Happy New Year Friends! I wish you all the best and sincerely hope all your hopes and dreams for 2022 will come to fruition. These last few years have been rocky, to say the least, but its a time for fresh starts and new beginnings, so let’s make the most of it!
I believe in making resolutions; they give you the focus to complete certain tasks. Resolutions can be made any time of the year, and should be in some cases, but it’s traditional to make them for the fresh start of a new year and it’s all in good fun!
I’ve set 22 resolutions for 2022, check them out!
Buy a sketchbook & fill it.
Celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.
Celebrate Zoey’s 3rd birthday.
Expand our kitchen garden.
Finish my tattoo half-sleeve.
Finish the Spanish lessons in Duolingo.
Meditate 5 times a week (or more).
Paint 3 Bob Ross paintings.
Pay off my Navient loan.
Plant 3 fruit bearing trees.
Play & complete 22 video games.
Practice yoga 5 times a week (or more).
Reach my earnings goal by December.
Reach my goal weight.
Read & complete 22 books.
Refurbish the play car & give it to Zoey.
Refurbish the playhouse & give it to Zoey.
Research & create a haircare regimen for myself.
Research & create a nail care regimen for myself.
Research & create a skin care regimen for myself.
Take Zoey to Disneyland.
Watch & complete 22 movies I’ve never seen.
I’m going to do my best to fulfill each and every one of them so if you’re looking for ideas, inspiration or just to follow along in some good fun follow me here and on my instagram for updates!
Welcome to the boo-tiful month of October my friends!
To inspire you and your little ones into the Halloween mood, I’ve curated a list of Halloween-themed books for ages five and under! These selections are festive, without frights or scares that could upset a younger audience.
There are a handful of books on this list with a reading age that start under the age of five and peak at the age of 7 or 8.
Disneyland is one of my happy places! Is it yours? I’ve always wanted to bring a little bit of the magic into my home by theming one of my rooms after the park and I’m finally getting started! My first piece of the room is a lamp inspired by “Jingles” from King Arthur’s Carousel!
My mom has had this carousel horse lamp for as long as I can remember and when they moved, she offered it to me. I took it, immediately re-imagining it as Jingles. It was a little difficult to get started, since this horse is in a different style and pose, but I took inspiration from the bells, flowers and colors!
Now I know not many people have spare carousel horse lamps lying around, but you’re welcome to follow my instructions if you do, or if you have something else similar that you would like to repaint and/or retheme. Have fun with your imagination!
Carousel horse lamp
Rubbing alcohol (optional)
Small disposable bags and painters tape
Krylon paint and primer spray (white)
Hot glue gun with glue inserted
6mm gold jingle bells
8mm acrylic rosettes
Clean the lamp; wipe it down with a damp washcloth, then rubbing alcohol (if needed) and allow the lamp to dry.
Wrap the cord, and the socket and light fixture up in plastic bags and secure them with painter’s tape.
In a well ventilated area, spray the lamp with the white primer/paint. I am still getting the hang of spray painting, so if you’re like me and drips or bubbles form, wait for the lamp to completely dry then lightly sand out the rough parts. Wipe the lamp down with a damp washcloth and allow it to dry, then try again. I finished with brushing on white acrylic paint.
Once you’re satisfied with the white coat and it’s dry, paint the saddle, bridle, eyes, hooves, pole and base. This may take more than one coat so be patient and allow them to dry in between each application.
Once the paint is dry, paint or spray the lamp with a varnish. The finish is based on preference, I used matte, but you can up the gloss if you want!
Once the varnish is dry, use the hot glue gun to glue roses along the bridle and anywhere else you prefer.
Trace light pencil guidelines where you want the jingle bells to be, then attach them with hot glue.
I love singing to Zoey and she loves being sung to! I used to know all the songs from Disney movies by heart, but I’m a little rusty. I’ve started making lyric pages to refresh my memory or teach me new songs I’ve never known!
“Almost There” from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog is so inspiring and invigorating. I typically sing this to her or play it for her while we’re playing and/or dancing. She can’t necessarily understand its positive message yet, but one day she will!
Please feel free to save these for quick reference, and let me know if there are any songs you would like to see lyric pages for!
Although Halloween may be celebrated a little differently this year, that doesn’t mean we can’t kindle a little Halloween spirit!
Today we’ll be making what I like to call a “pinched” felt garland. Pinched felt garlands are made by pinching small ribbons of different colored felts, poking a threaded needle through the pinched portion of the fabric, and stringing them close together onto a garland.
In the spirit of Halloween (and this tutorial), we’re going with traditional black, orange and white. Other fun variations would be candy corn colors or general fall colors so you can display it from the Autumn Equinox through Thanksgiving.
Black felt, cut into 1 x 3” strips
Orange felt, cut into 1 x 3” strips
White felt, cut into 1 x 3” strips
Scissors or a rotary cutter
Black cotton crochet thread, size 3
Cut the felt into 1 x 3” strips. I started with about 200 pieces of each color, but I only used about 175 of the orange and white and 176 of the black. You can use fabric or sewing scissors to do this, or you can use a rotary cutter. If you use a rotary cutter, please make sure you have a cutting mat so you don’t damage the surface below the felt. I use a ruler to keep my cuts straight.
Measure out 7 feet of the cotton crochet thread, 6 feet for the garland and 6 inches on either side for the ties and knots.
Thread the needle, then knot the tip of the opposite end (I often triple each knot).
Six inches from the first knot, tie another knot in the thread again to create a section to tie the garland up when it’s finished.
Pinch the center of a black piece of felt and poke the needle through the folded pinched fabric and push it down to the knot.
Pinch the center of an orange piece of felt and poke the needle through the folded pinched fabric and push it down onto the black piece.
Pinch the center of a white piece of felt and poke the needle through the folded pinched fabric and push it down onto the orange piece.
Repeat steps 5, 6 and 7 until you’ve created 6 feet of pinched felt garland. The pieces of felt will be pretty close together to hide any exposed thread in between the pinched felt.
Thread one last piece of black felt to frame the garland and then tie a knot in the thread.
Remove the needle and tie a knot on the very end of the thread, creating another tie section on this side of the garland.
Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be cooking up Little John’s beef stew featured in Disney’s animated feature, Robin Hood!
This recipe is featured when Robin Hood and Little John are taking a break in the woods. Unfortunately Little John leaves Robin to tend the stew, and Robin starts daydreaming, effectively burning the stew (don’t worry we won’t burn ours). Friar Tuck shows up while Little John is trying to salvage the food; he tries the stew, coughs a bit, and comments “well done, ain’t it?”
I love a good, hearty stew! I thought burning it would be in poor taste (#momjoke), so I kept an eye on it. I also feel like Little John takes pride in his cooking so I kept it simple based on ingredients they may have been able to obtain, but not so simple as to insult his enthusiasm.
2 tablespoons of butter
1 pound of beef stew meat, cubed
1 large onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon of basil
1 teaspoon of black pepper (plus a few sprinkles more to season the meat)
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (plus a few sprinkles more to season the meat)
1 teaspoon of thyme
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 cup of tomatoes, diced
2 cups of water
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 potatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons of flour
1/4 cup of water (additional)
Melt the butter in a dutch oven or large pot on medium heat.
Season the stew meat with a little salt and pepper, then add it to the pot and brown all sides.
Once browned, remove the meat and allow it to rest on a plate with its juices.
Add the onions, basil, black pepper, oregano, rosemary, salt, and thyme to the meat drippings within the dutch oven and sauté for about four or five minutes.
Add the garlic and celery, then sauté for another two to three minutes.
Deglaze the pan with a little water (enough to loosen up the food particles left behind from cooking the meat and aromatics) and stir, then allow everything to cook for another five minutes.
Add the beef (and its accumulated juices) back into the pot, along with the diced tomatoes and two cups of water.
Bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until the beef is fork tender.
Add in the carrots and potatoes and bring the liquid back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for another thirty to forty minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour into 1/4 cup of cold water and add it into the stew.
Continue cooking and stirring the pot until the sauce has thickened (about 10 more minutes).
It’s almost that special time of the year when we recognize the fathers in our lives for being there to love and support us through it all. Like our mothers, our fathers would be happy just to know that his child/children love him and grateful for everything he’s done, but whether you want to show your appreciation through action or give him a gift, sometimes its hard to choose.
Now I know you know your dad best, but just in case you’re stumped I’ve made a list of ideas to spark your imagination.
Go for a drive. There’s nothing like hitting the open road with your dad and sibling or siblings if you have them. It doesn’t have to be to somewhere you’ve never been, just a scenic stretch of road and maybe a bite to eat along the way.
Get crafty and make him a masterpiece: Play to your strengths and make him something that you’re good at making. It doesn’t matter what that may be, as long as you have your Dad in mind when you’re creating it.
Give him something he’s interested in. Think of his hobbies and get him something that compliments those hobbies. Get him a tool for that project he’s been really into, buy him that vintage fishing reel to round out his collection; everyone has something they love doing.
Work on a project together. Ask him if he’d like your help with something he’s been working on and pitch in when and where you can, or just keep him company while he works if he doesn’t need the help.
Make him a meal or meals with his favorite foods. Fire up a grill and make some side dishes, or you make the side dishes and let him grill if that’s what he likes. If cooking isn’t your thing you could always buy him a meal or meals instead, no judgement!
It’s almost that special time of the year when we honor the mothers in our lives for being there to love and support us through it all. Any mother would be happy just to know that her child/children love her and grateful for everything she’s done, but whether you want to show your appreciation through actions or give her a gift sometimes its hard to choose.
Now I know no one knows your mom like you know your mom, but I’ve made a list of ideas to spark your imagination and inspire you to do something good for you mom.
Clean something without being asked: Take note of what may be dirty or messy in or around the house and take some of the pressure off your mom by cleaning it up for her. You could also give her “coupons” for different chores that can be done over time, when she needs them most, so follow through!
Get crafty and make her a masterpiece: Play to your strengths and make her something that you’re good at making. It doesn’t matter what that may be, as long as you have your mother in mind when you’re creating it.
Give her something she’s interested in: Think of her hobbies and get her something that compliments those hobbies. Get her the next book in that series she’s been reading, buy her supplies for that craft she’s really into, everyone has something they love doing.
Make her a meal or meals so she doesn’t have to cook for herself: Breakfast in bed, lunch in the sun, and/or dinner. If cooking isn’t your thing you could always buy her a meal or meals instead, no judgement!
Make her something for her sweet tooth: Whip her up some chocolate or bake her something nice like a cake, cupcakes or brownies. Again you could always buy her some sweets if baking isn’t your thing!