Our Valentines.

Whew life has been a whirlwind lately!

I just went and made myself a nice little batching schedule with reminders of when it’s time to switch tasks and color coded everything and dang it, I’ve got another week of this kind of schedule and all of that’s out the window. Not that I was doing all that hot with keeping up with the blog this week anyway. I’ve been reading TONS of other blogs and how they keep up with a busy life and multiple jobs and it seems that there is a trend.. we’re all the type to dabble in many things and not be happy with a regular 9-5 job. I covet those hours and I’m jealous of others who can lay out their schedule and clock out physically and mentally at 5 but that’s really not me, never has been and probably never will be. On this chilly, but sunny & beautiful Friday I’ve had several epiphanies. I’ve decided that I have to pursue a creative/personal career choice. A stable/predictable job is not going to do it for me. That might be easier, but less fulfilling. So while I’ve been afraid to fully put myself in a place where I can pursue something that will fill my SOUL with joy because of the instability, I think over the last year – two years, I’ve finally learned what it takes to make life work with what you’ve got and how to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. And I’m excited to take the next steps. Long term goal: be financially free and able to pursue a business that allows me to be creative, challenges me to do more and be more. Short term goal: pay off credit cards.

So, all that rambling aside- a week from now I’ll be gearing up for 65 hour weeks for the next short while. If I can keep up for a month or two or three (maybe) I can pay off all credit cards and maybe my car (almost a year early) EEK!!! It’s not going to be easy, I’ll probably hate my life every morning but ya do what you have to do to get where you want to be. So I will more than likely be only posting twice a week and not expecting myself to keep up with a 4-5 post schedule while trying to work those 2 jobs and work my Mary Kay business. Just FYI.

Tangent and upcoming future aside – VALENTINE’S DAY.

This year I wasn’t upset that Josh and I didn’t spend it together. I wasn’t upset that we both worked. I know that I get more excited about holidays and festivities than he does so I did my thing and I put some creative energy into his gift and woke up to a super cute little display of his gift for me. It’s more about showing the love every day anyway, isn’t it?

It started on February 13th.

IMG_20130213_154403 FxCam_1360850753660I saw this heart banner idea and thought it was the cutest thing ever. I might just leave it up another week because it makes me happy when I walk into my living room. They’re also very cute on a smaller scale, on the fridge, on a mirror, etc.

I was very in the DIY mood this Valentine’s Day after seeing how cute my heart banner turned out. I browsed Pinterest and my bloglovin feed (tons of great Valentine’s ideas this whole week) and I came across a card similar to the one I made with candles and a cute little saying about fire. I adapted it a smidge and chose to use stamps instead of hand writing it on the card stock.

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I had the card stock, the raffia, the stamps and ink. All I had to do for this was buy some candles. I didn’t really like the idea of a super plain front to the card so I found a cute little heart border and printed it out and then wrote my love note on the back. Maybe I’m too proud of this, but I couldn’t get over how cute it turned out. Besides I always stand in the card aisle for an hour reading every card it seems like til I can find the right one. This was way better.

Everybody in our house got some Valentine’s Day love.

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Top left: My Valentine’s Day gift. He got me a tulip plant. I’m waaay more excited about it then regular flowers because these won’t die in a week and I’ve been wanting plants to put on the porch (this one’s staying inside I think) and around the house. Plus a pedicure gift certificate & chocolate covered pretzels, WIN. ๐Ÿ™‚

Top right: His gift and some heart-shaped sweets

Bottom right: My heart banner over the fire place

Bottom left: Sweet treats for my 2 little four-legged Valentines

I went to an antique shop last weekend and found the cutest little heart-shaped ice cube trays for 75 cents. I’d been looking for shaped ice cube trays recently because I wanted to try making some treats for my pups to freeze. I made my own concoction earlier this week and let them freeze a few days. They LOVED them.

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Berry Heart Pops

Easy, make at home all natural treats for the four-legged family member(s) in your home.

Easy, make at home all natural treats for the four-legged family member(s) in your home.

Ingredients

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Peanut Butter (melt it a little in the microwave first, it’s much easier to stir and mix in with other ingredients)

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Greek yogurt

FxCam_1360526219405Bananas

FxCam_1360526313199Honey

I mashed the bananas up and stirred everything until all ingredients were mixed well. I then spooned the mixture into the ice cube trays. They were looking a little plain so I added a blueberry on top of each ones. Blueberries are a favorite, healthy treat for my puppies.

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I did have to use a small knife to kind of pop them out of the ice cube trays. I really expected the pups to have to take their time and eat them a little slower than they do most things but one of them gulped hers down, the other took about 20 seconds to eat hers. I was wrong on the timing part, but they LOVED them. I didn’t really measure any of the ingredients, just added until I had a good consistency. I mix peanut butter and greek yogurt to eat with fruit all the time, so I tried to make a similar consistency as when I do that. There’s no right or wrong really, you could eat one of these yourself – it’s not “dog food” but all healthy and natural ingredients.

That was the love in our house this Valentine’s, hope you had a lovely day too!

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Our Christmas: 12 Days of Christmas activity

Happy Thursday everyone!

If you all had a wonderful and as busy of a Christmas as we did, I bet your head is still swimming a bit as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a few things I’d like to share about our Christmas this year, one of which being the 12 days of Christmas activity that I did this year. The other will be a few of my favorite things, coming soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

I came across this idea on Passionate Homemaking (original post viewable here). She talks about the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the stress that tends to set in when you’re trying so hard to finish up work for the year, keep your house moderately presentable because guests will be coming by, shopping with all the crazies and of course COOKING for all of your guests. It’s a fun season, that’s for sure, but it does tend to get rather busy and it’s easy to get caught up in all of the things we “need” to do and to stop enjoying the moments. One person who probably feels some of the tension you may be feeling, is your partner. Women, in general, are going to put more thought and effort into every task, every gift, every dish – you name it. The men just tend to ride along and go with the flow more often (I’m jealous sometimes). That doesn’t mean though that they should feel the wrath of our stress.. but rather, maybe this should be a time when we remind them how much fun the season can be, like when we were all kids and buying gifts wasn’t a chore, or a financial stress.

The basic premise is that you begin on the 13th of December and just like the song goes.. “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…” and you give ONE gift. Typically, this one gift could be more of a loftier item since it is just one. “On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…” and you give TWO of something. Day 3- three of something. You get the idea. You could reverse the idea and start with 12 and count down til Christmas as well. I chose to start on December 13th and started with 1 gift. Our 12 days of Christmas went something like this:

12 days of christmas collageDay 1: ONE pair of work gloves. Day 2: TWO 10-minute hand massage coupons. Day 3: THREE pack of undershirts. Day 4: FOUR pack of Monster energy drinks. Day 5: FIVE holiday scratch offs. Day 6: SIX pack of bud light lime. Day 7: I love you in SEVEN languages. Day 8: EIGHT pack of new socks. Day 9: NINE new car scent air fresheners. Day 10: TEN dollars (to go buy dinner out one lazy night when I’m at work) Day 11: ELEVEN white & milk chocolate swirl hershey kisses. Day 12: TWELVE pack of coke.

As you can see, you don’t really have to spend a lot.. you just have to be creative. Some of the items I wrapped or put in gift bags. Others, I just left sitting out in random places or hidden in places that I knew he would find (like his wallet). It was a fun activity that let me be able to be creative in finding gifts I knew he would like or could use that fit the number requirements. I think this may just be a new tradition!

 

Sneak Peek

I mentioned that I was up to my eyeballs in DIY projects.. I’m getting to a point where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for some of it. Here’s a sneak peek into what I’ve been working on.

Three projects I’ve got going on right now that are ALMOST ready for unveiling.

And then the other part that’s super exciting is that I have found SO many great DIY Christmas ideas.. not the cheaping out DIY ideas that just get me out of Christmas shopping with the mobs of crazies (I’ve figured out how to do all my Christmas shopping on Cyber Monday from my computer on my couch anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ ).. but the kind that is super personal and unique! I’m so excited!

First Christmas present to arrive!

I’m the worst at taking on too ย many projects at one time.. is that how you handle them too? With the invention and craze over Pinterest, I imagine that may be how it is for a lot of people… or women anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚