Becoming Mommy: Thoughts on Motherhood...and Masks

I logged on tonight to write up about these pretty little masks Lu and I made.  Then I realized that there really wasn't anything too special to write up about them.  Just a little hot glue, fabric, and store bought mask forms...and I couldn't really figure out why I liked these masks so much, or why I wanted to write about them.  Then it hit me.

Someone once told me that there's this moment in parenting when you realize you feel like yourself again--you know, that pre-kid, well-rested self that seemed to disappear somewhere in the dirty diapers, spit-up, and temper tantrums.

I'm not entirely sure that I'll ever be the same person that I was before having kids, but I think I've experienced that "moment," or at least a glimpse of it.  It's the--my kid is suddenly this mature, amazing little person.  And we're having a real, honest to goodness conversation.  And I'm not covered baby vomit, exhausted, or lugging strollers around.  (Ok, maybe everything but the well rested part. We're not quite there yet for sleep.)

I love crafting with my kids.  That said, when I do crafts with my kids I don't feel like my sane self. Crafting with my kids involves suppressing all my OCD tendencies--"Ah, no!  Not that pom pom there..must straighten.  No, No.  must NOT touch...agh!!!--while preventing them from destroying walls, clothing, or themselves.

But this time I felt sane.  Really, really sane.  We made these masks calmly, talking about crafting all mixed in with the real life stuff.  Lu told me she feels different now, older...and as much as she's still a little girl I felt like if I squinted I can see her at 15.

And I felt amazingly grateful to just be present in the moment.  So insanely grateful to just be her mother, and so insanely grateful to just be able to watch her journey of growing up and finding her place in the world.  Grateful for crafting and spending time together.
My little girl went to her first dance.  With her Daddy.  As I watched them drive off I could feel her excitement.  Maybe I didn't like the emphasis on dancing and balls, and dressing up.  Yet I realized that this simple ball was a lot about relationships too.

The relationship I shared with her getting her ready and preparing her mask with her, and the relationship she shared with her Daddy.  The Daddy who danced more that night than he ever did in the 15 years I've known him--because he didn't dance, until he had a little girl. Good, good stuff.

And I thought this post would be about making masks.  Silly, silly, silly me.


Ikea Stuva Desk Hack

I'm so incredibly excited to show you my latest project for a couple of reasons. For one, my craft space/office space is really starting to come together and two, I'm totally excited about how this desk turned out!  For anyone that's new to my blog, we're just completing a home addition.  We have an additional 300 sq ft to furnish, and a pretty limited budget to do it.

I wanted a desk that spanned the entire length of the room, and I liked the look of the Stuva cabinet.  I also love the fact that it's actually meant to be kid furniture, which means that it's built sturdy and has hinges that are good for little fingers.  The trick was finding a counter top that was inexpensive to put atop it.  

That's when I had an ah-hah moment.  I remembered reading on the Young House Love blog about how they covered their laminate countertops with concrete.  I thought a concrete counter top would be awesome atop the Stuva cabinets. 

So what do you think?   Want to see how this hack came together?  Keep reading below!


Crafts for Kids: Miniature Mattress Tutorial


I'm a sucker for kid crafts when my kids are sick.  Ellie was sick a few weeks ago with a horrible stomach bug and she kept begging for me to play with her Calico Critters with her in her dollhouse.   That quickly involved into requests for lots of things for her Calico Critters, especially beds!  It turns out that there are way too many critters in her house and not nearly enough places to sleep.  

I suggested we try to make some mattresses, and she loved the idea.  She lays them all out and tucks them all into bed with scraps of fabric.  It's so incredibly cute!  Would you like to make your own miniature mattress?  It's really simple!  Let's get started!


Things I Learned from Our Home Addition

Over the last year we've planned, scheduled, and now completed (almost!) an addition of about 330 sq. ft to our house.  For those of you who might have missed my previous posts on planning this addition, you can find them here and here. It's been a huge undertaking, and I promised to share a little bit of our journey here on the blog....so here it goes! 

Here are some things that I learned throughout the process, and things that you might want to be aware of if you think a home (or remodeling) project is in your future.  I've also included some pictures throughout the process including some sneak peaks of what it looks like now.


Experimenting with Watercolor Pencils

Note:  This post contains affiliate links, but the opinions expressed are my own.

My kids are getting old enough now that afternoon naps don't always happen, and quiet time is oftentimes anything but quiet.  So when they do nap-or really are quiet for an hour-it's the most luxurious of mommy moments.  This blog post comes out of one of those rare moments when the nap time stars aligned, and I had an hour just to play with watercolor pencils....and it was so relaxing and such a mood boost!

If you've never used watercolor pencils before, I'd really recommend you give them a shot.  I'm hardly an artist, and I've never had formal training.  I grew up watching my mom paint with regular watercolors, and I do like to play with those too.  I think watercolor pencils are easier and less frustrating to use than traditional water colors.  Clean up is easy and they are fast to pull out when you just have a short time to paint/draw.

Want to give them a try?  Let's get started.


Valentines, Heart Crafts, and More...

 Ellie and I put together the valentines for her class yesterday and she was super excited.  She was quite adamant that her friends needed bubbles, so we picked up some bubbles from the dollar store and I took a picture of her blowing "hearts".

Ok, ok, so she was actually just blowing bubbles but I inserted the picture into power point and added a few hearts and some text.  All in all, a pretty easy craft that she loved helping with (She loved lacing the ribbon through the hole-punched holes.) I like powerpoint to be much easier than photoshop to make modifications like these.

Anyway, I totally can't believe that it's Valentine's day next week.  This year already seems to be flying by. I thought it might be nice to search through my blog archives for some of the Valentine's day projects that I've done in the past.  Do you remember these? (Links are below)
1.  The LOVE bug free printable paper doll
2.  Free printable lacing card Valentines
3.  A paper flower making kit
4.  Conversation hearts garland
5.  You are loved felt garland
6.  A paper cookie making kit

Finally, I just want to give a big shout out of THANKS to those of you who started "officially" following me via emailfacebook, or pinterest.  It really does mean so much to me!  Thanks for sharing your LOVE!


Up-cycling: Colorful Arm Warmers


So I feel a little bit silly writing up this post today, especially with the East Coast just being hit with a blizzard last week.  Here in California we've had beautiful weather (which is actually a really bad thing because we really need rain and snow in the mountains.) So yes, this post seems a bit strange. I made these arm warmers when it was probably about 70 degrees outside....but truly I felt freezing beyond belief (I'll blame chills and the flu).  

So now I have a lovely pair of arm warmers, made from an old pair of little girl tights (they come in the cutest designs!!)....which I'll probably never wear for the rest of the winter.   I love them anyways though, and I figured I'd share the tutorial since some of you may actually live in places where you actually do have a real winter (send some snow our way!!!)

Want to make your own?  Keep reading for the full tutorial:


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