Day 29: behind the black door ~ you can call me queen bee…

And baby I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll  rule
Let me live that fantasy…
and everyone who knows me knows…

I am not driving a Cadillac in my dreams – more like a Honda Pilot, or a Toyota SUV.

In all seriousness, I LOVE the song Royals, by sixteen-year-old Lorde. The song even inspired my costume this year. I don’t usually dress-up fantastically. In fact, I think I have used my daughters kitty-cat ears and tail left over from a previous years costume, but I did draw cat eyes, a nose and whiskers on my face.

Now mind you, this year is still not going to be elaborate, but fantastic, yes!

While on the inner-web the other day (twelve to be exact), I came across this DIY Queen Bee costume, and I immediately pinned it, with the comment, “yep…this is what I am going to bee. It reminds me of my favorite song too.”

What I love most about it, is it makes me smile. The costume (really just a fascinator) takes me to a happy place, driving in the car with my kiddos, and hearing my daughter sing,

gold teeth
grey goose
trip in the bathroom
we don’t care
were not caught up in your love affair

Maybe not so accurately, but needless to say, it is hysterically adorable. If she only knew what the words were really saying. Or, not.

That being said, I knew I had to make this. With my new-found, “I can make that!” attitude, I went to Michaels and bought all the stuff, and spent way too much on pom-poms and pipe cleaner. When did those get so expensive? Granted they were $7 all together, but geez. The Dollar store, did not have the colors I needed in the sizes I needed…surely, I tried there first.

Anywho, now that I finally had all the supplies I needed,

glue gun
pom-poms (large yellow, and small black)
2 black pipe cleaner
gold paper stock (I choose gold sparkle fantastic-ness)
clip
black headband

I got to work…

I just followed the simple instructions the tutorial gave, and started with the crown. They even provided a printable crown template to make it that much easier.

Then I made the antennae, by twisting the black pipe cleaner around a pencil to make it twisty

found the pom-poms I needed
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Well sort of, anyway. I had to improvise. There were not two large yellow ones. There was a medium and a large, so I had to cut down the large one to match the smaller one. If you look closely you can tell, but I am okay with it. I have learned to let go of details from time to time (sometimes).

With only two severe minor burns from the glue gun,

ta-da…
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So cute, right?

But the buzz, didn’t stop there.

I decided to make a pin (brooch hair clip thing) to go along with the costume, instead of the shoe clips the tutorial gave.

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I am not sure how I will use it, but I am sure I will share a photo of me, and my families costumes.

For now, my masterpiece will wait here at my vanity accessories station,

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until Halloween…

Xoxo,
Queen Bee (aka Magazine Mom)

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This post is part of 31 day series. To read more and buzz along, click here.

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Day 28: behind the black door~ refueled

As I just walked into the door from my {preschool} board meeting with more energy than I have had in weeks, it donned on me. I recharge, get fueled, through adult conversation and interaction. Hubby has been telling me this for years, and I never thought anything of it, until yesterday when my dear friend, Nicole, and fellow 31 day challenge blogger, asked the very question to her readers.

So, what about you? What are the activities that really make you feel refreshed? That fuel you instead of draining you? Are they all “producing” or “neutral” activities, or do “consuming” activities help you relax, too?

Of course, the question makes more sense if you read her post, but it is incredibly insightful.

What activities do you do that fuel you and maintain “internal order?”

For her, it is journaling or creating.

For me, to quote my response to her question, “I think having good conversations makes me feel refreshed, as well as doing (creating, writing, drinking (lol)…etc.)”

The other day, hubby said that maybe I should get a ‘real job’ because I thrive on adult interaction. He quickly rebuttaled, “Oh, never mind, you are so tortured by not being with the kids, that it just wouldn’t work.”

Clearly he is right, but there has to be a better way.

Light bulb.

I just need to spend more time with adults, especially ones I like. You know, see my friends who I adore, or at the very least talk to them on the phone (I LOVE talking), have some dates with my hubby, connect with like-minded people without a toddler attached to my leg.

Duh!

So, in 4 days, I will be making this a priority. I already have, by sending an email to my mommy group for a new twist to our monthly night outs. To insure, months go by without a night out, I asked us all to choose a month in the year to ‘host’ that months evening. When it is your turn, you can either host it at your house, or chose the restaurant. It is perfect.

Now, I will be creating another one, for my besties.

I will also be adding “get a sitter” to the top of my to-do list that has been collecting dust for the last 28 days, so hubby and I can have more than three date night/days a year. Ahem.

I am thankful for the awareness of knowing what I need for fueling my mental happiness. Thank you, Nicole, and hubby.
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This is good stuff.

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

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This post is part of a 31 day blog challenge. To read more and follow along, click here.

Day 27: Behind the black door ~heavy equipment obsessed

My son is a boy. Not only because his chromosomes, and anatomy tell me so, he is a true – likes to get dirty, obsessed with anything with wheels, enjoys anything he can kick or throw, grunts when he sees heavy equipment, and plays with trucks, tractors and trailers every waking moment, BOY.

I would fool no one if I were conducting the next Baby X experiment. Maybe his hair, would fool the able minded.

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I must admit, I have just recently discovered the power of YouTube. I know, I am slightly behind the times, but I never really saw a use for it, until now. Hubby gets sucked in the “tube vortex” all of the time, so I guess I have always resented it. Now, I stick ‘the boy’ in front of the computer, with a drink and snack, and turn on heavy equipment videos. Just tractors in action. He LOVES it. I get to take a shower, do my make-up, and dry my hair, all in silence. Well, I occasionally have to get up to change videos, and I do hear an occasional grunt, but otherwise – pure bliss.
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I probably shouldn’t be proud of my new-found babysitter, but I am.

I think it is better than half of the stuff on TV.

Granted, I do have to be careful…the other day he clicked on video that had some rather vulgar language…but it could have been worse. He may have found one his dads files. Hee hee.

Aside from his heavy equipment obsession, I can’t seem to get him to wear any shirts that do not have Thomas, of Thomas and friends, on the front (like shown above). I can sometimes distract him with a Dinosaur shirt if one of his three Thomas shirts are not available (aka, dirty). Crazy. Even my daughter isn’t that picky…he is not even two years old for crying-out-loud.

I do like that he knows what he likes. He gets that from me.

The other day, I picked up a plain long-sleeved t-shirt for him on the clearance rack at Target, with the intent of making it something great.

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Can’t beat that.

Well, brand new anyway.

After I realized that I could trace directly from the computer screen, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I searched Google for some heavy equipment images, and I chose some that seemed best suited for a silhouette shape. Not a lot of details, but had strong graphics.

I got right to work.

Using the same technique I used to make the felt pieces for my kid’s school, I placed the shirt directly on the computer screen. The screen was wearing the shirt.

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I just took a chance on placement, and chose my favorite machines that I knew he would love.

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I LOVE how it turned out.

I, initially thought, I would fill in the shapes, but after completing them all, I love the modern vintage feel they bring in sketch form.

Don’t you?

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A big thanks to my friend, Esther (Happy Birthday!), who inspired me to make shirts for my son using a sharpie.

Her sons have many “Esther originals,” and I love the humor, originality, and love that they emulate.

I have got say, it feels good to use my creativity in different ways.

I wonder what I will do next?

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

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To see what else has taken place behind the black door, click here.

Day 26: behind the black door ~ Pinterested in this?

To be completely honest, as I usually am, I am having a horrible day. Not like my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day I had a while back, but a bitter one. Simply stated, expectations got the best of me today. Thinking things were going to go one way (in my mind), and them actually happening, very differently. I am not feeling like boring you all with my “bitter woman” song and dance, so instead I thought I would share with you the most useful pin I have pinned on Pinterest in quite some time (well other than my own of course).

By the way, hubby has actually created a song about a “bitter woman” which he sings to me, about me, when he sees my bitter scowl I wear so well. You know the one when you have had your kids all day, nothing went right, and you are trying to make dinner, and your hubby is late? Yep, that scowl.

The witty song goes something like this…

Bitter woman,
walking down the street,
bratty kids, clingy at her feet,
bitter woman,
sneering at everyone she meets
////

Anywho, he is not quite the lyrical genius, but the song does make me smile every time he sings it. I guess that is his way of ‘playing.’

If you are anything like me, meal planning simply doesn’t happen as often as it should, or at all.

I had pretty much lost all hope, until I repined a pin, from {multiple} friends. With a title like “Easy Peasy Meal Planning,” I knew I would love whatever they would have to say. Its like they stole the verbiage right out of my mouth.

Sure enough, it is pure genius.

You simply have to check it out for yourself.

The gist is, she suggests you create a theme for each night of the week, and pull from a list (she even provides, or you can create one on your own) making it easy to plan ahead, and get yourself out of the bad dinner rut you are living in. Ahem.

I know something about this.

Sunday is the day I would ‘like’ to meal plan, so this comes at a perfect time, and hopefully for any other weekend warriors out there.

Piggy backing off Peanut Blossoms plan, this weeks themes (in my house) are going to be:
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As you can see, it can be fun, and as creative as you want it to be.

I know, and now most of you do as well, that Friday’s are my busiest day, so it makes the most sense to have that be a take-out or Dine-out night.

I have always wanted to incorporate a movie and/or game night so I think Saturday is the perfect day for that.

Obviously these are not set in stone, but you can adjust and change them as need be.

Again, Tiffany from Peanut Blossom, provides some really good examples and recipes to fit within your weekday themes, so I don’t have to.

See, I am already making things simpler.

No more excuses.

I can’t wait to hear about any themes your creative minds come up with.

Xoxo,
Bitter Woman (Magazine Mom)

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To read more about this bitter woman, and my 31 day blog challenge. Click here.

Day 25: Behind the black door ~ bee-ing busy has left me feeling sheepish

Wow, it has been a busy day, hence why I am just starting to blog, and it is, oh, 10 o’clock pm. I seriously don’t know how people with more than two kids under the age of 5 do it. I mean, the school drop-off’s and pick-ups are enough to do you in, let alone all the ‘extra curricular activities.’ Friday’s are for sure, my busiest. I drop off my daughter at preschool at 9:00 am,  with ‘the boy’ in tow. I try to get out of there as fast as I can because siblings are not supposed to play and we are advised to keep them by our side, the whole duration of drop-off and pick-up. Yeah, right. If you have met my son, you understand why this is nearly impossible. He beelines straight to the heavy equipment “Tonka” toys, or the trains, or the large fire trucks, or the art table, or the sand box….you get the picture. Today, I just let him play for awhile why I chatted with a mom about blankets (lovies, or as we call them, ‘night nights’). It was quite the comical conversation, especially since I told her I have met a few adults (like in their 30s) who still sleep with them. Sorry, if you are one of them. I am sure there is hope for you yet. Needless to say, I enjoyed the talk, and we are already planning our weaning process and saving money for their therapy.

On Fridays, after I carry him out, crying, we head off together to the gymnastics facility for his “Diaper Daredevils” class. I have a few ‘mommy group’ friends and their sons in the class with me and Harlan, so it is always fun to watch our ‘second batch’ grow up together like our firsts did. It is a lot fun, for all of us, except for the part, my son pushes down his classmates. He is showing signs of improvement. Today it was only 3 kids, last week it was 5. Sigh.

After class, we always hang out outside the building and chat and have snacks to burn up time before we have to pick-up our older kids from preschool. Today was extra nice. The conversation was great, the child interaction was amazing, and It made me feel very fortunate and happy to have this time and moments with my son, and my friends.

Then I picked up my daughter, and managed to carry the boy out, without crying, (yay!), and headed home for a playdate with my dear friend, and my daughters best friend. It was a perfect afternoon. Until it had to end, because we had to head back to preschool for my sons turn at his sisters school. I do, “playgroup” with him on Fridays for an hour and half, and my daughter comes with us for the afterschool program there as well. Ay yi yi…it is a lot for one day. The driving alone.

It is all worth it though. I love their school, and because I love their school, I decided I would help my sons teacher make felt pieces for story time. The twelve kids all want to be able to hold a felt piece and participate during nursery rhymes, so she asked for some volunteers to make enough pieces for all the kids, for every story. I jumped at the chance. My daughter is obsessed with felt boards, and in turn, I have become a huge fan myself, so I love the idea of knowing that my felts will be used for many years to come. The school just celebrated its 65th anniversary, so I hope these felts can be used for 65 more.

I am in charge of ‘twinkle, twinkle, little star”, “Baa Baa black sheep”, and “Here is the beehive”. Twelve stars, twelve black sheep , twelve bumble bee’s, and a beehive. Simple enough.

I went to Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. What did I ever do before Pinterest? I shudder to think.

Once I pinned a few things, I went to Michaels to buy felt, and got started.

I had an ingenious thought (I do that from time to time). Why not trace the images straight from my computer screen, onto the felt to ensure precision and uniformity? So, I did. Hubby saw me doing it, and said I was “cheating.” I told him, “it is NOT cheating… it is genius.” He only wishes he had thought of it first.

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from start to finish
from start to finish

Of course, my daughter already put the bee’s to good use on one of her own felt boards.

I am really quite proud of the way they turned out.
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I will say, the sheep are a little more challenging. I could not trace on the black, so as you can see. I did one in yellow, and had to trace it to the black. They definetly do not come out as uniformally shaped as I would like, but I have to let go of details sometimes. Right? I mean, I could have made them extra fancy If I actually knew how to sew…but I happen to think they are pretty cute as is.

Now, I am really exhausted.

I am off to count sheep, and catch some well deserved, Zzzzzzzzzz’s.

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

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To read more about the random things that goes on “behind the black door”, click here.

Day 24: behind the black door~ feeling grey

Not sure if it is the lack of sleep caused by hubby’s new alarm clock, the boy’s new-found early wake-up time, or my daughters mopey-ness is rubbing off on me, or the fact that I just can’t seem to find the ‘right’ decorative pillow for my bed is causing me to feel down – whatever it is, is driving me bonkers. Grey, if you will. Not blue, because that is to clichéic, and the color grey is the cause of my new pillow obsession that is threatening my marriage, and challenging my decorating skills. Okay, not really, but Hubby really doesn’t understand my need for decorative pillows and the sheer happiness that they bring me (usually). Surely, he would have a much better reason to leave me then that. Ahem.

Recently, I moved the rug that used to be in my bedroom, to the entryway, which hubby agreed was a good move. However, it left a void in the bedroom. So, of course, I had to buy a new rug…a Target special, nonetheless. Here it is, in the space…

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I love the lines, and the Moroccan print, which matches the mirrors I have hanging in the room
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The new rug has created a need for new pillows to tie the look together. I realize my bedroom is on the verge of pattern overload, but if I have learned nothing from Candice Olson and HGTV, it is that mixing different textiles, patterns and prints, creates a luxurious feel. Who doesn’t want that?

However, I think the new pillow print, maybe a little too much…
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too loud? Or maybe the cross in the center does them in. Either way, I am looking to all of you for advice.

Keep them?
Return them?
Rearrange them?

It is only fair to show you the whole space so you can get the overall look and feel I am going for

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In a perfect world, I would love to tie in the coral color from the bench, and the grey color from the rug. So far, this has proven to be impossible.

I am sure there is one out there but it probably costs a pretty penny. Remember, I am not Oprah rich, so I refuse to spend more than $15 per pillow. It is the thrifter in me.

Help!

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

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this post is part of 31 day series. To read more, and follow along, click here.

Day 23: behind the black door~ mood bored?

I have always wanted to do a mood board, and quite frankly, today I was bored, well just procrastinating doing the things, I SHOULD be doing, so I figured today would be the day, I would make one. I found this tutorial on the information super highway. I can’t even tell you how excited I am.

We are remodeling our master bath, and I have always wanted to make an inspiration/mood board for our design choices and ideas, but had NO idea how to do it, other than clipping magazine pictures, and gluing them on a display board. In fact, when I told hubby I was making a “mood board” he had no idea what I was talking about. When I described it, he thought it would be on poster board.

Until reading the tutorial, I completely forgot about Picasa as a photo editing option. After all, it is the program I used to make my “Magazine Mom” logo. I just haven’t used it since my recent Picmonkey obsession…but wow, is it user-friendly.

I searched google images for products that I know we have purchased for our bathroom, and things similar to what hubby will be making himself. He is a master craftsman, and vexingly, has to make everything, himself. Sigh. I guess that is why this bathroom has been demoed for almost 3 years, and has been ‘actively’ being remodeled for about two. But really, almost nothing has happened since before my son was born in January of last year. In fact, if anything it has regressed. Hubby ripped out the new wall, to put in a ‘tankless’ toilet (which he got at a garage sale brand-new for $10), only to discover he would have to re-plumb the main sewer line and reframe both bathrooms, since they share a wall. Now, there is just a very large whole in the wall to remind us of ‘what could have been.’
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The space is small. Really small. Bigger than my shoe, but not by much. We pushed out the wall into our bedroom to gain about 2 feet, which helps, but we had to sacrifice bedroom space in the process.

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I am okay with it. I don’t need much room to sleep. Really.

The shower is the part of this renovation, that I am most excited about.  Besides wanting to use the rain shower, I designed a unique-chic shampoo nook that I am very proud of. Instead of a standard rectangular, vertical one, I decided I wanted a horizontal one instead. I think it is a neat design element, and the glass accent tiles we choose, are going to make for that extra pop and pizazz I am going for.
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To get myself, and hubby pumped for the completion of this ongoing project, I think a mood board is the perfect idea. Plus, once I blog it, it has to happen. Right?

After following the simple instructions on the tutorial, I came up with this…

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bath

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Again, these are not all elements we are using, but a general idea of the feel and look we are going for.

What do you think?

Hopefully this post, will ignite the embers of the hot coal that has been burning under my hubby’s butt for nearly three years.

But like I always say, contractors families (especially the wives), are a LOT like the cobblers kids with no shoes.

I am still holding out for my Louboutin’s.

I will not be holding my breath. You shouldn’t be either.

Xoxo,
the contractor’s wife (Magazine Mom)

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this post is part of a 31 day series. To read more, and follow along, click here.

Day 22: behind the black door ~ spooktacular nails

Lately, I have been noticing that my daughter requires a lot less attention than she used to. This is good news, except, it easy for me to take advantage of it, which I have.

Everyday, after school, she goes to her room, closes the door, and plays with intricate toys in imaginary ways for hours. Each animal ‘trinket’ gets a chance to speak, and they answer one another, and before you know it, every toy trinket has its place on her bedroom floor, or in one of the 4 doll houses she owns (which rarely gets visits from actual dolls) chatting amongst themselves. It is really enjoyable to listen too, which I usually am, while I blog (at least for these last 22 days).

She does, eventually, come out of her room, and ask for lunch, which I then make. After she leisurely eats her culinary treat, while watching one of her favorite shows, she comes into the office, with me, and does some sort of artsy thing.

Yesterday, she painted a unicorn canvas that we picked up at the SPCA thrift store in town over the weekend for .50 cents.

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Serious bragging rights. I think it turned out beautiful. She is only 4.5 years-old, and she stays in the lines when she colors, better than I do.

But today, was a little different. I could tell she needed some mommy and me time.  So, I decided to not write a post, and instead spend some  quality time with my adorable daughter.

When I asked her, “what she wanted to do,” she said, she wanted her nails done, in Halloween theme, and went into my room and brought me the colors she wanted out of my nail bag. Yes, I have a nail bag. It is pretty ratty too, because a few bottles have spilt inside it over the years…maybe for my birthday coming up I will buy one for myself (nudge-nudge, wink-wink).

Anywho, here is what she brought me to work with

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All excellent choices.

She said she would like, “a ghost, a pumpkin and a kitty nail.” I did my best to deliver…

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I realize it is not perfect, but I was using a toothpick, so it is amazing they turned out as well as they did.

The nails were super fun to do, because I could do a design on every nail…
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If you can’t tell, there are creep eyes (black thumb you can’t see), a bat, a ghost, a jack-o’-lantern, and a boo nail. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the other hand, which had a few different variations of these.

a closer look
a closer look

I am sure all my hard work, will be chewed off tomorrow, so I thought I better share them with you, now.

Aren’t they spooktacular?

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

Ps. I will resume neglect tomorrow.

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this post is part of a 31 day series. To read more, and follow along, click here.

Day 21: behind the black door ~ fairies

I have been wanting to make a fairy garden for my daughter for quite some time, but never really knew what to do, or how on earth to get it started. I needed an inspiration. Finally, I had one. My daughters preschool recently made this one
IMAG2321It is really super sweet, and the whole ‘planter box’ has become an “art garden” where children can leave their art work, of all kinds.

Awhile ago, we had a garage sale, and my mother-in-law, was getting rid of some of her sisters things, and she gave us this planter/bird bath thingy, to sell.

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Of course, I fell in love. I kept it, knowing, I could use it for something, someday. Well, this weekend, was that someday.

It will make for the perfect fairy garden!

First things first, we needed a fairy. I went to Michaels, and used a 40% off coupon and got “Violet, the garden fairy.”
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Next, we used child-labor to spruce up the fairies new home…

IMAG2561Who knew that there was beautiful copper underneath the years of wear? Hubby, did. It didn’t come out immaculate, but I like the old feel of it.

Now, it was ready for plants. My daughter and I, went to ‘Ace (Hardware) is the place’ and picked out some great succulents. She really wanted a cactus (like the one at her school), but she was not very fond of the ‘pricklies’, especially after her last ER visit. We did find this amazing little white cactus, that looks like a pouf. You know one of those home décor ball thingy’s that are WAY over priced. I don’t remember the name of it, so any gardeners’, please feel free to chime in.

here are the names, if you look closely
here are the names, if you look closely…REALLY closely

After asking my daughter where she wanted what plant, where, here is what we came up with
IMAG2567A really cool plant that looks like a flower, some moss, a tree like succulent, the little white cactus (plume), a pine cone she decorated, and an led light-up butterfly.

IMAG2580It has made a great addition to our front yard, and the fairy has kept “ghosty” company too
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Most importantly, my daughter absolutely loves it. She just wonders why the fairy only comes to life when she is not looking. I told her, that is just what all creatures from “fairytale land” do.

One day, she will learn the truth, but for now, I love the innocence and imagination.

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Pretty magical, uh?

How many people can say they have their own fairy garden? I bet not many of you now, but after reading this, maybe you will find a way to incorporate one in your garden.

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

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this post is part of a 31 day series. To read more and follow along, click here.

Day 20: behind the black door ~ divide and conquer

I have come to realize, that after having multiple children, having an actual ‘all member’ family day is albeit existent. I know it is only going to become more true, as child activities, and their budding social lives, progress. Please tell me you know what I am talking about?

Today, was a prime example.

Our morning began at 6:36 am when ‘the boy’ awoke, at his usual time. It was hubby’s turn to entertain the little guy, while I got caught up on some much needed beauty sleep (I swear I have aged 3 years in the past 2 months). Sadly, it didn’t help. While I was blissfully dreaming of beautiful wrinkle-free skin, Hubby took the boy to the dump and the grocery store. Meanwhile, thirty-minutes later, my beauty rest ended when ‘the girl’ came to bed-side (does anyone else find this freaky) informing me it was time to wake up. From that moment on, it was one of us had one kid, while the other parent did something with the other kid. There was a short period during a quick trip to the Dollar store, that hubby had both kids, and I did my hair.
beauty

If you don’t own a “wand“, you should. It makes for the best, long-lasting, curls. It is all the craze these days. Trust me, you will thank me later.

Sorry for the beauty tip break…you will probably be seeing more of them, btw.

Back to dividing and conquering. I took my daughter to a birthday party, at Funderland, which was fantastic.
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Hubby stayed home while the boy napped. After the birthday party, I came back home, picked up the boy, and headed to hubby’s parents house for a birthday dinner party. Hubby, meet us there.  At the party, I helped in the kitchen, while he entertained the kiddos outside. I came home immediately after dinner to put the boy to bed (to maintain routine), while hubby and the girl, stayed for cake and presents.

You get the picture.

I am not sure I can say we were at any place, all together, for longer than 5 minutes. This is not how weekends are supposed to play out. Right?

By the end of the weekend, I feel like I haven’t really conquered anything. Surely not, the mountain of laundry spewing all over my couch right now.

The point of all this is, I wish I were doing more conquering and less dividing… especially as a family!

What’s your secret?

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

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this post is part of a 31 day series. To read more and follow along, click here.