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!



Monday, August 11, 2014

Makeover Monday: Updating an Old Kit

Back in 2005, I attended a Scrapbook Expo crop in San Diego, CA.  I received a kit as part of my admission and it has basically sat in my Unfinished Projects Box all these years.

I really didn't want to follow the design directions for it- they were outdated and I just didn't like it!  I decided to challenge myself to make a couple of layouts using these items and this is what I came up with:

I added a watercolor painting B had created as the background.

I worked on this page at a crop. I had limited supplies and only used what I had on hand.

It was fun to try this self-challenge and I plan on doing it again soon.  It is a good way to use up my overflowing box of UFP and get back to what truly matters:  The Story.