Create Your Own Sequin Sun Hat

Awesome sunnies? Check. Cute sandals? Check. Sequined phrase sun hat? Wait, you don’t have this summer’s hottest accessory yet?!? Good thing I’m here to help!

Sequin Sun Hat

It’s summer and for me that means lots of beach time and sunshine! I was looking for a fun new hat and came across an awesome option by Eugenia Kim but it was slightly outside of my budget. (And by slightly, I mean COMPLETELY.) There are cheaper options out there but I thought this was the perfect opportunity to flex my crafting muscles.

This project is so easy, even the most craft adverse person can handle it! Bonus: it’s cheap, less than $10! My hat was $5 from The Spot section at Target. I’ve seen similar options at Dollar Tree and Walmart. My strand of gold sequins came from Joann’s, also $5 but don’t forget to use you 40% off coupon!

You can download my template for “Shine On!” or use any cheeky phrase you want. more “Create Your Own Sequin Sun Hat”

Our Hip Dysplasia Journey {Part 3 – After the Cast}

 

Our Hip Dysplasia Journey - Part 3

If you missed any previous parts of our hip dysplasia journey, Part 1 documenting our diagnosis can be found here and Part 2, detailing adjusting to life with a Spica cast can be found here

 

“I don’t know how you do it.” A phrase I heard a lot. And the truth is, it wasn’t easy, but my response was, and is, you do it because you have to do it. You do whatever is necessary for your children and their comfort. You do whatever it takes to better their lives.

 

My daughter wanted to be held, allllll the time, and you couldn’t sit down while holding her. And she was heavy in that cast. But I would see her getting so frustrated being stuck just sitting there, trying so desperately to move, so I held her. Maybe some would consider it spoiling, but to me, I just wanted her as comfortable as possible, in an uncomfortable situation.

 

I am very fortunate that I’m a stay-at-home mom. I can’t fathom what this experience would have been like if I was also working; if my little girl was in daycare. The utter exhaustion one would experience between the stress of working, the stress of having a young baby and the stress of dealing with the hip dysplasia diagnosis and Spica cast needs would be overwhelming. I’m sure plenty of parents out there do it (props to you), but I am thankful, I was able to be home and cater to her needs. more “Our Hip Dysplasia Journey {Part 3 – After the Cast}”

Build Your Own PVC Fort

Flashlights in FortFor 2 young boys, what’s more awesome than a massive fort?! Maybe eating gooey s’mores in that massive fort??? A quick trip to Home Depot and my building plans in hand, you too can make your kids’ night with an indoor camping adventure in their very own PVC fort.

 

This past week I’ve been lucky enough to have my nephew visit; he and my son are very close. Even though we live about 4 hours apart, they see each other quite a bit but it’s usually over a jam packed, non-stop, event filled weekend. This time we had the whole week together. I gave them plenty of time to just play but I also wanted to make it special, filled with excitement and adventures. more “Build Your Own PVC Fort”

The #1 SECRET to Discount Shopping Success!

Ok so I know what you’re thinking…

Discount shopping?  Too many racks, too much to browse through, too congested, too many items….

While I completely understand your reservations, I have found that most people’s discount shopping problems can be solved with one simple trick…planning!  If you know WHAT to look for then the chaos of the store disappears.  I only go to specific sections because I know EXACTLY what I’m looking for.  I know what’s worth my time, what they always carry, what’s easy to locate, and now you will TOO!

Follow this guide so you know which bargains to hunt for.  Not only will this help save you time, it will also help your wallet!  My typical discount store haul, which includes miscellaneous items, clothing, gifts, and shoes, is less than $75!

So here’s the plan –

more “The #1 SECRET to Discount Shopping Success!”

Our Hip Dysplasia Journey {Part 2 – Adjusting to Daily Life in a Spica Cast}

Spica Cast - Title Image

If you missed part 1 of our journey, it can be found here. Otherwise, let’s pick up where we left off…

 

After an utterly exhausting, emotional day and a half from diagnosis to surgery, we’re ready to get home. I love Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete! Over the years, we’ve had a few visits and the staff is always top notch, kind and caring.

 

My biggest issue is, we we’re given ANY information on how to handle baby girl in this new Spica cast. Yes, we were given general cast care guidelines but no specifics. How do you change her diaper? Are there any dos and don’ts when picking her up? How the heck do I nurse?! And it wasn’t until we got home that we realized how unprepared we were.

 

I’m not sure if the hospital or my orthopedic specialist should have given me more guidance, but I feel like someone really dropped the ball. So, if anyone out there is dealing with a Spica cast, hopefully some of the following tricks that worked for me, may also help you. more “Our Hip Dysplasia Journey {Part 2 – Adjusting to Daily Life in a Spica Cast}”

Create & Celebrate: Part 1 – Photo Props

Welcome to part one of our series – Create & Celebrate!  In this series we will give you our simple, DIY, budget-friendly ideas on how to fancy up your parties WITHOUT breaking the bank.

 

Because we’re living in the era of selfies and snapchat filters, we thought we’d start with…PHOTO PROPS!

Let’s face it, we live in a time where we want to capture every moment and then promptly share it with the world, so why not make it fun!  There are two photo props we’ve used at our recent parties that we’re a BIG hit with the guests!   more “Create & Celebrate: Part 1 – Photo Props”

6 Types of Friends Every Mom Needs

It’s hard not to love that new Ed Sheeran song, Castle on a Hill.  The anchoring, driving beat, the nostalgic feel, the narrative vibe.  But there’s this line in the song that sent my eyes into full waterworks mode- “but these people raised me.”  I started thinking about the friends in my life, the ones who’ve raised me.  The ones that shaped me into the mother I am today.

As a mom it’s common to hear the phrase, ‘it takes a village’.  But I’ve always felt that the phrase applied more to raising me than my children.  I’m fortunate that I have all kinds of friends, in different stages of life, who have played significant roles in easing my transition into motherhood.  They support me, encourage me, lift me, laugh with me, and love my children unconditionally.

I pinpointed 6 types of friends in my squad-tribe-crew-what have you.  Women that I truly could not survive motherhood without.  If you have women like these in your life – thank them, hug them, and never let them go.

1)  The “auntie” friend – These friends tend to feel more like family than simply friends, and guess what, they don’t even have to be moms!

Why you need them:  They come over to play and help with the kids, and they do it willingly.  They don’t mind washing a dish, folding the laundry, or watching the kiddos so you can catch some zzzz.  They adore your children, but YOU and your sanity are their top priority.  Like I said, family.

2) The “been there, done that” friend – Ok, do not confuse this with a know it all mom (ain’t nobody got time for that!).  This is a friend whose kids are older than yours and so they can teach you a thing (or two).

Why you need them: These friends not only paved the way, but they also normalize the stressful seasons that you think are ONLY happening to you, i.e.…potty-training, three-nager antics, and tantrums.  To hear someone say, “yea, mine used to do that too,” is the equivalent of a soft, warm hug to my heart.  Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I love learning.  And I hope these friends never stop teaching me their ways.

3)  The “encourager” friend  When your baby is born, so are you!  You’re born into the world of motherhood.  You can read every book, blog, or article that’s in the universe, but nothing can prepare you for what lies ahead.  It’s new territory and it’s easy to feel like you’re lost at times.

Why you need them:  Please tell me what’s better than a friend who reassures you; “you’re doing great, you look amazing, you’re doing the best you can, don’t worry about that, you’re a fantastic mom”.  It’s my personal belief that in a time of mom guilt and mom shaming, we could use more “encourager” friends in the world today.   

4)  The “social director” friend – This is a friend who knows all the exciting events and places in your community.  They’ve done the ground work and they know the best parks, parades, local events, story times, play centers – you name it!

Why you need them:  It’s easy to get stuck in a ‘mom’ rut, doing the same routine day in and day out. This friend keeps your mom life from getting too mundane and bo-ring.

5)  The “come over we’ll have wine while the kids play” friend – You’re having a tough day, your husband is working late (or on shift as in my case), and/or you’re just desperate for some conversation that is NOT revolving around the newest characters on Disney Junior.

Why you need them: Texting and phone calls are great, but nothing makes you feel better than ACTUAL human interaction.  (I feel confident that some study out there will back me up on this!)  The benefit is that your kids get some much needed play time and YOU get a much needed gab sesh with a fellow mama.  Pour me another!

6)  The “confidant” friend – You feel down in the dumps about your son’s wild behavior, you had a disagreement with a parent, and if your husband drops his clothes in FRONT of the hamper one more time your head might EXPLODE.  Oh, is that just me?  Every now and then you need to vent, get it all out, in order to start fresh again.

Why you need them:  Whether we want to admit it or not, moms are judddggggeeeey.  ‘She fed her kid what?  He goes to bed at what time?  She goes to what school?’  AND my favorite – ‘do you think she’ll like…lose the weight?’  It’s enough to make my skin crawl.  But the “confidant” mom, she’s just there to listen.  She doesn’t judge.  She sees two sides to every story.  She’s on your side, but gives you unbiased advice.  I mean she’s basically a saint, an angel on Earth, there’s no other explanation.

To all the mamas out there who are one (or more) of these for me….I thank you, I love you, and I’m NEVER letting you go.  Seriously, you’re my hostage now.  Kisses!