If there is anything you will come to learn about me it’s that I am wreath obsessed. I have them hanging all over our house, and I will change up our front door with each passing holiday and season. While I could go crazy and transition my Valentine’s Day wreath into a St. Patty’s Day one and then an Easter wreath…I’ve decided to keep things simple and make one I can have up for all of Spring. See how easy I made that for you? And in the spirit of saving time and money I will go ahead and say this is one of the simplest ones I have made in both effort and supplies needed. It also just so happened to turn out to be one of my favorites too!
All the supplies I used were from Michael’s. You will need:
1 large twine wreath (I believe this is a 16″)- $5
1 bag of Spanish moss- $4
1 large roll of burlap- $6
1 wooden birdhouse- $1
1 branch of Easter eggs- $1 (you can use whatever kind of egg you like. I just picked these for their size and because they were the least expensive)
1 birds nest- $2
1 small bottle off white acrylic paint- $.50
Of course I used some coupons, and took 50% off that burlap roll. I ended up spending less than $15 for everything. You will also need a hot glue gun, glue sticks, scissors and a paint brush.
I started with painting the bird house and 3 of the eggs in the off-white paint. You can get creative here with color or you can go the more simple route like I did. I also cut off the rope from the bird house and painted over where it was originally connected.
Then I made a huge mess and started glue gunning on the moss. I would add a pretty good amount of glue and add moss in about 6″ sections. 1 bag will stretch nicely across this size wreath. Use the whole bag and shape it when you are finished, filling in some patches you may have missed.
I then used my glue gun to attach the eggs inside the birds nest, and then attached both the nest and birdhouse to the wreath with the glue. You could also use wire to attach these items, that way you can take them off if you would like and add other items with the changing of holidays.
Then take your burlap roll and cut a really long piece that you can trim after you are done according to the length you want to hang it. I cut about a 9′ piece. String the burlap through the wreath and pull it right to the center so the wreath is dangling from the middle point of your burlap ribbon. Hold the burlap on both ends and tie a knot about 12″ up from the top of the wreath. This is where you make a bow and pull the loops out as big as you would like them. Fluff them out a little and shape them to the size you would like. Let the additional burlap hang down and trim the ends so they are even. Then cut again at an angle to give it a more finished look.
Hang on your door with a wreath hanger from the point of the bow’s knot. This will make sure it is securely attached to your door and at a strong point on the wreath. Stand back and enjoy your beautiful new wreath that took about $15 worth of materials and about 15 minutes of your time! Happy crafting and bring on that Spring weather!
I stumbled out of bed this morning barely alive from night two of very minimal sleep (our boys are sick AGAIN, it’s too sad to even talk about-they are getting better though and that’s what’s important). On my way to brush my teeth, I tripped over the scale with my eyes half open and decided just to stand on it and see if it wanted to be my friend today. It thought about it for a second, and there it was….the number I haven’t seen in over 4 years. My pre-Shane, pre-Nathan, my “If only I could ever get there again” weight was staring me right in the face. My goal weight!! I got off the scale then back on because I didn’t believe it. It was true….I have lost 20 lbs in 2 months!
I still don’t know how it happened so quickly, and I honestly can’t believe how simple it has become since I first started. We eat more, we eat more often, but we just eat better….way better. I do exercise daily, or at least as often as the boys will let me. This ends up being a broken up 35-45 minutes on the elliptical machine each morning, a long run on the weekend, and I try to get to the gym for 1-2 classes a week. I think that’s what I have loved most about Advocare. It’s not only for weight loss, it’s a fitness program. Just 2 months ago I could only run for maybe half a mile before I would have to stop and walk for a few minutes. Today I ran just under 4 miles without stopping once. I have never ran this far in my life, not to mention I actually enjoy it now. I would love for long distance running to be my new goal since I no longer wish to lose anymore weight….I just want to be active, and stay active. My friend Liz is a busy working mom of 2 girls Nathan and Shane’s age and has totally inspired me with her running journey. Despite her busy schedule she finds time to run at least 5 miles a day even if she has to do it at 5:00am. She wasn’t a runner to start either and now she’s on her way to doing a marathon! Thanks to her I signed up for my first 5k in May, then have a 10k in June and maybe it would be “fun” to try a half-marathon someday. For now, baby steps!
It’s so hard to find time as a mom to take care of yourself. My boys are my priority around the clock, and most days I feel like they are the ones calling the shots (for example Shane is on his fourth wakeup since I have sat down to type this…grrr). So many people say that being a mom is a balancing act, but let’s face it…my life scale is WAY tipped completely in their favor. I’m an all or nothing kind of person when I am passionate about something, and nothing tops the passion I have of being a good mom for these boys. This can be seen as a good thing, but it has also consumed me. I needed to get back to ME a little bit more. I find time for exercise now, I make time to prepare good meals for myself throughout the day and make sure I get to eat them when I actually want to (instead of a 3:00 pm lunch consisting of finishing their half eaten sandwiches). I think that’s why this challenge helped me so much…it put me on a schedule, and it forced me to plan ahead better, and to be honest…it was finally something to do that was just for me!
The same is true of this blog. I had a family blog for awhile but then I realized all I was doing was spending every waking minute with my kids and then sitting to down write about every single thing I did with my kids. Obviously they will still be the highlight of what I write about here, but I want a place to journal things I enjoy doing in addition to being their mom. A place to share things that keep me creative, and keep me feeling like I still have some of my own interests.
Thanks for letting me share my progress with you! It held me accountable this far just by writing about it, and I’m so happy to have taken some control of my own health and well-being again. I just turned 33 last week and I’m ready for this to be a great year filled with healthy changes for me and my family!
There is nothing that makes Nathan more proud than showing off his artwork, especially pieces that we hang on the fridge or the walls. The only problem is he comes home with piles of art every week from preschool and I can’t possible find a place to hang it all. I have been using the app called Artkive via my iPhone, and I totally love it. You can take photos of their art, save it to the app with the details of when it was created, and even have a book printed straight from the app. I keep a few of our favorite pieces he has done and unfortunately the rest get to say hello to the recycling bin. The Artkive app has made me get over the guilt of throwing away some of his creations.
I thought it would be fun to get Nathan involved in making a permanent piece of art for one of our rooms. Something he can see everyday that would make him shout “that’s my painting…I did that”! And let’s be honest here…..something that mommy can look at everyday too and think, “hey that actually looks pretty cool!”.
So here is a simple DIY painting we did together. We already had most of the materials around the house, and just went out and got a canvas at Micheal’s for 50% off. You have to love a piece of art that ends up costing less than $5 and was great, messy, fun for your toddler.
Here is what you will need:
A canvas size of your choice, painters tape or masking tape, acrylic paints that “match” the room your art is going in, scissors, and some brushes. Something that is not pictured that we ended up using was a regular household sponge. I cut it into pieces and it was easy for him to dab paint all over the canvas in a fun way.
The next series of photos is where Mommy comes in to help. All I had to do was tape off the pattern I wanted and the rest was up to him. I did a simple chevron pattern. You could do stripes, and random pattern, or even use sticky letters and write out a quote or their name. You just want to mask off whatever you want to stay white. When doing anything chevron I like to start with a centered “W” in the middle. This way you can continue the pattern easily and know everything is going to line up when you are done.
When you are done just hand over the canvas to your kiddo and let them create their magic. I think the next time we do this I will quickly use white spray paint and go over the top of the tape to “prime” the canvas and prevent some of the paint bleeding under the tape. It’s not necessary but I think you will get cleaner lines, and also your child will have a totally blank canvas.
Once the paint is dry you can have them help you take off the tape to reveal the pattern. Nathan thought this part was extra fun! We had a great time making this together and both love how it turned out. Happy crafting friends!
It’s been a crazy last 2 weeks in our household. I wish I could say we were too busy having fun, but unfortunately this germ-infested winter hit our boys hard and knocked us off our feet for awhile. They both started with a mild cough and cold, and before you knew it fevers were up to 104, there was pneumonia, RSV, ear infections and too many sleepless nights and trips to Urgent Care that it hurts my heart to think about it again. I’m so happy to report that these two are back to their smiley selves again.
We are just now getting back on track and trying to resume our normal weekly routine. Of course part of this routine is Nathan heading back to school, where the only things he and his classmates willingly share are their germs. Since wrapping my boys up in bubble wrap, and keeping them in isolation isn’t an option….I’ve been looking into things I can do to try and keep them as healthy as possible.
In talking to my friend Mckenzie the other day, I came to find out we were living parallel lives just a few states apart. Her two children were sick with the identical thing my boys had and is also looking for ways to clean up her family’s diet and help boost their immune systems. She has eliminated dairy from their diets, which we have also done (not by choice, the kids have never liked milk. Since our pediatrician doesn’t push cow’s milk either this was a battle I would let them win). She has also been working hard at eliminating sugar from their diets as well. Her aunt is a nurse and recommended an awesome immunity boosting oatmeal recipe that I wanted to share that excludes both sugar and dairy. I made a huge batch this weekend and so far it’s been a great way to start our day!
You will need:
· 4 cups rolled organic oats
· 2 cups oat bran
· 1 cup sunflower seeds
· 1 cup raw unsalted nuts, chopped ( I use the almond slivers)
· 1 cup lecithin granules (if you can’t find that is ok)
· 1 cup ground flaxseeds
Mix all the ingredients together and grind well in a blender. I took this mixture and put it into a large Tupperware container to store in our pantry (this amount will last you a long time!) I spoon out about two tablespoons into a bowl. I add un-sweetened almond milk, mix well, and microwave for about 45 seconds. For sweetness I sprinkle on a little bit of cinnamon and add some sliced fruit. Bananas add the perfect amount of natural sweetness.
Mckenzie’s aunt says: “It must be eaten 4 times a week for the effects to be noticeable. People who use it regularly notice an enhanced immune response and fewer allergic reactions, as well as improved digestion. They often report increased energy and stabilized blood sugars. It also is instrumental in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. High fiber diets have been demonstrated to reduce the risk of colon cancer.”
Since I had these items on hand and have enough oatmeal mixture made to last months, I thought I would whip up some super easy “cookies” with some of the same ingredients. If your kids aren’t quite sure of the oatmeal texture to start, I bet you could fool them with some of these:
You will need:
- Two ripe bananas – 1 cup rolled oats – 1/4 cup flaxseed - 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
Mush all the ingredients together and scoop out onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Yes, I cheated a little here and added chocolate chips but these would be good without them. You could also add cinnamon and raisins for more of an oatmeal cookie flavoring.
My husband was in love with these. He described them as “Cliff bars but so much better” (and WAY better for you!). These were incredibly simple to make, and an awesome breakfast on the go! Looking forward to discovering more simple solutions to eating cleaner and healthier! Hoping the rest of this winter takes it easier on us!
*On a side note- since I last posted my results on the Advocare 24 day challenge I have lost another 5 lbs. That is 15 lbs total since the new year! The above recipes are totally approved of for those of you who are also trying this challenge (well everything but those chocolate chips ha ha). Enjoy!!