Sunday, April 28, 2013

Desperately Seeking...

seeking best friend

In my life I've been blessed with a lot of really good friends, friends that I consider more family that just someone to pass the time with. But I've only ever had a few, what I would call 'best friends'. Someone that I can pick up the phone and just 'shoot the breeze' with. A person who lived close enough that if I was having a crappy day, could come over, share a bottle of wine with me and make it all go away. Someone I could just be silly with. 

I have that in M - and I'm truly grateful for the fact that I'm married to my best friend. But a girl needs another girl in her life - someone to share the highs and lows with, someone to watch bad, guilty pleasure movies with, someone to go to a really bad dive bar dressed up to the hilt and drink insanely girly drinks with, someone to just giggle with.

Whenever I feel I've found that person, something happens. I move. They move. I take a job that has different hours to them, they finally meet the person of their dreams and fade off into the sunset. Don't get me wrong - I'm still very close to those women who have come into my life and have occupied a special place in my heart for a period of time (and still do), but I would love to find someone who I could create a history with, someone who would instinctively know when I need cheering up, or that would laugh at the same stupid things I do.

Friendships are hard to cultivate in this city - people come into your lives for a brief period of time and then move on; careers change, families grow, time to spend together gets hard to manage, and before you know it, a year has past by and you've seen it each other maybe half a dozen times.

It's not anyone's fault - life happens. And I'll be the first to admit that I tend to be cautious when it comes to letting people into my life.  I've been burnt badly too many time to throw caution to the wind. 

But then again, maybe that's what I need to do. To just put myself out there and see what happens.

Wish me luck.... I'm going to go jump into the deep end.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week (Part 1)

ben franklin teacher quote
Now, I'm going to be completely honest here. It wasn't till Little P started going to school that I even heard that there was a 'Teacher Appreciation Week', let alone knew what to give. I know growing up we didn't have that (but then we didn't have National Talk Like a Pirate Day either - arrrr). And since this is the first year that Little P has been in school full time, I figured I should put my butt into gear and get something together for her teacher.

When I decided I was going to make something rather than buy something, I asked a friend of mine who is a teacher (albeit of 6th graders, but a teacher is a teacher right?) what it was that she would like. And her immediate response was this 'No candles'. Apparently, every year she gets a least half a dozen scented candles (all suspiciously from Bath and Body Works). And while I have no doubt that she loves getting them she has gotten to the point where the amount of candles that are in her house would be considered close to hoarding. She doesn't have the heart to re-gift them, they did, after all come from her students, but there is no way she is even going to use them all. So in a box on a shelf they sit.

What I did find out is that she loves, absolutely loves, getting handmade gifts from her students. Whether it's a 'best teacher' mug (and I will point out that the mug in question is misspelt - 'techer'. I was assured that this was due to the fact that there was limited room on the mug, not her skill at teaching spelling), or a photo frame that is covered in pictures of lilies (her favorite flower) she proudly displays them in her classroom. She did also mention that supplies, while kind of ordinary, are always appreciated, as are gift cards to places like Target where they can stock up on supplies. Or just pay attention to what they have in their room. Teachers always display a little of their personality in their rooms... a little observation can go a long way to finding the right gift.

So with that in mind, I jumped on Pinterest looking for ideas (check out my Teachers Appreciation Board). After hours spent trying to decide what to make - and trust me, I wanted to do a bunch of them, I eventually went with making my version of a 'supply box'. Quick, easy and able to be personalized.

And I'll show you what I did in Part 2, next week.

Till next time, show some love for the ones helping to mould our little ones.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lest We Forget

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left behind grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them"

It's amazing how quickly you forget the things that were so important to you as a kid. Growing up, ANZAC Day was a pretty big deal for me, not only because it was a day off school (bit of a bonus that) but because it was a chance for the whole nation to stop and remember those who fought (and those who continue to do so).

I remember proudly wearing my poppy pin (usually bought from a veteran in the days prior) and watching the parade pass by the middle of town. Having had family who served it was a moment for me to thank them and others for serving their country.

But now, I have to be honest, there have been a couple of years when it has passed by and I totally forgot it. Mostly because without having a strong Aussie network here, I tend to forget the big celebrations we have, unless someone reminds me (usually via FB). It's sad, but true.

So this year, I decided that I would make a concerted effort to not only remember but to make it a part of our lives here in Las Vegas. 

Over the past week or so, I've been searching the web and Pinterest for ideas on how to do this, not only for me, but for Little P. I want need her to be aware of her Australian heritage, of where I come from and what is important to us as a nation. ANZAC Day is a big part of that. And while I have found a ton of crafts for us to do (making poppies tonight to wear tomorrow), trying to locate a book that's age appropriate for her on the ANZAC's has been like mission impossible. While I found quite a few that a good for kids closer to the 11-13 age group, nothing, and I mean nothing, was around for a toddler. I found a listing for one book on Amazon that might have worked - but it's out of print now and copies of it are going for $200!! 


Totally disappointed and a little saddened by this fact, I gave up trying to find anything that would work. 

And while it's disheartening to think that I won't have a story to read to Little P tomorrow night, telling her about the brave ANZAC's and why we wear red poppies on April 25th, I have faith that someone, somewhere will know of a book that's perfect and will point me in the right direction. And come this time next year, I'll be ready.

Lest we forget...


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"Of all the things I've lost..."

"I miss my mind the most."

Mr. Twain (and re-quotted by one Ozzy Ozbourne), you can't have possibly known how very appropriate these words would be.... to Mothers (and Fathers) around the world.

What is it about little ones that seems to similtaneously lift your spirit up and suck the very smarts out of you? I like to consider myself relatively intelligent (no snickering in the back, I said 'relatively'), but there are days when I truly wonder if I did actually complete any schooling.

Things like:

  • Having to pull out a calculator to work out what 6 x 8 is (I swear, 48 just did not look right, now matter how many times I did it), 
  • Re-washing a load of laundry because you saw it in the basket and thought it hadn't been washed yet, only to realize after the water has started that they were in fact clean and dry,
  • Pouring yourself another cup of coffee only to realize that you hadn't in fact even touched the first one...
The list goes on and on. My newest favorite, though, happened today. I had been trying to find, somewhat unsuccessfully, my reading glasses (I have two pair that I keep at work). It took me 15 minutes to realize that I had one pair on my head and the other pair was literally sitting right in front of me (I swear, I'm smart). And I got a pretty decent night's sleep last night, so I can't even blame it on that.

There have been scientific studies on how a woman's brain actually changes to become MORE able to multitask during pregnancy – you know, in preparation for those times when you really do need to do four things at once. Great. So does that take space from my ability to do basic math and remember where I put the car keys last night? Or how to spell basic words? It took me three goes just to get ‘unsuccessful’ right just now. Seriously.

I know it could be much worse. Little P is a healthy, happy (for the most part, she is two and prone to melt downs) little girl, and our little family unit continues on. But there are some days, where I wish I could, just once, remember how to say the alphabet backwards.
happy little girl
One very happy munchkin

It’s a small thing, but it’s a start.

Till next time, power on. One day we will be smart again…. Won’t we?


Monday, April 22, 2013

The Price of Sanity

This is a sponsored post - written by me, on behalf of White Cloud Diapers. All views and opinions are my own.

Wal-Mart white cloud diapers baby girl
Little P strutting her stuff in her White Cloud Diapers
One of things I was told time and time again when I was pregnant was to stock up on diapers. And not just the newborn ones (although you do go through a truck load of those), but to also be prepared and have the next two sizes up.

I honestly thought people were joking. I mean, really, how many diapers can that little person go through in the first few months?

Was I in for a shock. 

It was insane the amount of diapers we were going through. And trust me, we tried multiple brands just trying to save a few cents here and there. But in the end, the cheaper, store brand versions just didn't cut it. The savings we made with the initial purchase were lost when we went through twice as many because they couldn't hold or prevent 'diaper blowouts' (and those are just fun, aren't they?).

So, when I was asked if I wanted to try out the Wal-Mart premium brand and attend an event to learn about them, I was a little hesitant. But, I figured 'why not?'. 

But I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. 

I received the diapers in the mail a few days before the event and figured I would take them for a 'test spin' so to speak. I liked the thickness of them, they had a cute little lion on the front and the tabs on the sides seemed to be pretty durable. And Little P definitely put them through the wringer on the first go out (if I didn't know better, I'd swear she had been saving all that pee up just for that moment). But they held, and held strong. She didn't get all 'wiggly' like she had with other store brands, and they didn't create 'droopy butt' as much some have.

Since we had a great test run, I was confident and ready for first blogger event.

wal-mart white cloud diapers
How can you can say 'no' when greeted with a diaper wreath?
And what a hoot!! Aside from the fact that I got to meet some fellow 'Mommy Bloggers', we had a blast, trying to guess the baby food in the diaper (I got mine right, nan-nan-na), raced each other to try and drink 4 ounces of water from a baby bottle (that was hard. I wound up just taking the lid off. No need to injure myself over a bottle malfunction - that's my story and I'm sticking to it), and we got to learn about how Wal-Mart has responded to parents needs in regards to cost effective  premium diapers. Fun and educational - how can you beat that?

Wal-Mart white cloud diapers
All sorts of fun

White Cloud Diapers have a wetness indicator on them in the newborn sizes (perfect for the first time parents), they are hypo-allergenic and fragrance free (which is a big plus when you have a new little one), and because they are a Wal-Mart product, you know you are going to get a good deal for your hard earned bucks.

Diapering can be one of the biggest expenses in a family’s weekly budget and a great performing diaper is a must-have for parents. In order to make this affordable, Wal-Mart has reintroduced their premium line of White Cloud diapers to address the needs of today’s busy parents.

White Cloud Diapers provide your baby the highest quality diaper with superior leakage protection, exceptional softness and great fit. White Cloud Diapers are available exclusively at Wal-Mart, where you can find low prices everyday on all your family’s needs

Check them out today!

So my fellow parents, if you are looking for a good alternative for those brand name diapers, give White Cloud Diapers a whirl - you might be pleasantly surpised.


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of #WhiteCloudDiapers. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Shh, it's a secret

I have a confession to make. 

I hate, hate, hate (actually it's more like absolutely loathe) pantyhose.

There, I said it. Feels so good to get that off my chest. 

I can just see the blank expressions on your faces now. 'Where did that come from' you wonder. Well, see, it's like this. I'm what some might consider 'vertically challenged', as in, I stand at a whopping 5'3". Now, I came to terms with my 'shortness factor' years ago, and I quickly learnt that a pair of 4 inch heels go a long way to making up for Mother Nature's shortcomings (pun intended).

But being this height, has certain, shall we say, 'difficulties'. I can't (or at the very least find it really hard) to find pants that fit off the rack. And yes, I know about the whole 'petites' sizing. But the thing is, petites only work if you are actually, well, petite. And while I am indeed short, I'm not tiny, so a lot of the time, those pants look like capris on me - which is fine if that's what I'm looking for, not so much when I want pants that actually hit at the ankles.

Which leads me to my hatred of pantyhose. Those buggers never, ever, ever fit me properly. If I get the size that's supposed to work for me, they wind up sitting under my armpits (attractive look if ever there was). If I go a size down, the stupid gusset thingy winds up making me look like my daughter with a full diaper - as in, it's sitting half way down my legs.

There is no winning with them. 

And it doesn't matter if I go with the cheap brands or if I plonk down a good $40 on a pair (and yes, I've done that, on the suggestion of a friend who shall remain nameless). They all suck. 

So, when I need to wear a covering on my legs, I cheat.  I use 'thigh highs' (wonderful invention those things). You are essentially wearing stockings without all that mucking about with garter belts.

And honestly, if I'm going to be wearing fancy knickers, why would I want to cover those things up with the nastiness that is pantyhose?

I know some women choose to wear them, and I know some women have too (the support kind - thinking of all my nurse friends out there), I just don't want to. EVER.

So, till next time, please, put down that pantyhose and step away from the counter (you'll thank me one day).


Monday, April 15, 2013

It's gonna be a Showdown!!

It's a battle of the taste buds in our house at the moment. An epic war between the Australian icon 'Vegemite' and the American all-star 'Peanut Butter' has begun. A battle that will be remembered down through the ages…. Okay, that might be taking it a tad bit too far, but you get the idea.

peanut butter vegemite
The Contenders
In one corner you have little old me, supporting my Australian heritage and rounding out what is otherwise a very American palate that Little P has. In the other corner you have M, who can, without even trying, finish off a jar of peanut butter in a week and is holding the current ‘taste bud champion’ title.

Unfortunately, it appears that Little P is about as interested in either of these things as I am in watching paint dry - not a whole lot. M has tried (and so has her teacher) unsuccessfully to get her to just try peanut butter, but she's not having any of it. She flat out says ‘no’ anytime it’s even handed to her in the jar (that’s my girl).

As for Vegemite, well, I've had a little more success with her at least taking a bite (albeit a very teeny, tiny one) of toast with the black gold goodness on it. And she hasn't exactly said 'yucky' to Vegemite; she just wasn't as enthused about it as I am.

At this rate she’s likely to discover something that neither M nor I are fond of and that will be her sandwich topper of choice – it will probably be something equally nasty like Fluff (I get the shivers just thinking about it).

Regardless of whether she joins the ‘dark side’ (that would be M, and it’s probably likely as she does have an affinity for Darth Vader and they do reportedly have cookies…) or becomes a force for good with me, I have no doubt that Little P will be one very loyal and avid fan of whatever food she decides to favor (if her love of peas and chicken nuggets is anything to go off, I may just have to buy stock in whatever she chooses).

So, my beautiful people, which side are you on?

Till next time, be a ‘happy little vegemite’.


Friday, April 12, 2013

One size DOES NOT fit all

When you are expecting that little bundle of joy for the first time, you are bombarded provided with advice from many a well-meaning individual. Things like 'make time for yourself', 'the laundry can wait', 'don't be afraid to ask for help', and my all-time favorite 'every baby is different', get offered up like little bites of some tasty goodness.

I'll be the first to admit that I've said these things myself to new Mommies (and often without even thinking about it - just sort of comes out). And while they are all very true, it doesn't always mean that you can do any of them (laundry unfortunately, will NOT wait - people gotta wear clothes, you know). But the one thing that has always bothered me is that no one, not once, has ever said to me 'every parent is different'. 

And that my dears, is a fact. 

The way I parent is not going to be the same as you, or how my parents did it or how my best friend or even M act as parents. We are different. We view things differently. We feel things differently. So it only stands to reason that the way we raise our children will be different.
rock jumping toddler
I know some Mommy's who would be
horrified if they saw Little P doing this - but she's fearless
and some days there's just no stopping her.
I'm not saying that I'm on the other extreme to you - we may have a lot of things in common, but then again, we may not. What I am saying is that we (that's the collective 'we' there people) should cut each other some slack.

There's nothing that bugs me more than when someone says to me in regards to another parent that they 'are a bad parent'. Really? Who made you the Queen Boomba of all things Child Rearing? We (again, all of us) need to remember that unless you are walking in that person's shoes, you can't really judge whether what they are doing is good versus bad (outside the obvious being just plain mean and nasty to your kids - but that's a whole other post).

Case in point - Ms. A, a friend of mine was going on, and on, and on.... and on about a mutual acquaintance, Ms. N. About how she had really let herself go, how the kids always seem to look disheveled, that the youngest was back in diapers – and so on and so on.

When I was finally able to get in a word, I politely (as I do) pointed out that in the past month her mother had passed, her husband had left her, and her youngest had just been diagnosed with Asperger’s. “She's doing the very best she can - so instead of giving her crap and making nasty comments, how about you give her a hand?”

Let's just say that once she was able to pick her jaw up off the floor, she babbled on about not knowing, why hadn’t our friend just called her and asked for help. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Point made? Maybe.

All I know is that a couple of days later, I got a FB message from Ms. N telling me how Ms. A had been over a lot recently, helping her out with the kids, providing her with references for nannies and housekeepers, she even brought her flowers and a pie (?) and said how sorry she was for her recent loss. Ms. N asked if I had anything to do with that. 'Me?' says I. 'Nah, maybe she just sensed something was wrong and she wanted to help. Stranger things have happened.'

And even though I couldn't see her face, I knew she was smiling when she typed back 'Uh-huh. And pigs are flying outside my window.'

Till next time, remember, every parent really is different - as long as you love your kids and are providing for them the best way you can, how can you go wrong?


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Nailed It - Washi Tape Frame

If you are even the slightest bit interested in crafting, you would have heard of Washi Tape and seen all of the wonderful and fun things to do with it on Pinterest (there are whole boards dedicated to it), on other crafty type sites and blogs and you may have seen a project or two on the DIY network...

So, I've kind of been fascinated with this stuff. I did some research (as you do) and found that it was originally a Japanese paper used in paper crafting like origami and even used to create statues of Buddha (who knew?!). But it's also something on the costly side, so till recently, I've kind of put off buying any to do anything with. Then Target came out with some (not super good quality, but the stuff works), Michaels got a bunch of new types in (somewhat cheaper) and then Pick Your Plum had an awesome deal going where they were closer to $1.50 a roll rather than $4.00 - and this is the good stuff.

washi tape frame

So, now that I had some on hand, I was actually at a loss as to what to do with it first. Then I remembered seeing this great little tutorial (and yes, I totally snagged that free printable quote) and thought 'I could totally do that', and you know me, I totally did.

I already had the washi tape on hand, and the paint (and paint brush, duh) so all I needed was a frame. And as luck would have it, Michaels was having one of their fun sales where tons of stuff is 60% off, so I grabbed two (one is for a later project), and for a grand total of $4 I was ready to rock and roll.

So, quick breakdown of what I used:
  • Washi tape (of course) in purple
  • Wooden frame 
  • White paint and paint brush
  • Exacto Knife (for cleaning up the edges)
  • Mod Podge and brush (for sealing it and keeping everything in place
washi tape paint
The 'fun stuff'
I grabbed my white paint (to make the frame look more finished and as washi tape is translucent it helps to have a more solid background to enhance the colors and pattern) and brush and just painted the frame - I gave it two light coats, so more of a white washing than an actual painting.

Once it had dried, I started applying the washi tape - I started at the sides first, and worked in from both sides, so that when I got to the middle, I could adjust the tape to fit.

washi tape on frame
Why yes, those are shot glasses...
When I was happy with how it looked, I flipped it over and trimmed up the sides with an Exacto Knife (I didn't do the insides as the way the frame was made it look a little funky, so I trimmed them up also), and then I gave it two coats of Mod Podge to seal it (you know how I love me some Mod Podge).

mod podge washi tape
Almost done
Let it sit overnight, put the picture in it and ta-da!! Quick and simple upgrade to an ordinary frame. 

Now that I've done this one, I'm thinking some of our old frames could do with some washi love (and I can hear M sigh from here). And maybe a potential Mother's Day gift or two in there...

washi tape frame finished
Ta-da!! (don't you just love the owl? My talented
friend Sierra made that)
So beautiful people, what do you think? Did I nail this one?


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Working on Toddler Time

It ain't 9-5 that's for sure.

Ever noticed that when some people say 'just a minute' they actually mean more like 10 or 20 minutes? My Mum used to tell me that when she said 'just a minute' that it meant a 'nurses minute' which is actually closer to half an hour. So, growing up, I got used to just doing something else till Mum could come help / listen / watch whatever it was I wanted her to do.

These days I'm on 'toddler time' which essentially breaks down like this:
  • When I want to do something / go somewhere, I need to wait till Little P is good and ready to go, otherwise I wind up having to not only carry her, but her little friends, blanket, book etc., just to get her out the door and on our way
  • When Little P wants to do something / go somewhere, I can't move quick enough
It's not all bad though - most of the time, when she wants to do something, it's usually something I want to do as well (hey, who doesn't like coloring in the Princesses with only a red crayon?)

But there are days when it's really down to a battle of wills. I need to get going, and she needs to do everything BUT accommodate Mommy. These are the days when she will insist on changing four times, on having to brush her teeth multiple times, when she just has to have more yogurt (even though I know damn well she's not hungry) and when she will go down the stairs like molasses - really, really, slowly. 

It's usually on these days when I am inevitably running behind schedule, and I need Little P to pick up the pace, double time. And it's usually on these days when she's likely to go into major melt down mode because I'm not paying attention to whatever it is that she's doing with her doll / toy / book right at that very moment. And it's on these days when I just need to stop, take a deep breath and realize that, for a while, I am going to be working on her schedule, not the other way around. And that I really should not only just accept that simple fact, but that I should embrace it, cherish it, enjoy it.

Because, before too long, Mommy is not going to be the one she wants to be around all the time. There will be friends who are going to be way more interesting than me, and it will be I who will be asking her to stop and spend some time with me.

And since the world won't stop spinning if I'm fifteen minutes late to work, I think I might just take that extra moment to read just one more story, have tea with Violet and Rapunzel and let my baby girl be my baby girl… for just a moment longer.

tea party little girl
Little P having tea with some of her closest friends.
Till next time, take the time to smell the roses (and maybe enjoy some tea).


Mommy-ism #133: trying to rush a two year old to do anything is like walking through 
molasses - it's next to impossible, it's extremely tiring and at the end of it you somehow wind up 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Drink Up

Anyone who has been following me for a while, knows (and hopefully appreciates) my fondness for a glass of vino from time to time. 

And while I joke that I'm a big ole lush, I'm really not, and I do tend to take my wine in stride. I don't hold it against anyone who doesn't like wine, or even drink for that matter (M doesn't drink - which equals a designated driver for me, woo hoo), but I do have an issue with people who automatically 'blacklist' me because I do.

Which leads me to today's post. It's a tad wordy, so bare with me.

When I first decided to be a SAHM, I quickly realized that if I didn't find some grown-ups to interact with, that I was going to be in serious trouble. So, when a friend of mine suggested trying MeetUp, to find playgroups, I jumped on that bandwagon so fast I think I gave myself whiplash.

It was amazing. So many groups to choose from. Did I want to be with a group of stay at home moms that grew their own vegetables, made their own paper and probably smelt like patchouli? Or did I want to join a group that seemed to be all about their 'inner goddess' and how to connect with her? Or how about the Wiccan moms who were about to celebrate the Spring Equinox? (I had visions of women running around in their birthday suits when I saw that one.)

In the end I selected four different groups - three for weekdays and one for weekends. My initial thinking was that with this many groups to be a part of, there was guaranteed to be something to do every day, and I was bound to meet at least a few like-minded women. And that held true - for the most part.

With one group, I just couldn't make the play dates, as even though they said they covered my area of town, they all wound up being a good 45 minutes from home. Which, when you have a little one (P was about 4 months at the time) is a long time to dedicate to driving somewhere. So, after a couple of months, I discontinued my membership with them (saving not only gas but also my sanity).

Two other groups worked out perfectly for me - I got on well with the other Mommies, the kids where around the same age as Little P, their meet-ups where close to home - it was kismet (and even though I'm working full time now I still see and speak to a lot of them.)

And the other group? Well let's just say we didn't see eye to eye on a couple of things.

The first 'outing' that I went to for this group was a 'get to know you' event at one of the Mommy’s homes. There wasn't a long description on the meeting, it just listed the address of where to go to, that it would be a 'fun way to get to meet other members of the group' and that 'slight fare would be served'.

Now, my Mother taught me that when you are invited to someone's home, to never turn up empty handed. Always bring something, whether its food, drinks, or a gift for the host, always have something for them. And I've been doing that my entire adult life. So, like the good girl that I am, I came bearing two bottles of wine - cause even if you don't drink it, wine is always an easy thing to re-gift.

I turn up to the event, knock on the door, and when it's opened, I introduce myself and wait to be invited in. 

I didn't even make it past the front door. 

The woman who greeted me did so with a broad smile till her eyes landed on the bottles that I had in my hands. Instead of a 'Hi and welcome' I got 'Alcohol is not welcome here.' Her smile disappeared, and I swear the air around me got colder. 'That's okay', I reply, 'I'll just leave them in the car.' As I'm turning to go back to the car she says to me 'I just don't think you would be a good addition to the group'. Sorry. You are going to reject me simply because I didn't know you lot didn't like alcohol? You aren't even going to give me a chance to get to know you and you me? 

Before I knew what was happening, I was staring a closed door. Yup, I had officially been shunned. I honestly didn't know what to think. I was racking my brain to remember if there had been anything on their page saying they didn't drink or if maybe she just didn't like how I was dressed, the car I drove, or whatever.

All I remember on my drive home is thinking this is just like being in high school. I'm in my late 30's and I'm still not 'cool enough' to hang out with.

When I got home, I went online to check out their page and I found that they had ALREADY removed me from the group. Wow. Talk about a slap in the face.

I later found out that this particular group did that alot to other parents. Each to their own I guess.

So even though that adventure didn't turn out to be a positive one, I'm so happy to have found my slightly nutty, always friendly and ready to have a glass with me fellow Mommies from the other two groups. They help make my life that much more interesting. 

Till next time - bottom's up!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

'Nailed It' - State of Mind Artwork

Okay, so I have no doubt that most of you fellow Pinterest addicts have seen 'state art' floating around on the boards. I love the idea, but there are just soooo many ways to do this. 

State Artwork Chevron
Little P's State of Mind Artwork

There's the string and nail version.
The fabric cut out version.
Ones painted on canvas.
Ones painted on pallets.
Ones in picture frames and others directly painted onto walls.
Ones cut out from actual maps.....
The list goes on and on. 

You Google 'diy state art work' and you get 28,600,000 results. Now, I know a good portion of these aren't going to be actual state art work, and that some of them will be things that are listed on sites like Etsy for sale, but you get a pretty good idea of what's out there.

I was digging on the whole triple state idea - where we met, where we married and where Little P was born kind of deal - but then I wondered, 'just how many people would get what the state of Victoria (Australia) looks like?' I know if we were back in Oz it wouldn't be a stretch, but since we are in the US it's kind of an interesting dilemma.

So, as I was pondering this quandary (over a glass of wine, naturally), I happened to look over to one of Little P's latest artistic creations and I had a 'light bulb' moment. What if I make it so it's a piece of art for her room, and just do the state of Nevada? But instead of scrapbook paper or even an actual map of Nevada, what if I use one of her paintings and cut out the shape, put it in a frame and BINGO! instant piece of art (from her own artwork) for her room.

So, as I naturally had a ton of her paintings just sort of hanging around (as kid's artwork tends to do) it was simply a matter of working out which one I wanted to use. As it turns out, Little P had her own ideas about which paintings Mommy could have (surprise, surprise) and she handed me two that she had deemed fit.

kids pink paintings
Little P's masterpieces
I decided to go with the one light pink one as it wasn't quite as 'busy', plus I liked the simplicity of it. I located a template of Nevada at this wonderful little site call Apples4Teacher that has all the states (including coloring pages of each state for the kidlets – super cool).

Here's what I used:

  • Artwork graciously donated by Little P
  • Template from Apples4Teacher
  • Pencil to trace the shape onto the artwork
  • Scissors or Exacto knife to cut out the shape (I used scissors but for those states with lots of fiddly bits, I'd go with an Exacto knife)
  • Frame to put it all in at the end

Tracing an outline on the back of the painting, so, you know, if my cutting skills weren’t that fantastic, I wouldn’t have to worry about rubbing out any erroneous lines (praise the gods that Nevada doesn’t have a lot of squiggly bits).

map template

Once I had it cut out, I was left with trying to decide if I wanted to put it in the frame on a white background (which seemed kind of 'blah' to me), use colored paper or find something fun to use as the background.

Decisions, decisions.

Eventually I went with a grey chevron print (cause who doesn't like a chevron pattern?).

Chevron State Map Art
Not bad, huh?
I like the contrast between the pink and the grey, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

What says you, oh wonderful people? Did I ‘nail it’?

Till next time…


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Imitation is the sincerest...blah, blah, blah

When I was younger.... so much younger than today (sorry, couldn't help myself. I’ve been listening to The Beatles a lot since Little P has 'discovered' them).

Anyway, way back in the day, I had a young lady who copied just about everything I did.

How I wore my hair. What shoes I bought. How I styled my clothes (which, back then, wasn't a lot since I spent most of my time either bartending, at the beach or sleeping). She even copied what I drank when I was out. It was bordering on the creepiness from 'Single White Female'. It never got to the point where I had to defend myself from a knife wielding crazy lady, but it definitely freaked me out a little.

These days, my mimic is about 32 inches tall and calls me 'Mommy'.
little girl in heels
Little P strutting her stuff

As you know, Little P has always had a thing for shoes, but lately she has taken to putting on a pair of my shoes (particularly my black peep toe pumps - she's nothing, if not on trend), grabbing her bag, waving bye and telling us she's 'got to work now'. It's incredibly cute and a little terrifying at the same time (do I look like I'm wearing nothing but a t-shirt, diaper and have wicked bed hair when I leave for work? Dear Lord).

The other morning, I woke her up to get ready for school, and asked her what she wanted to wear. She looked at me, got down, grabbed some pants, a shirt and then opened up her wardrobe and pointed at a polka dotted cardigan. I didn't think anything of it till I was brushing her hair and I looked in the mirror and realized I had a polka dotted cardigan on as well.

Mommy and daughter in heels
Me and Little P ready for work
(I managed to get my peep toes back.
At least, for now)
Now, there are worse things than dressing like me that Little P could be doing. Insisting on running around naked at school comes to mind (saw that one last week). Or wearing her underwear on her head (seen that one too), but it does make me wonder if I am a good the right role model for her.

Especially after a recent episode at school.

Because I'm working now, my mornings are spent getting 'work' ready (makeup, hair, etc.) and Little P is usually in the bathroom watching me. I know she's paying attention as I recently received a call from her teacher, informing me that she had painted her face, and that they didn't want to scrub too hard to get it off, so just don't be alarmed when I get there. It's non-toxic and would come off easily at bath time.

I didn't think anything of it till I picked her up and saw her face. She was orange!!! Apparently, she had taken her paint brush, smothered it with orange paint and had gone to town on her face. When I looked at her and how proud she was of her handiwork ("Look Mommy. I paint my face!"), I realized that she was just being me - I put my foundation on using a brush - Little P was simply copying what she had seen me do.

I don't think there's anything wrong with her wanting to be like her Momma, and at the grand old age of 2, I have no doubt she will soon find someone or something else to focus her attention on before too long (Minnie Mouse and the Disney Princesses come to mind). So, while I'm still 'no. 1' in her world, I think I'll take this new phase in stride.

Who knows, maybe one day I can raid her wardrobe and borrow her shoes.

Till next time,