Feb 26, 2015

What I've Learned from my Teenage Daughter - Lesson 1

I've been doing some blog clean up lately and stumbled on several blog posts that I started and then never posted.   This one really spoke to me as I was reading it. Not sure why I didn't post it before but, instead, I'll do that now.

What I've Learned From My Teenage Daughter

For some reason I thought being the parent meant that your kids learn from you.  Perhaps that is still how it works most of the time.  Lately though, I've realized that my teenage daughter has taught me some valuable lessons.  I'll break them up so the posts don't get too lengthy.  Here's the first lesson:

1- Some friendships aren't worth cultivating.
Miss M knows a lot of people but she only calls a select few of those people her friends and most importantly, that's how she likes it.  We've had a lot of discussions about friendships over the last couple of years. We went through a period of time that there were some struggles as I saw things differently than she did.  As a parent, I was pushing interaction, thinking she needed these friendships.  I encouraged, and in some cases, kindly forced, her to reach out to the new kid or someone I thought needed a friend.

Now, before we get too deep into this discussion, I need to state that I really do believe in being friendly.  I believe kindness matters and I try to encourage that with my kids.  I believe that welcoming new people is important.  We had just the opposite happen to us when we moved a few years back and so this topic hits close to home.  For us, when we moved to a new town, Miss M sat alone at school lunch for two weeks.  She would get in the car after school and break down.  It was heartbreaking and completely out of my control.   So, when the opportunity arose and there was a new kid, I always reminded Marinne of how hard it was to be the new kid and I would encourage her to reach out.  The problem was, In my encouragement I was pushing for BFF's and I should have just been pushing the act of kindness instead.  If they were meant to be best-friends, the act of kindness would have been the gate to lead to that naturally.  Instead, I was pushing her to be a social butterfly- friend to all- best friend forever, from day one and I shouldn't have.  Sometimes personalities just don't mix and I was not thinking of that.  In hindsight, because I was pushing, I was putting her in an uncomfortable place.

After a particular day of struggles.  Me pushing and her hesitating, we had a great discussion.  In her wise-beyond-her-years wisdom she said, "Mom, I would rather have a couple friends I really like and that make me feel good than be around those that don't."  (makes sense, I totally knew that, right?!)  That was pretty much the end of the discussion.  I stopped pushing the interaction and realized she knew far more than I did on the subject.  I also realized she'd come along way since her 8th grade days of being new and hating being alone.  Now, it was choice based off of what she instinctively knew was the best decision for her.  How could I not respect that?

Friendships elude me sometimes.  I get caught up in the "we have to be friends because _______. You can fill in the blank with almost anything.  We have to be friends because we work together, we go to church together, our kids all like the color purple.

Insincere friendships aren't long lasting.  Miss M figured that out. It's not about the quantity of friends but rather the quality of the friendship.  I'm grateful for this lesson she has taught me.

The other night she shared a quote with me that sums it up really well:

"Some people come into your life as blessings 
and others are lessons"

There's truth in that.

So very grateful she has the wisdom to see it that way.  It will help her as she heads off to college in a few short months.  And, it helps me because as I parent her two younger sisters, I will learn from my "pushing" mistakes and be better at helping them navigate their own friendships.


In other news, this lovely girl of mine that continues to teach me lessons, still has some items up for grabs on Etsy.  She's just a few weeks away from her school trip to Europe and is still shy her food and souvenir money.  (she's paying for 75% of the trip herself)  Any-who - if you spend $16 or more you can use coupon code MISSM and get %15 off your total purchase.  

Flower sets (7 in each set) are $8.50 -  and the necklaces below are made out of custom artwork by Miss M herself!  They are $12 each.  

Feb 23, 2015

Questions and Strange answers

I've been asked a lot of questions lately.  Some related to past blog posts and some that are just random.  So, let's answer them shall we?!

The first one, while discussing home life one day with a co-worker we got on the topic of life hacks.  We've all seen random things out there, little tips and tricks like using shower curtain loops and a hanger to hang scarves.  You've seen that idea right?  If not, Google it. It's brilliant.

Anyway,  I was asked about my favorite life hacks.  Here are three things that change my life - I'm not kidding either!

Q: What are your favorite life hacks or things you use around your house that you love!

A - Cup of Noodles are way better if you drop in a bouillon cube and let the hot water dissolve it.   I mean, let's be honest, these noodles are kind of bland and boring.  And, yes, I know they have no nutritional value at all.  And, yes, I've seen the Youtube video about what these noodles do to you during digestion BUT I still like them.  And, I like them even more when you add in some flavor. Give it a try, one cube per one cup - so much better!

A - Do you have toilet paper issues in your house?  We do, totally!  It seems I am constantly hearing "MOM!!!  Can you bring me some toilet paper?!"  The issue isn't that we are out of toilet paper, the issue is that someone used the last of it and then didn't put on a new roll. So frustrating.  And, to make matters worse we have a couple of bathrooms that don't really have a place to store additional rolls near the toilet.  So replacing the role just got even more complicated because the person has to leave the throne to grab a new role which means, "MOM!!!" - yes, I was hearing it often.  Did you know though that toilet paper storage options are kind of expensive?  So, instead of buying the toilet paper storage, I bought a paper towel holder instead.  I know, mind blown - right?!  $7 from Target and I can put three rolls right by the toilet.  And, as part of the kids chores on Saturdays, they have to restock it.  I'm hearing "MOM!!!"  a whole lot less now.  Well, I still hear it but for different reasons.  Best life hack ever!

A - Over the door hanging shoe storage pockets work great for craft supplies.  Specifically if you have ribbon hoarding issues like me.  (sorry for the crappy picture, this is in my basement with poor light but you get the idea.)  You could use these for pretty much anything.


I've also been asked some specific questions about past blog posts.  So here are my answers:

Q - Where did you get the envelopes with the polka dots on the inside?

A - They are just standard security envelopes.  Pretty sure I bought them in the office supply section of Target or Walmart.


Q- I want to make a robot but can't find the Altoid tins, can you give me the measurements?

A - Of course, the tin is the smaller sized tins and measures roughly about 2in x 1-1/2 in and is just about 1/4 of an inch deep.  I found the small sizes at Target and World Market but you don't have to use just an Altoid tin, any metal tin will work


Q - I love your Robots, don't even want to try to make one myself, can I just buy it?

A - Until recently I've been on the fence but the answer is now a firm, Yes! I do have one already for purchase in my Etsy shop, just one for now so it's first come first serve but I am taking orders now, too.  Update 2/24:  the blue bot above sold last night, if you were wanting a robot, I my purple guy (shown two photos up) is available on Etsy and I am taking orders.  To start a custom order, go to my Etsy shop.


Q - Will you be restocking your flower pins?

A - Yes!  flowers are restocked.  This time though all profits are going to the lovely Miss M.  She's been working hard to earn her souvenir and food money for an upcoming trip to Europe.  She has actually saved and earned the money for the majority of the trip but finds herself two weeks out and still a little short.  If you wanted the flowers, now's the time to grab them plus it will go to a good cause.


and finally, I asked my husband the following question

Q - If guinea pigs could speak would they speak with an accent?

A- No response, just an eye roll

So there you have it, do you have questions for me?  Ask away!

Feb 2, 2015

Heart Shaped Popcorn Topiary

Who's up for a quick Valentine craft?

As you know I kinda have an obsession with popcorn lately.  I mean, I posted in December twice about gift ideas using popcorn I picked up from my favorite local kettle corn company.   So it's only fitting that I carry on the popcorn craft tradition and show you what you can do with it for Valentine's day, too.  Right?! 

Luckily enough for me, a week ago or so we were up in Old Town square and I brought home a new flavor of kettle corn (new flavor for me anyway) - Cinnamon.  It's yummy!  And, it's perfect for Valentine's day because it's red and white.

Feb 1, 2015

Robot - Part 2

Alright my friends, did you gather all your supplies?  Are you ready to construct a Robot? If so, here's part 2 of our tutorial.  (if you missed part 1, it was all about the supplies needed.  You can see that tutorial here:  Robot - part 1)

Just a couple of tips before we start: