Is sleep really that important?

sleep tips

Why yes, yes it actually is. A week ago I had a stretch where I hadn’t slept more than 4 hours broken over 5 nights. Two of the nights were because of my beautiful toddler who is having bad dreams, is hungwy, not sweepy, etc.  One of the nights was due to nausea, and getting up to pee 6-7 times. But the other two happen more frequently. Those nights I just had insomnia.  I’ve had insomnia for as far back as I can remember even as a small child.

I’m focusing now to try to get back into a good sleep rhythm because I know it won’t be good if I can’t sleep during the precious time available with a newborn.  I have spent a lot of time working out ways to improve my sleep habits, here are a few:

  • Exercise regularly (I’ve been doing yoga 4-5 times a week when I first get up before McKenna does).
  • Drink water all day but stop a few hours before bed.
  • Herbal options (in the past I’ve tried chelated magnesium, valerian root and melatonin).
  • Hot herbal tea (peppermint is one of my favorites! Chamomile is also delightful).
  • Stop screen time an hour (2 if possible) before bed time.
  • Make sure my tummy is full (I swear this relates to more than just pregnant women but it’s especially important now because hunger wakes me up or keeps me awake right now).
  • Warm bath.
  • Wine (not right now!).
  • Stretching before bed.
  • Massage before bed (I’m a lucky girl because when I’m pregnant I get a massage almost every night!).
  • Keep bed time and wake up time consistent.
  • White noise or calm music helps me. We started using white noise through our daughter (we hear it through the monitor) and now I love it. Sometimes I will also listen to the best of Enya album which is nice because most of the words are unrecognizable.
  • Every once in awhile I  get up and go through my bedtime routine again. It’s basically a do-over.
  • Flipping my head to the opposite end of the bed.
  • Sleep mask! I just started using one and I love it.
  • Herbal mist on sheets and blankets. The one I use right now is a blend of peppermint and lavender.
  • If my mind is full I do a brain dump and this helps me to get out all of my thoughts on paper in order to leave my mind clear and ready for sleep. Sometimes I have to do this a few times to really get it empty lol.

There may be more that I haven’t tried or some that I’ve tried and forgotten but this is a list of my most common tactics to sleep better. A little over a week ago a friend gave me a suggestion that I had never heard before! She suggested that I get out as soon as I could in the morning to get some time in the sun. She recommended at least 10 minutes but to try 30 for best results. The idea is that it reminds your body when daytime is and it should help your body also realize when it is nighttime. I’ve been doing this now for a week and it has made a huge difference! In fact, I had a day in the middle that I missed and that night took me 4x longer to get to sleep. I’m still having some other sleep issues (active dreams, wake ups, etc) but getting to sleep is usually the hardest part for me.

Dear Future Baby – 11 weeks

DFB framed

How far along: 11 weeks

Gender guess: A boy!

How I’m feeling: So sick to my stomach, but no throwing up.

Highlight this week: Hearing McKenna talk to you in my belly

Miss anything: I’m already missing sushi

Movement: None yet

Cravings: Carbs, carbs and more carbs

Looking forward to: Our next appointment (16 weeks) so that I can hear  your heartbeat again

What Brandon says about the baby: Brandon is mostly just excited but nervous about having a newborn again

What McKenna says about the baby: “I hear heartbeat! And daddy, and mommy too”

IMG_5857

Dear future baby,

We love you so much already. Much like with your big sister, I dreamed of this long before you came to be a reality. Last week was rough on me mentally and physically. I’m not getting much sleep, and I’m super nauseous all the time but thinking of you makes it better.

It feels like January is so far away but I know you will be here before we know it. For now, we will prepare for you in any way we can. Your sister is so so excited to meet you and is ready to give you A LOT of love. She mentions hearing your heartbeat several times a day and that happened a few weeks ago!

Love, your future Mama

 

Thanks for letting me share…

sig a go

Do or do not…

Yoda

“Do or do not there is not try.” –Yoda

 

We’ve all heard this quote and I’m particularly fond of it! So why is my blog about TRYing to DIY? Well I consider trying to be the short period of time before it (whatever IT is) is done. Then it’s a matter of figuring out whether or not your “try” was a failure or a success.

I have struggled for a lot of my life with the disease of wanting to be perfect. Now of course there isn’t a soul out there who is perfect but there are a lot of people out there who want to be perfect, amiright? Well, I have been making a huge effort to stop worrying about the end result. Life is about trying things out and seeing what works for each of us individually.

I have a vast amount of interests. Am I good at all of them? Nooope. Have I found some things that I can rock pretty well? Yup! I’ve let go of the need to be perfect (in most cases) and I’ve realized that I really enjoy the process of simply trying things out.

I’m not here to be perfect. I’m not here to impress others. I’m here to have some fun trying new things and to inspire others to get out there and do the same. It’s a big, bright world out there and I’m here to enjoy it! Come along with me and if there is ever anything you want to try, lemme know! I’ll try it with ya and share here.

sig a go

Foil and Saran Wrap for days

New Wrap

Supplies:

Small dowel

Clothing rod side brackets

Poster board

Colored masking tape

Clear command hooks

Elastic (to hold the wraps and bags in)

Bekvam spice rack

When I can’t find an answer to my organization and or style needs I turn to DIY and crank up the imagination. Of course I look at Pinterest and even Amazon for some inspiration.

So here is what I needed: I was desperate for a solution to organize our many food wraps (foil, wax, Saran, storage bags, etc), but nothing that I found commercially fit all of my needs:

* space saving
* no chaotic mess
* a uniform place to cut all of my wraps

I started off by taking all of my wraps out of their boxes. This was mostly done before I could even think of the consequences because I was so annoyed with how ugly and bulky those boxes were. Once I emptied them I found that my plastic wrap from Costco had a separate cutter in it that could clip over the existing wrap cutter.

IMG_5104_2

I tested it on all of my wraps and it worked like a charm – score! This got me thinking that I could make something to fit my needs.

First I had to come up with something to store all of my wraps and bags and then another place to cut them. Since I could cut them all with this new piece I was finally able to throw those crappy boxes away! (Well I saved one for another project I will show you soon)

Anyhow, I came up with a solution that works great but it’s not very pretty… yet. I’m gonna work on that next. I took the most sturdy box and I used that to store all of my wraps vertically in a cupboard just above where I hung my wrap station. Then I used some small command hooks and elastic to wrangle everything into place. This is mostly working… except that life happened and people (myself included) put stuff in front of it so that it isn’t as accessible as I would like. I’m going to work on this part when I beautify the box for the wrap storage. Here is a pic… it’s horror movie status right now…

IMG_5960_2

On to happier things! The wrap and foil cutter!

This was easier than I thought it would be. I started with the IKEA Bekvam spice rack that has been used in a million different ways.

bekvam-spice-rack

In order to attach the foil/wrap cutter I cut 3 same size pieces of poster board to gain some thickness and used some colored masking tape to attach them together. Then I taped these pieces to the front of the Bekvam and added the wrap cutter. After that I screwed a pair of curtain rod holders to the inside of the Bekvam (this is where the foil and wraps will be held) and used a dowel that I had cut to size at Home Depot. It holds everything very nicely and now I just need to hang it on the wall to get it off the counter!

 IMG_5958_2

Again, this is working in a practical sense for us… However, I’m not liking the way the poster board and masking tape makes it look a little chintzy. I think that I’m going to try balsa wood or another thin wood in my next iteration. That way I can use wood glue to secure it and I might just paint it.

sig a go

Paprika Review – Part 1

paprika final

  Have you ever used the Paprika app? No clue what it is? Well, you’re in luck! This is one of my favorite ever apps, and that’s saying a lot considering it means I have to cook. I will never say that meal planning is my favorite thing to do… it ranks pretty low on my excitement range BUT this app has made my life a whole lot easier so I don’t dread it nearly as much. That earns an A+ in  my book.

  First things first, this is not a sponsored post. I just really love it. Second, I’m going to break my review into a few pieces because otherwise this would get pretty lengthy. Here is what I’m going to talk about in this post and upcoming posts (in no particular order):

  • How to add a recipe to the Paprika app
  • How to organize recipes in Paprika app – including categorization
  • How to utilize the grocery list aspect of the Paprika app
  • How to meal plan within the Paprika app
  • Misc features of the Paprika app (if I can fit them into the previous four posts I will)

First up I am going to talk about the most important (IMO) part of this app, which is how to add a recipe within the Paprika app.

Find the recipe.PNG

  If you look along the left hand side of the app you will see 4 icons near the middle – those are the hub of the app. The little world that is highlighted in blue stands for Browser. This is where you can do a search (just like on a search engine) for a particular food or type of recipe. You can also copy a URL (the full website address) of a recipe that you know you already want to add to your Recipes.

  The recipe you see listed is one that I got from a mini meal plan from Once A Month Meals. I will be reviewing them after I have a chance to use that meal plan.

IMG_0466

  I simply copied the URL from the browser page I had open and then upon entering my Paprika app it tells me that it has detected a URL. Once I hit load it brings up the same browser page but inside the app.

  Now here is the fun part… Once you have the page loaded you should see an area at the bottom where it shows some components of the recipes and a blue Save Recipe button. This is the magical part. On most recipe sites people have their recipes formatted so that Paprika knows what is what. (Name of recipe, Ingredients, etc). Once I click on Save Recipe this comes up:

IMG_0467

 I could just click on the blue Create Recipe button and it will add it to my recipes. At this point I like to customize things a bit by adding in some Categories which makes it easier to find the type of recipe I want right away (right under the Create Recipe button in the upper right). I will talk more about categorization next time!

  If you have any questions let me know!

sig a go

DIY’d and gone to heaven – Fresh flowers!

1st diy

 

Via Etsy

Skill level: Beginner

Tools required: Power drill, pen for marking, paint (if using)

Time required: 30 minutes, plus paint drying time 

Thrifty? It was for me! I had everything on hand from the mirrors, to the leather and all of the tools. #hoarder #notaminimalist

Why I love it! Let me count the ways…. Anything geometric has my heart first of all. Plus it’s got all of these beautiful natural elements. Wood, leather, FLOWERS! I also really enjoy the use of mason jars in this look.

How’d it turn out? When I saw the inspiration piece I immediately thought of those little square mirrors that IKEA sells. I just looked them up and they are called Malma.  I personally love the way that my DIY of this project turned out.  My reproduction isn’t exactly like the inspiration, but it was definitely a starting off point. Then I made it fit me better. It also fills a space that I’ve been trying to complete for awhile. That always makes me happy.

Some words of wisdom… Don’t be like me and change your mind 10 times about what you want 😛 At first, I wanted 4 pieces like the inspiration. Then I decided 3 would  look like an arrow, so of course I went with that. I was going to paint them all funky colors, but then I decided that I would get sick of it. I also went back and forth about which leathers to use. Besides the changing of my mind, the project was actually really easy. I drilled a few holes for where I wanted to tie the leather through. Painted one of the mirrors. Bing, bang, boom. Easy peasy.

Resource:  I went through 3 sites that had this posted, but after some searching it looks like it belongs to this Etsy site that is currently closed down.

End result 

IMG_5874

sig a go

I used to be a nerd

quote

Did I say “used to be”? Ok so maybe I’m still a nerd, but I’ve evolved a bit. The nerdiness that I’m talking about today is all about quotes. Please don’t judge me.  😊 When I was about eleven years old I became fascinated with quotes. I loved how I could find words poetically penned that held meaning to me and obviously had done the same for others. It bonded me to them. I collected quotes while other girls my age collected lip gloss (don’t worry that caught up with me). I wrote my quotes down on index cards. Which I then alphabetically ordered by the quotes subject. See?! #totalnerd.

Nowadays I don’t keep my quotes filed. Well, not exactly. I use Pinterest and it’s there for me when I need a little inspiration in my day. Sometimes I just need to read through a few and I feel better. Other times I need to be reminded constantly so I put it on tech wallpapers, print it out and sometimes I even set an alarm that reminds me to get my quote on.

This is one of the many ways that I’ve learned to manage my stress and depression. Depression and anxiety are no joke folks. It’s hard and it’s real but I can take control of a lot of it on my own by choosing what I’m gonna focus on.

All this to say that I’m going to be sharing quotes with you guys once a week. When I can I will offer it as a printable.

As shown above, today’s quote is:

“This is the beginning, of anything you want.”

It comes from song lyrics, the song of which I had never heard until today! I was researching where it came from and I found the song – it is BEAUTIFUL! Take some time and listen to it.
sig a go

Sloan’s quiet book

Sloan's Colors Quiet Book

I love making presents for people whenever possible. Adults are a lot harder because they usually want something specific or that is outside my DIY realm. Littles are by far the easiest to make homemade gifts for!

This little quiet book is one that I made for my niece Sloan when she turned 1. I love that she can practice her colors and shapes with this book. The shapes can all be lifted off, so it starts out with the shapes on a page near the back. She c an then move them to the correct corresponding page!

She is already almost 2 years old and I never got pictures of her with it, yikes! We took some time  playing with it last week and I snuck a few photos. Since I get to watch these two nieces once a week it wasn’t too hard. Getting my daughter and her older sister to leave her alone while she played with it was another story!

Rainbow and Red page

On the first page I made a simple rainbow shape out of (most of) the colors of the rainbow.

On the second page I sewed a rectangle of red and cut out a simple apple shape.

Orange and Yellow page

On the third page I sewed a rectangle of orange and cut out a little fishy shape.

On the fourth page I sewed a rectangle of yellow and cut out a fun sun shape.

Green and Blue page

On the fifth page I sewed a rectangle of green and cut out a leaf shape.

On the sixth page I sewed a rectangle of blue and cut out a butterfly shape.

Purple and object page

On the seventh page I sewed a rectangle of purple and cut out a little flower shape.

On the eighth page is where all of the shapes can live if they aren’t on their color coordinated page.

Crayon and Note card page

At the end of the book I added a half pocket for some blank index cards and an insert for 4 crayons. Miss Sloan loves to scribble so I knew this would be a hit. I hope that they can get some use out of it when they go out to eat or just need some peace and quiet!

A little about how I made it:

The book is almost entirely made of felt. The only other materials used were ribbons for the binding. I made the shapes by hand drawing the simplest objects possible and cutting them from felt.  I added velcro to the shapes so that they could be moved around.  To make the pages I used four large pieces of felt folded in half rather than 8 pages. This decision was made because I’m lazy, so I chose the easiest path possible.  After I got the permanent details sewn onto each page (the colored rectangles and velcro) I used a zig zag stitch along the edges to sew the pages together and finish it off. I made 2 button holes in the center of each double page and fed the ribbons through to tie it off. Prior to sewing the pages together I added the pocket for the index cards. The last thing I did was add crayon holders at the end of the book by sewing a few small lines on a pocket to separate each of them. It looks a little wonky but Sloan has never complained! 😉

IMG_5458     IMG_5474     IMG_5470

sig a go

Hey guys! Nice to meet you..

holiday party pic

I’ve been working on getting this blog here going for awhile. It’s time to give up on being ready and especially on trying to make things perfect lol. While I truly hope that I can share things here that will inspire others I need this for me first.

I’m not going to get into it now but I lean towards depression unless I actively fight it. I have a wonderful life and I am so grateful for everything that I have and all that I have experienced.

Here’s a little bit about me – some random and some not

  • I’m 32 years old
  • I’m in love with pumpkin ANYTHING
  • My husband and I got married 46 hours after engagement 
  • When I was a kid I ran into the corner of a wall and had to get stitches on my forehead. Then a week or so later I did it again and had to get stitches  again. I have a scar like Harry Potter but not nearly as cool.
  • My favorite color is purple but I don’t use it in home decor and only have a few purple tops.
  • I graduated high school a year early
  • I have a beautiful, sassy 2 year old girl named McKenna 
  • There is no understanding people who don’t like chocolate
  • When I was a kid I was painfully shy. I hid under my bed for an hour once when my mom invited her friend and her friends daughter over so that I wouldn’t have to hang out
  • My dream car is a burnt orange 350z (which I owned at one time – oh how I miss that car)
  • I wasn’t a big TV person until I had my daughter. At which point I started binge watching shows on Netflix and Hulu while breastfeeding. 

Obviously there is a lot more to me than just this stuff but it’s a start! I am still working on getting things ready but hopefully things will be up and running before I know it! Thanks for checking me out!

 

sig a go