Monday, October 27, 2014

My Fall List

Fall is in full swing with Halloween at the end of the week.  I was thinking of what I like about this season because it is my second favorite (after summer!). Being in Southern California, we have to work a little harder to imagine an actual changing of the seasons.  So just for fun, I made a little list to use on a future layout...

Fall Favorites
Scarves
Pumpkin Treats
Halloween
Crunchy, Colorful Leaves
Boots
Getting Back to Routine
Scary Movies
Soup
Chili
Decor and Colors
Thanksgiving/Thanksgiving Foods
Cider
Comfy Jeans

Not So Favorite Parts of Fall
Too Many Pumpkin Treat choices
Candy Overload
Christmas is Already in Stores
Cold and Flu Season
Football
Daylight Savings
Rodents
Santa Ana Winds
Dry Skin


I would love to know what you DON'T like about Fall, just for fun.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Sweet Little Top for a Sweet Little Girl

One of the goals I was most excited about reaching for my 40 Before 40 quest (http://mamabirdy-happinessishomemade.blogspot.com/2014/07/40-before-40.html), was sewing a dress for my adorable neice, Scarlett.  Mind you, I haven't sewn a piece of clothing in several years!  I was a little intimidated by it all, but I was ready to accept my own challenge.
B caught me sewing away

What I Learned:

  • I went for a top instead of a dress.  I didn't originally plan this, but I liked this pattern so I decided to go with it.
  • How to use bias tape on the arm holes
  • How to add a pocket and top stitching
  • How much sewing challenges me and I like it!
  • How to ask for help!  I was completely stuck on the yoke of the top.  I needed an extra set of eyes to look at the directions for me.  I am not one to ask for help, but I gave in to my need.  My wonderful Aunt M was just the person to help.  She was able to help me translate the directions and get me past my roadblock.





I am so happy with how it turned out and I have definitely been re-bitten by the sewing bug!
The Perfect Model
Those curls!
Time to play


Friday, October 3, 2014

Return to Facebook...Sort of

This week I completed my personal one month Facebook hiatus.  It has been a very eye opening experience!  I am so happy I did it and it was all in perfect timing.  It was hard at first- not so much about the fear of missing out, but I realized why I used it so much to begin with.  The times I did use it seemed to be the times I was bored, avoiding tasks or just wanting to not really be present.  I would catch myself through the day feeling the tug to log on, but I couldn't do it. The feeling lasted about a week or so, then I began comfortably adjusting to my new routine.  I found that the time I wanted to log on the most was when I was in the kitchen- cooking or cleaning or waiting for water to boil.
I did miss out on big life events during the break:  birth, death, marriage, giveaways (I kid)... But, I survived.  I would hear about such things from friends or I did keep up on Instagram, but I don't follow many people, so I didn't feel the FB overwhelm.  I did "have" to hop on twice during my time, but I warned my usual accountability people. I needed to join a group that I belong to in real life to keep up on events and also to speak to a friend who lost her father.  I couldn't let that slip through the cracks!
Facebook was not happy that I deserted them!  I would get emails everyday telling me I missed a post or a picture.  I had 99+ notifications and so and so uses Facebook, so maybe I should get back on and friend them.  It was kind of creepy!
I was asked by some WHY?!?!  Has someone said something?  Did something happen?  No, just me trying something out.
A bonus was when a friend texted me saying she was joining in with me.  She has loved it so much, she has deactivated her account!
So what have I learned from this experience?

  • I know I get bored sometimes and that's okay
  • FB really does affect me, even though I didn't want to admit it, emotionally
  • I know who I really miss not keeping up-to-date about and who I can live without
  • I don't really like the drama people post
  • I DO like seeing photos and hearing funny and uplifting stories
  • I kind of like being out of the loop
  • I feel like I am having more face to face/phone conversations with people
  • I have better focus when I need to check emails or do anything online   
  • I am happy to be away from the negative news stories and crazy conspiracy theory posts
  • I feel like FB puts the weight of everyones hurts and worries on my shoulders
  • Less eye-rolling (Ha!) 

I have been asked if I will go back and I feel at this time I will continue to log on. Facebook is the main communication I have with some family and friends.  It's how I share pictures and little stories about my family.  Since logging back in on the 1st to change my profile photo and fulfill some friend requests, I have been on a couple times to check a group message, respond to some events and catch up on some walls of my closest circle.  I haven't been on for any extended length of time and I don't want to be.  I felt when my time off was dwindling down that I couldn't trust myself to go back on part-time, but I am seeing that I can trust myself.  I don't really have the desire to spend much time on it.  In the time I was off, I did an online parenting/self-care course, sewed, followed a couple Bible reading plans and read a book.  My family, of course, had more of me.  We made some big changes in our home and it has been awesome!

My head feels so much clearer and my shoulders feel so much lighter!  I challenge anyone to try it, if only for a weekend or week and see how you feel. If you do, I'd love to hear about it!  But not on Facebook...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Scarlett's First Birthday Album

I put this little album together over the course of a couple days. I really just wanted to showcase my favorite pictures from my sweet niece's first birthday. I mostly used Dear Lizzy product on this project (I'm a big fan!).  Enjoy!




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Just a Mama and Her Minivan



All of my men are off to school.  For the first time ever, I am alone.
It's so quiet.  I miss them.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Taking a Break From Facebook



Last night I signed off from Facebook for the last time for the next month.  I had only told two people I was doing this for the month of September as part of my personal 40 Before 40 Challenge.  I thought a lot about when the best time would be to try this challenge. I came to the conclusion that September would be perfect- the boys and myself will be jumping back into our routine, it's a new season of life with B starting preschool and I have a lot I want to accomplish!
Already, this morning, the routine feels different.  I even had a mom friend text me and say she's in- she wants to do the same thing.  I am so happy to encourage someone to try this out.  



I am looking forward to what happens this month and how much more time I think I will gain without the habit of checking in with Facebook.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Color Run 2013

  I loved running as a kid and into junior high.  I liked when we had to do the mile test during PE.  I always wished I could run a marathon of some sort.  Somewhere along the line, I stopped. I had other priorities to deal with.  Then while taking a scrapbooking class from Stacy Julian, I heard of a non-competitive run called, "The Color Run."  From the time I watched the little video on the website, I knew I wanted to do this!
I even made a Smash Book page about it.



But the problem was, I hadn't ran in YEARS.  I was not 5K ready.  I was not 1 minute of running ready.  I did some research and found the Couch to 5K app for my phone. It's an awesome app for beginners that takes you from walk/running to running, I believe in about 8 weeks.  I followed the program pretty slowly, as time would allow. During that time, I learned that my "running shoes" were in fact not the greatest. I invested in some real Nike running shoes and I was off!  It took several months to complete the program, but I did it.  The first time I ran 2 miles, with B in the jogging stroller, non-stop, I felt invincible!!!

I had to document this milestone!

The days leading up to the race, I was out running around the lake near where we live.  I felt a pop in my knee and pain instantly.  I was crushed!  I stayed off of it and treated it as well as I possibly could.  The day of the race, I taped my self up with K-tape a friend had.  It wasn't pretty, but it helped somewhat.



I was super excited, nervous and in some pain.  But, with all that excitement of finally being at a start line, I somehow managed to do it.  The WHOLE thing!  I didn't even notice the pain when I finished the race. I was so high on accomplishment and adrenaline!  (Yes, it was ridiculously painful later and for a couple weeks after, but I babied it!)



It was such a HUGE deal to me- here I was a mom of 3 boys, able to take this on and complete it.  My third pregnancy was extremely hard with morning sickness for the first 6 months and anemia.  I couldn't even walk to the end of my street!  To be able to run this meant the world to me.  To this day it is one of my proudest accomplishments.

I have since ran another Color Run (my husband's first 5k!) and two other 5Ks.  I love it as a stress reliever and just a great way to be outdoors.  My next goal is to complete a 10k and the completion is part of my 40 Before 40.


To mark my first 5K, I created this quick album using Stacy Julian's "Finish Line Scrapbooking" method (This class is now offered FREE!:  http://www.bigpictureclasses.com/classes/details/finish-line-scrapbooking).
I had bought a plain white 6x6 album years ago at Big Lots.  I used different mists on the cover to recreate the colorful mess we became during the race.  I am very happy with the results and know this album will serve as inspiration for my running years ahead.  Enjoy!