Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lists, Lists, Lists... 5 Ways to Keep Them From Overwhelming You

Have you ever had a day where you have a constant never ending to do list running through your head? If you're a mom your answer to that question was most likely yes and probably looks something like this:
  • Load the Dishwasher
  • Start the Dishwasher
  • Start a Load of Laundry
  • Color with the Kids
  • Make Breakfast
  • Empty the Dishwasher
  • Change the Laundry
  • Play Playdoh with the Kids
  • Load the Dishwasher
  • Fold Clothes that are in the Dryer
  • Etc.
  • Etc.
  • Etc.
If you nodded your head at anything on that list than don't worry you are not alone.

Along with our long daily to do lists, thanks to Pintrest, we now have endless "want to do" to do lists(try saying that one five times fast) of recipes, crafts, kids activities, home d├ęcor ideas and so much more running through our heads all day. All of these lists, which can never truly be finished, can become very overwhelming and can start to make us feel like we are going a little bit crazy. So since this is something that happens to me on occasion I thought I would share some ways that helps me cool down when my lists start to become a bit too much.

1. Write down your list. No matter how long your list may be, even if it is endless, write down as much of it as you can until you start to feel that weight lifting off of your shoulders. Then do one or two things from that list and put the list away. Take the rest of the day to play with your kids outside or in their rooms and forget the list for now, there is always tomorrow that you can clean the kitchen.

2. Take a second just to breathe. This may sound silly but it helps me a lot if I just find a comfy place to sit and all I think about is my breathing. Take long deep breathes and don't think about anything else. Just clear your mind of anything list related and instead count your breaths or think about something you know will calm you.

3. Delegate. Do you have kids? Do you have things on the list that they can help you with? Let them! I know very well that most kids do not like doing chores but my two year old loves helping me with anything I need help with. This is great because I get a helper and we also get to spend that time together just her and I. You can also ask your husband. I know that as wives we like to let our husbands relax after they get home from work but sometimes it is ok to ask them for help especially when we are having a particularly rough day. You could even have them take the kids and play with them in their room so you can have a few quite minutes to finish some of the items on your list.

4. Set Priorities. Do you have a long daily to do list? Decide at the beginning of the day what is going to be your priority. Is playing one on one with your kids going to be the priority over cleaning the kitchen and starting some laundry? Or are you going to decide to pick up the clutter around the house instead of weeding the garden? No matter what it is, decide before you start anything, which things are more demanding of your attention that day than other things.

5. Be ok with not getting to everything. This is the most important of the five. You will not get to everything no matter how hard you try and because of that you have to be fine with having to go to sleep with a dirty kitchen or a load of laundry still in the dryer just this once. If you stress over it you will be right where you were, overwhelmed and over stressed. It is ok to have some dirty dishes waiting in the sink, or have unwashed clothes sitting on the floor, as long as you tried your best, even if your best didn't feel good enough, you will survive.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Crushed Jolly Ranchers for Cute Dessert Toppings

Let me just start by saying that I love play dates. Why? Well it is because play dates mean I get to talk to moms who understand what I am going through and I get at least an hour where I get to talk to people who can form whole sentences before my husband gets home from work. This past year I have made a lot of new mom friends during play dates and I have been loving it!

One of the play dates my daughter had last year was one right before Halloween to decorate sugar cookies. We all met at the park, because we live in Georgia and it is still 70 degrees out in the middle of October, and we all brought something to help with the cookie decorating. I had signed up for candy and the morning of I scrambled around my kitchen trying to find something that would work and I found Jolly Ranchers.

I thought it might be silly, and probably a risk of breaking teeth, if I left them whole so I tried to break them up. First I tried putting them in a plastic bag and hitting them with the handle of a whisk but I just ended up with some jolly rancher dust and a bag full of holes. This obviously was not working so I whipped out Pintrest on my phone and found the perfect way to get crushed pieces of jolly ranchers without making a huge mess.

  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Non-stick Baking Sheet or Parchment Paper or Cooking Spray

1. Unwrap the Jolly Ranchers and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray, has parchment paper lined on it or is non stick. (I used a silicone liner)

2. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

3. Bake for 7-8 minutes.

4. Let them sit for about 5 minutes, until the start to harden.

5. Break them apart with your hands.

That's it! So simple and it was very quick and the kids loved them! They would also look great on top of cupcakes.

What are your favorite toppings for sugar cookies?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Baby Feet Heart Plaque

My favorite type of crafts are ones that I can use my children's handprints or foot prints in, like my Child and Parent Handprint Plaque Craft from a couple years ago. Now that I have a new baby and it's almost Valentines Day I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do one of these crafts for the first time with my new baby and his big sister! This time though I decided to go with a foot print craft since I have not done one of those yet. This craft turned out to be so simple, besides the baking it only took about 10 minutes to do and I was able to involve my two year old in making them and she had a lot of fun!

  • Salt
  • Paint (any color(s) you want)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Mod Podge
  • Rolling Pin
  • Heart Cut Outs (not pictured above)
  • Ribbon (If you choose to hang up your plaque(s))
  • Parchment Paper

And you will need at least one cutie and if you are as lucky as me than you have two cuties!


1. Make the salt dough.
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Cups Salt
  • 1 Cup Water
Mix the above ingredients together in your mixing bowl with your hands. Add more water if it is too dry, add more flour if it turns out to be too wet.

2. After making the dough if you are going to make more than one plaque than separate the dough into how many portions you will need. I was able to get enough dough for my one month old and my two year old with enough dough left over to make another small plaque. If you are planning on making more plaques than three small ones then you should make more dough.

3. Roll the dough out on parchment paper.

4. Print out a heart on a piece of printer paper and cut it out, making sure it will be big enough to fit the foot prints. Place it over the rolled out dough and cut out with a knife, pulling away the excess dough when done. (The above doesn't have the parchment paper because this was before I knew I should have used it in the first place because if you don't it is impossible to pick up the dough without ruining the heart shape it will be in.)

This is what it will look like.

5. Have your child step on the dough heart and push their toes and feet down so you can make sure you get a good imprint of their feet. Fill in any holes that may happen with some of your left over dough and rub down with water so the new dough will blend in. At this point you can also poke a hole into the dough with a straw so later you can hang it up with string.

6. Bake at 170 degrees for 2 hours on each side, I flipped them because the bottom was not drying.

When they are done drying in the oven they should look something like this.

7. Let cool and then apply a layer of mod podge.

8. Paint the plaque any color after the mod podge has dried.

9. After the paint has dried apply one more coat of mod podge. This will give the plaque a shiny look to it.

10. Let dry and you are done!

I love the way it turned out and I love that I have these great family keepsakes so when my kids keep growing and get way too big for being my babies I can look at these and be reminded that they are and always will be my babies no matter how big they get!

Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, February 2, 2015

A New Post...Finally!

It has been almost a year since the last time I posted on my blog. A lot has happened since a year ago and I wanted to share those things in this post.

First of all the reason I stopped posting on this blog was because I started writing on another blog, and keeping up with both blogs seemed impossible at the time. The blog I started writing on is called I Love My Kids. It is another mom blog full of fun crafts, recipes, reviews and giveaways. I really love being a part of the I Love My Kids Blog team but I thought it was about time I get back and start posting a few times a month on my blog as well.

A big thing that happened this past year was that my family and I moved down to the Atlanta, Georgia area and we love it. We are currently living in a suburb north of Atlanta called Alpharetta. My husband is working for Etrade and he really likes it and has been able to receive a few promotions since starting only a year ago. We love how it is always warm and sunny here, even in the winter. Although I do miss the snow a little bit but I am glad it does not make up my whole winter now.

The biggest news of all from last year is that I was pregnant! I found out in March or April and after 9 long months our little baby boy, Bentley Bear Blegen, was born on December 21, 2014! The first trimester of my pregnancy was pretty miserable. I was sick to my stomach the whole time, no puking but it was very hard to eat anything so I ended up losing about 15 pounds during those months. The second trimester was a lot better. I could actually do things around the house and play with my daughter who was then about a year and a half. Then the third trimester I was miserable again. I was getting to the point where I was huge all the time, I was always tired and I was always burning up even though the weather was starting to cool down. So when my due date came around I was so ready for this baby to come out! (hopefully I will get his birth story up on this blog someday soon).

This year has been long but so good in so many ways and I would not change any of it!

I am excited for the upcoming year and the surprises it holds for my family. I am really going to try to keep up with this blog and make it into what I dream it can become and I have some really fun things planned for this year with the blog so I can't wait for you all to see what I have in store!

Here is some other pictures from this year!
At the Atlanta Aquarium

At the Park
Birth Announcement
Gender Reveal

Etrade Family Picnic

She loves her little brother

His sister covered him with diapers

Sibling Love

Baby Bear

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Day 19, Disrespecting Your Parents

It has been a while since I have done any of the 30 day challenge posts and since my sweet baby girl has gone down for bed I thought it would be the perfect time to post the next one.

When thinking about the topic of disrespecting you parents the first thing that came to mind was of course the ten commandments and how one fifth one is “Honour thy father and thy mother”. Plain and simple right? Not always. No one is perfect and believe me I am not perfect and was even less than when I was a teenager!

Above is a picture of myself with my parents before my wedding reception. I love them so much! They have taught me so much and have given me everything I needed and a lot of the things I wanted, even though I probably didn't deserve a lot of it.

Along with saying those things I also want to give them a public apology for the many many times I disrespected them as a child and especially as a teenager. Words were said, screaming happened and doors were slammed and I wish I could take it all back but since I can't I will just say that I AM SORRY!!

To me respecting your parents means different things through out your life. As a child and teenager living under your parent's roof you respect your parents by obeying them, by helping them without having to be asked and by showing love and thanks for all that they do for you. Now that I am an adult the honoring of my parents has not stopped and will not but it is different than the honoring of them that I did when I was young. Now I can honor my parents by going to them for advice, talking to them often, and telling them that I love them as much as I can.

I really do love and respect my parents and the people they are and I hope one day I can become strong just like them. I also am glad that I will have them there for me when one day my daughter, even if she does not mean it, might disrespect me. It will make me sad and so I am glad I have my parents there who can comfort me during those hard times that I once put them through.

Of course the reasons I listed above are not the only ways you can respect your parents, there are many ways you can. List some of the ways you like to honor and respect your parents in the comments!