the video gets loooow, but you don’t have to.

Instead, you could do a top-half squat and not even drop your tushy as low as the bend-line of your knees. If you do them more quickly, then you will get a cardio workout in addition to the toning aspect of the move. 

Because I teach a weight-training class in which we emphasize reps (we do squats for 5-6 straight minutes) over BIG movements, I tell my participants to avoid letting their bums drop below their knee-line.

2. They touched on this, but I wanted to emphasize that the most important things about squats are: a) POSTURE (feet under shoulders, chest up without arching your back, shoulders down away from the ears, abs braced), and b) KNEE alignment, your knees should stay above your shoelaces, never forward over your toes, and the middle of your knee should aim for your middle toes (not out like a frog or in like they’re knocking together).

3. You really do have to get your bottom pretty far back there. I always tell my BODYPUMP participants that they’re reaching with their rear-ends for a stool they can’t quite reach or—even better—they have to get a shot in the rump, and they need to give the nurse the best possible target.  The more you tip from the hips (what he calls “breaking from the hips” in the video) and push your hindquarters behind you, the less likely you are to end up with any knee issues.

(I think I just won the award for most euphemistic references to the “gluteus maximus” in one post).

4. I didn’t just choose squats randomly. They really are one of the most effective shaping, toning, and even heart-rate boosting exercises that practically ever’body (see my video) can do!

And now for the challenge I said I would be issuing (and participating in) each week:

BEGINNER:

3 sets of 20 “halfway squats” (the tush doesn’t go lower than the bend in your knees) 4 days this week.  (Try to do them together with as little rest as possible in between, but if you need to spread them out throughout the day, that’s okay).

INTERMEDIATE:

Same as above + a 4th set of 10 “full-range” (all the way down and up like she does in the video) squats each day.

ADVANCED

Add a dumbbell for the “goblet squat” and do 3 sets of 15 full-range squats 4 days this week.

**For an even more advanced option, hold at the bottom of each squat for 3 seconds, then explode to the top (make sure to keep the knees from locking out once your return to a standing position.

Happy squatting!

P.S. Heiny, tushkis, watermelon, derriere, ham, fanny, seat, booty, bohonkis…(just making sure I’m a shoe-in for that award I mentioned earlier).

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