DIY Mother’s Day Gift: Hand Print Key Chain

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Since I have only been a mom for four years (I include the time in the womb) I don’t readily think about what I’m going to do for Mother’s day because I am usually thinking about what I want to do for my mom and mother-in-law. So when I saw this the other day I knew what I wanted to make for the special mama’s in my life.

I love handmade gifts! Especially the ones made by those you love. J asks me almost every day if he can make a craft. I try to prepare things ahead of time so that when he asks I can just whip out the project and he can easily put it together by himself. This one is so easy that there is really no need to prep.

All you need is some sharpies and enough #6 plastic to trace your children’s hands onto. I’m not sure if other plastics will shrink because of how the plastic is made so please stick with #6 and the leave the science experiments for another time. 😉

I went to Dollar Tree because I figured they would have some kind of take home plastic container or something of that nature. And I was hoping that I would get lucky and it would be the #6 plastic. Dollar Tree didn’t let me down.

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I cut off the edges of the lid so I could easily trace J and D’s hands. After tracing J’s hand, I thought it best to just trace out another of big brother’s hands because ain’t no way mama’s gonna wrestle a 9 month old for a hand print. Thanks for “lending a hand”, big brother.

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After I traced his hand out I wrote their names and birth dates (blurred for privacy) and then let J color them. He got half way through and asked me to do the rest. J wanted to make sure I added a freckle just like the one on his hand. What a goob. And then I just colored D’s since he didn’t care.

Keep in mind that some of the colors don’t show up very well and will only darken a little when it shrinks. Make sure you poke a hole or hole punch a spot on your craft before you bake them otherwise you’ll have to drill a hole in it because the plastic gets super thick.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and place on a piece of tin foil folded in half. Or if you get yours from Dollar Tree like I did, just stick it on the foil pan that came with the lid.

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Keep an eye on it because it will be done in about 2-3 minutes. It will shrivel up crazy fast and then mostly go back to normal. When you pull it out you can quickly press it with a glass dish to flatten it before it hardens up again.

diy Mother's day gift, key chain hand prints, sun catchers, thebeamingbrunette.com

Anywho, Paint a thin coat of mod podge or clear nail polish over the colored side so the color doesn’t scratch off. Add a jump ring to the hand print and add to your keys.

These are so cute! Everything is so much cuter when it’s smaller, right? Animals, people, cupcakes, doughnuts, cakes…um, I think my sweet tooth is talking.

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J loved making these! And I loved making them with him. When I showed him how much they had shrunk he said in a really squeaky voice, “Aww, they’re so cute!” Boy after his mama’s own heart.

Would you keep these little cuties for yourself or share the cuteness?

 

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Do Vegetarians get enough protein?

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Someone asked me the other day how much protein we get in a day and I couldn’t give a very detailed answer. I felt like we probably get enough but wasn’t exactly sure how much we get in any given day. So I set out to track the amount of protein my family gets in a day.

If you are wanting to try a vegetarian diet but are concerned that you won’t get enough protein or feel “full” enough after your meals, you’ve come to the right place. We are almost vegan in that we don’t drink cows milk or eat yogurt but we will eat cheese. I’m not a huge fan of eggs but will eat them on occasion. I have gotten to the point though if I don’t have them very often I get horrible stomach cramps after I eat them. So I tend to stay away from them. While they are many reasons why we don’t eat meat or most other animal products it’s more of a personal preference than anything else.

I don’t like to buy the soy “meats” either because 1 they look gross. 2 the “meat” looks nothing like its original state. 3 it’s…gross. Ha ha, I don’t have very many good reasons but since one of our reasons for being vegetarian is to have less processed food so why would I think that soy substitutes are any healthier? Besides, since most soy is genetically modified that makes it is hard to believe that there is completely organic soy.

Anyway, moving on…

Men (ages 18-70) on average are supposed to get 56 grams of protein and women (18-70) are supposed to get 46 in a day. Toddlers (age/s 1-3) are supposed to get about 13. Depending on your weight, sex, gender, and the amount of exercise you get makes it different for every person. You can use a protein calculator to figure out how much protein you should get for yourself.

Since I don’t want to disclose my weight *wink* I will use my older son as an example for the protein that he gets in a typical day. Usually I am eating the same thing that he is having because it is easier than making myself something completely different, I just make more to meet my daily needs.

Let’s get to the grub!

Breakfast

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We usually have oatmeal for breakfast. It’s cheap, it’s filling and there are so many ways you can prepare oats! My mother-in-law showed me how to make instant oatmeal. Just blend half of your oats in a food processor and add the other half of whole oats to the blended. Then add your dry ingredients to it and when you want to prepare it, just add hot water and let sit for a few minutes. I like to add cinnamon, nuts and hemp seeds to our instant mix. We also eat whatever fruit we have at the moment as well.

  • 1 oz. of pecans – 3 grams
  • 1 cup cooked oats – 6 grams
  • Hemp seeds – 1 tbsp – 3 grams
  • Fruit – 1 gram

Total = 12 grams

Lunch

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Most of the time when I ask my son what he would like for lunch he will ask for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And if you give him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chances are he will ask for some milk to go with it. Sorry had to. Okay, back to lunch. So this is usually what I give him plus some fruits or veggies to go with it.

  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter – 7 grams
  • 2 slices of whole grain bread – 8 grams (Other half not shown)
  • A cup of fruits and veggies – 1 gram

Total = 16 grams

Dinner

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We are a mexican food family. Most every dinner consists of some latino style food. Beans and rice, tacos, burritos, enchiladas…*starts to drool*. The main dish I usually make is beans and rice with veggies on the side. I make a big pot of beans in the pressure cooker and make the rice on the stove. This will last us at least a week.

  • 1/2 cup of beans – 8 grams
  • 1/2 cup of rice – 2 grams
  • 1 cup of peas – 6 grams
  • Handful of shredded cheese – 3 grams (not shown here)

Total = 19 grams

And for the grand total! Drum roll, please…

47 Grams!

That is just what my toddler gets! Not to mention other snacks he might have that day. My husband and I get a way over this amount because we can consume more. It’s really quite easy to get a good amount of protein with a vegetarian diet.

Other ways to get extra protein…

  • Add chia or hemp seeds to baked goods. These little power houses keep their nutritional value even when baked at high temperatures.
  • Protein powders are great because you can use them as a flour in muffins, cookies, waffles, pancakes, cakes and more! You can’t completely substitute for flour but can add in the place of up to half a cup of flour because it will make it more dense in the end.
  • Surprisingly, nutritional yeast has 2 grams per tablespoon. It has been fortified with all the B vitamins, including B12, which is important for vegetarians and vegans to take since it is not produced by plants and folic acid. I like to add it to pasta sauces, enchilada sauces, mac and cheese. It has a cheesy flavor to it so I don’t usually put it on anything that is a sweeter dish.
  • Quinoa is another one of my favorites but my son is repulsed by the texture for the time being so I’ll come back to it in the future. One cup cooked is 10 grams! We usually have about 2 1/2 cups.

I feel better knowing that we easily get the recommended daily amount needed for our bodies to be healthy.

How much protein do vegetarians get? thebeamingbrunette.com

Have questions about becoming a vegetarian? Have other suggestions to add? Feel free to share below!

The #1 remedy for seasonal allergies.

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Aww, Spring is in the air. Along with all of the pollen that makes my eyes watery and itchy. And if sneezing my brains out isn’t enough it feels like my brain is going to pop out through my eyes sockets from all the built up pressure!

I used to just suffer through because I didn’t want to take any kind of allergy medicine. The top 3 brands contain “natural” flavors, red #40, aspartame, parabens, SLS, and other ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce.

Not to mention all the side affects that can occur if you take these allergy medicines…

  • Headache
  • Dry Mouth
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle or Back Pain
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Blurred Vision
  • Nosebleed
  • Skin Rashes

I am not overly strict about everything that goes into or onto my body but pharmaceutical drugs are definitely on my “Do Not Ingest!” list. And I really do not want my children taking things like this either.  I noticed that J’s eye looked a little pink and puffy the other day but thought it was because he was tired and didn’t correlate it to him having seasonal allergies but now that I have this tea in my arsenal I can help myself and him to overcome our allergies.

My parents visited us over the weekend and my father’s allergies were beginning to bother him. So I made him some tea and we waited to see if he still needed to take his allergy medicine. The ultimate test would be to see if it worked when my father went back to into the California valley where the air quality is bad and the pollen is really high right now. It is like a volatile cocktail for someone with allergies. I messaged my father later and he said that he didn’t feel like he needed to take his allergy med!

I  had come across a Dr. mom on the web who gave this homeopathic remedy to her son. Her son had a very serious case of seasonal allergies and made a very strong brew for him. Our allergies are not as bad as that poor child so I don’t make as strong of a brew for myself or my son.

It’s a tea made from the leaves of a stinging nettle plant. If you have ever been stung by one of these plants you know that it hurts for days! The first time I was stung when we lived in Washington, I thought a bee had stung me, that’s how much it hurt. It was in the middle of the night so I wondered how that could be. When I showed it to the camp nurse the next day and told him where I had been he said it was stinging nettle and that there was nothing he could do for me. Thanks.

Thankfully you don’t need to touch this painful plant, just drink a steamy cup of tea!

(Not reccomended for individuals with a sensitivity to plants in the nettle family)

Nettle leaf tea

I use Traditional Medicinals Nettle Leaf tea because it is Non-GMO, doesn’t have artificial or “natural” flavors, is pesticide-free and the tea bag is not made with plastic. Most tea bags are made from a food grade nylon or PET, which are considered safe, until a temperature of about 169 degrees Fahrenheit. Waters boiling point is 212 degrees. So when you pour hot water on them some of the plastics break down and leach into your tea. I don’t want to drink any hot plastic, thank you.

Traditional Medicinals tea bags are made of hemp and wood pulp. So their tea bags break down over time unlike the plastic tea bags. So don’t throw your tea bags away. Compost them!

The box says to steep the tea bag in a 8 oz. cup of hot water and enjoy. I like to use two tea bags and add mint or some other flavored tea to cover up the hay-like taste. You can add a little honey for sweetness. You can also make it ahead of time and chill it in the refrigerator if you prefer iced tea.

Honey is also helpful for allergies but only the kind that is purchased locally in your area. Your body will get used to the pollen where you live because the honey being created is coming from the plants in your area. And it is easier to find out if the local farmers are treating the bees well and not harming them.

There is also a capsule form if you are not into drinking tea that you can get here.

Nettle Leaves

This kind also has Chlorophyll, the “life blood” of plants, in it. Chlorophyll has so many health properties in it. It is most helpful in building and replenishing red blood cells, promoting healthy digestion, fighting cancer, brings your body’s alkaline levels to where they need to be, boosts your immunity and does so much for your health but more on that in another post.

I am absolutely blown away by the fact that God has created all these natural remedies to help us feel our best in any given day. I am thankful that there are holistic ways to get my body to the place it needs to be to live a healthy life!

So when my allergies start to flare up I reach for some nettle tea to help suppress those horrible allergy symptoms.

Have you ever tried this? What was your experience? Comment below!

Allergy blog post

If you have an allergy to any plants in the nettle family, you should not drink this tea.

The opinions expressed on my blog are based on my own thoughts, knowledge, and experiences. Please keep in mind that I am not a Doctor or other health professional so please consult the appropriate professional before making any changes to your diet, health, or other applicable areas.

This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure here. Thanks for supporting me and keeping my blog ad free!

The Ultimate List of Essentials for Postpartum Recovery

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After I had my first son I’d wish someone had told me that there were so many things that you need for your postpartum recovery. I just thought that you push a baby out and you get to love on them, dress them in cute clothes, feed them and rock them to sleep all the while your just a little tired from not sleeping through the night, right?

Other moms out there are shaking their heads knowingly that I had no idea what taking care of another human being was going to be like and how utterly exhausted you will be too if you don’t care of yourself as well.

People would jokingly say, “Just you wait”. I thought they were just being dramatic. But after I had become super anemic after the birth of my son it was so hard to even to walk from one end of the house to the other. I thought other moms must be crazy when they said they were getting stir crazy a few weeks after their baby was born and I’m over here  like, “Woman, I can barely stand up and keep my eyes open let alone get out of the house!”

Now I make a little postpartum care kits for first time moms so they have an easier time recovering than I did from the first one. This is a mostly natural list because I am not sure what is in the depends but everything else has natural ingredients and is what I used.

The opinions expressed on my blog are based on my own thoughts, knowledge, and experiences. Please keep in mind that I am not a Doctor or other health professional so please consult the appropriate professional before making any changes to your diet, health, or other applicable areas.

This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure here.

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Iron

The little bit of iron that is in prenantals is not enough to make up for the amount of blood you lose after a baby is born. And it is A LOT. Then you continue to lose quite a bit for several weeks after. Fun, huh?! If you become anemic this goes double for you. Now with that being said, you can get iron poisoning so only take the recommended amount on the label.

This liquid iron that my midwife told me to take helped get my hemoglobin back up really fast! Like a few days fast. I could already tell. My thoughts were clearer. I had the energy to stand up. I could stand up without feeling like I was going to faint. I highly recommend this form of iron because your body will process and use it very quickly.

On its label it says that it is combined with fruits and veggies to counteract constipation which leads me to my next essential item…

The Squatty Potty

Okay, there, I said it. This one is a little weird to talk about but it is a must. After you have your little bundle of joy you will find the next time you need to use the restroom it might be a bit…difficult. The squatty potty will help “eliminate” that problem.

Long story short it helps you have a better “go” by having your legs like you are in a squatting position. This will help you go to the bathroom without straining because that is the last thing you want to do after pushing your baby out. It will reduce hemorrhoids and hopefully help you eliminate everything to keep you healthy! You can watch their very interesting video here.

Something else to combat constipation is to drink plenty of water. I saw someone had marked a water bottle with hourly lines to make sure they drank the recommended amount for their weight daily.

Essential Oils

There are so many good uses for essentials oils but the ones that I will talk about are going to be for the “baby blues”.

Dr. Axe says that these are the four top essentials oils that help uplift your mood.

  1. Lavender – To relieve stress and induce sleep.
  2. Bergamot – Improves blood circulation and gives energy. Works against anxiety.
  3. Chamomile – Best medicinal herb for fighting stress and promoting relaxation.
  4. Ylang Ylang – (pronounced ee-long, ee-long) Promotes good feelings.

Some other good ones are tangerine, grapefruit, sandalwood and frankincense. If you want a more in-depth reading you can go to Dr. Axe’s article here.

So if you already have some of these oils just use a few drops of each in a diffuser and relax.

Pineapple Juice

Not only is this juice super yummy to drink but there so many ways that is helpful. There is no data on this, just personal experience, that says that it will relieve clogged ducts.

It does contain bromelain, which is an anti-inflammatory protein enzyme in the pineapple, which may be why it relieves the pain of mastitis.

Pineapple is also very high in vitamin C, and contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (turns carbs into energy) Potassium and manganese (a trace mineral that thins the blood and creates connective tissues and does loads of other things!) And the Dole pineapple juice is now in a BPA-free can. Woo-hoo!

I mixed mine with coconut water to get the benefits from that as well.

Deodorant Wipes

There is an unsavory fact that most moms don’t always get to bathe, that or they have no energy to do so, after they have given birth. And with moms who have more than one little this becomes almost impossible. On the days when you need to freshen up and there isn’t anyone to help you by watching the baby so you can get cleaned up, these little deodorant wipes come in handy.

They are also great to throw into your purse or diaper bag for a quick way to get rid of B.O. when you are out and about because it’s hot or you forgot to put deodorant on that morning!

Padsicles

This was the weirdest concept I had heard about but they helped SO MUCH! There will be all kinds of discomfort down there and you may not be able to sit directly on your lady parts for days. So to make these…

You’ll need:

  • Aloe Vera – Try to find one without dyes or synthetic ingredients. I can’t remember which one I used.
  • Heavy duty pads.
  • Witch Hazel (This is what is in Tucks pads).
  • Water.

How to make:

First dilute the witch hazel with the water. Add about a tablespoon of witch hazel to 4 tablespoons of water. Then you are going to take your pad out of the package. Keep the outer packaging.

Add your water and witch hazel mixture to your pad and let it soak in. Then apply about 2 tablespoons of aloe vera to the pad. Then place the pad in its packaging and store in the freezer. They last for quite a while in the freezer.

Replace pad as often as needed. I didn’t usually wear them at night because I needed the extra absorbency of the pad to last me through the night.

Nipple Cream

Now I didn’t end up needing nipple cream so there isn’t I have tried personally. But I know that for most woman it is a must because your nipples may crack and bleed but you can prevent this by using a good nipple cream. If there was one I was going to use it would be this kind because it is vegan and all natural. Works on mom and baby!

Sitz Bath

You need so much care for down there! This relieved a lot of discomfort, especially if you tear. I hope you don’t but you might. It also helps relieve hemorrhoids if you get them.

A sitz bath is a shallow bowl that will place on your toilet that you put warm water and herbs into and you “sitz” (sorry, I had to.) on it. This kind even comes in pretty colors!

My midwife made a different recipe for me but you can use this kind for your sitz bath.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup Epsom salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons witch hazel
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops chamomile essential oil

Dissolve the epsom and baking soda in warm water. Then add the rest of your ingredients. Add enough warm water so that your lady parts are sitting in the water. And don’t worry about it overflowing. The extra water will just pour over into the toilet out the back. Sit and enjoy for as long as baby will let you. 😉

Notice how there are so many uses from the same few products! Which is nice because you can get the most healing for your buck.

Feminine Wipes

Toilet paper, even the softest kind, is the not the nicest or easiest way to get clean after you’ve had your baby. I highly recommend feminine wipes because it is quite refreshing and you can see that you are getting clean. Hopefully, wherever you have your baby they will give you a peri bottle but I found that this doesn’t always do the trick when going more than just pee. So it was nice to have these wipe as well.

I’d like to get more and use them for when it is my monthly time. I don’t plan on using tampons in the future so these will be nice when wanting to feel clean during that horrible week.

I would use them sparingly though because you don’t want to upset the delicate ph balance of your girly parts. If it’s cleaned too often or too well you could get a yeast infection. One or two will work just fine to be thoroughly cleansed.

And above anything else listed here, the best thing you can do postpartum is…

Rest!

You’re probably thinking this goes without saying because you’ll be exhausted but you’ll be surprised how many things you will try to do that you could easily ask someone else to do.

Need a glass of water? Ask someone. Need an extra pillow? Ask someone. Need help getting to the bathroom? Ask someone. Just ask. It is that simple.

All of these products really helped speed up my recovery and I hope they are helpful in making yours quick too.

Already had a baby? What were your “must have’s” for your recovery?

How to Make Resurrection Rolls

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It is Easter Sunday next week so I wanted to share a fun thing to do with the kiddos while keeping in mind the “Reason for the season” with this simple recipe. I have seen these Resurrection or “empty tomb” rolls floating around the web for a while. And now that my older son (we’ll call him “J”) is big enough and wants to help in the kitchen I thought I would give it a go!

He is always wanting to help in the kitchen. He says, “Let me go get my chair.” Most of the time I am in a hurry and say that he can help next time so he was super stoked to help me with this because who doesn’t like marshmallows and crescents?!

I wanted to start some kind of Easter tradition without doing easter baskets because, honestly, we can’t afford a “second Christmas”. That and I wanted a tradition where I could talk about Jesus and what he did for everyone on the cross. I don’t think easter baskets are bad, our family has just decided to do something different.

J loved making these with me. I got to talk about how after Jesus died on the cross he was put in a tomb. And on the third day, he rose from the dead and the tomb was empty!

Now grab your crescents and let’s roll!

Get yourself:

  • 1 tube of crescent rolls.
  • 1 bag of marshmallows.
  • Small bowl of water
  • Small bowl of cinnamon and sugar

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then line a pan with parchment paper or a Silpat.

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It looks like he is about to take a huge bite of cinnamon and sugar but he was just mixing it together. 😉

Take your marshmallows and dip them real quick in the bowl of water so that the cinnamon and sugar stick to it and then roll them in the cinnamon-sugary goodness until completely coated.

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Next bust out those crescents. Literally. I love how they explode out of the can! It makes for some amusement while cooking.

Place your coated marshmallow on your crescent stripes. Roll the larger end towards the smaller end and pinch the sides together really well. I had a few of them leak out gooey marshmallow but they still were oh so yummy!

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Then place crescent rolls on your pan and pop them into the oven for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown.

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Right out of the oven, these babies were amazing! Melt a little butter over the top of them or spread your favorite jam. Anything goes. Even warmed up the next day they were still awesome.

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When I called J in to try one of the resurrection rolls and he took a bite out of it he was surprised to find that it was empty! His eyes became wide and then he got a playful look on his face like, “How did that happen?” I hope this doesn’t teach my son to take what Jesus did for us lightly. My hopes are that this will be a visual reminder that he is risen! The tomb is empty!

I loved being able to share this memory making experience with my son and I can’t wait until the younger one is old enough to be involved in this special tradition. Hope you and your kids enjoy making these as much as we did!

What are some of your Easter family traditions? I would love to hear yours!

Easy DIY Spring Decor

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Hello people of the world! This post is brought to you by coffee and sunshine! Okay, but in all seriousness, let’s get things done.

I was on Pinterest (No, not for 3 hours. Why do you ask?) looking for a way to bring something fresh to my home this spring. I came across this super easy DIY project that I couldn’t pass up. You can view the original idea here from Two Twenty-One. That girl has some great stuff!

What I love about this project is I literally did this during nap time. Quick and simple. I decided to go with washi tape because it’s cheaper and I don’t have a bunch of bright, beautiful fabric on hand.

Here is what you will need:

~Picture frame~

~Several different colors of washi tape~

~Scissors~

~Cross printable~

~8×11 piece of paper~

There are two different types here and here.

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Take the little paper that comes in the frame out. This is going to be your cover.

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Use your cross print out (or whichever design you choose) and trace it over the picture side of the frame insert. This is a 8×10 frame so you’ll want to measure the inside of the frame to make sure that your picture doesn’t get cut off by the sides of the frame. Mine measured 9×7 to fit inside.

It should look like this after it has been cut out.

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I did it this way so I could just peel off the cross and have the pretty washi tape as a background for something else.

Now comes the fun part!

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There are so many fun colors it was hard to choose only a few. Washi tape has so many uses too! I love the idea of lining a shelf with washi tape. Or sprucing up some tea light candles for a party. And I love how if you make a mistake it comes off very easily.

Roll out the washi tape and line up the pieces as close as you can so there aren’t any gaps. Fill up the entire piece of paper. Tape your cross over the washi-ed up paper and cut off any excess to fit in your frame.

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There you have it. Pretty darn easy!

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Happy decorating!

Do you like using washi tape? How do you use it?

3 Things I Have Learned When Trying To Be A More Confident Mom

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I wanted to bare my soul a little in this post and share some insecurities that I struggle with and some things I have learned to help me overcome them. These things I have learned through experience and from others along the way. I am not fishing for compliments to stroke my ego. I am writing this in the hopes that it can help someone conquer their insecurities.

I am a super sensitive person. I pick up on vibes from people very easily which is a good and bad thing. The good side is that it helps me be more sensitive to people’s needs and to be compassionate when someone is hurting or struggling. The bad side is that if I pick up on a negative or unfriendly vibe it can bring up all kinds of insecurities in me.

What did they mean by that? Why did they say it like that? Why did they interrupt me when I was speaking? Do they really want to hear what I have to say?

I feel that moms can be super critical of others and themselves. We judge one another’s diaper choice, choice of stroller, choice of lotion, to bottle or breastfeed, to go to public school or to home school, organic vs. non-organic. The list goes on. We forget that these are preferences and not the absolute, only way to rear a child. On top of that we judge ourselves for not looking like a victoria secret model a month after having a baby. Momma, let’s get real for a moment while I divulge the inner workings of my mommy brain.

The other day I was at Target in the checkout line and my older son asks for some tic tacs. I tell him that we have cookies that he made with my mom at home so it’s no to the tic tacs. I was totally unprepared for the crying that ensued. He screamed at the top of his lungs that he needed those. I stood wide-eyed and shocked that he was acting this way in public. How did I react?

Did I…

A: Yell at him to stop yelling.

B: Look around to see if others were seeing if I was trying to kill him.

C: Become embarrassed at the thought of others judging my parenting.

D: Give him what he wanted to make him stop screaming.

E: None of the above.

If you answered E, you are correct.

I remembered what I had heard from many other parents that your child is not trying to embarrass you (at least at this age) they are merely expressing some very strong feelings. Appropriate for the situation or not, expressing strong feelings none the less.

I took a deep breath, walked over to the shopping cart, gave him a hug and said, “I’m sorry that you are sad that you can’t have the tics tacs but the answer is still no.” Then I went back to putting my items on the belt to check out. He didn’t stop crying until after I was finished but I think I could have made things a lot worse had I become angry with him.

I would like to say that I handle every single situation like that but that wouldn’t be honest. It is easy to get frustrated on only a few hours sleep. And then trying to meet the daily demands that we put on ourselves is exhausting. But these next steps help foster the kind of parenting that will be gentle but firm.

#1 Remember Whose You Are.

sky-1084433_640 confidence, confident

When you remember that you are a child of God you don’t have to look around to see what others are doing. You don’t need to measure yourself against anyone’s else standards because they don’t matter. You won’t need to look around for others approval.

It reminds me of a great children’s book by Max Lucado called “You are Special” about a wooden wemmick named Punchinello. He lives in a town with other wemmicks and they judge each other by giving gold stars or gray dots. Awesome, beautiful, amazing wemmicks get gold stars and lame, mediocre and awful wemmicks get gray dots. Punchinello, no matter how hard he tries, only gets gray dots and feels bad about himself for having them.

He meets a wemmick named Lucia and she doesn’t have any dots or stars! She tells him that the secret lies with the Woodcarver Himself. So Punchinello decides to visit the Woodcarver, Eli. When Punchinello come to His workshop the Woodcarver notices that he has many dots. Punchinello tries to justify himself but the Eli says,

“I don’t care what the other wemmicks think. All that matters is what I think, and I think you are pretty special. The gray dots only stick if you let them.”

At the end of their conversation, Eli tells Punchinello to come and visit Him every day. As Punchinello is leaving Eli says “Remember, you are special because I made you and I don’t make mistakes.” Punchinello says to himself “I think He really means it.” And a gray dot  falls to the floor.

I have to remind myself quite often that people’s negative thoughts, words, actions only stick if I let them. My Heavenly Father doesn’t think that way about me. David wrote Psalm 139:17 saying “How precious also are Your thoughts towards me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”

#2 It’s Not About You

luggage-compartment-1977186_640 baggage, problems

When we remember that other people’s problems are not about us it is much easier to let them go. I was trying to park at an event the other day and went the wrong way. One of the workers acted like any smart person would have known better when they were telling me that I went the wrong way. At first I was embarrassed by my mistake but then quickly thought to myself “I can’t let someone else’s rude behavior ruin the rest of the event for me.” So I gave it to God and let it go.

Many times we pick up the negative baggage that others give us because we think how could they treat me like that?  We are not meant to carry that around. From the book of 1 Peter 5:7, Peter says that we should give all of our cares (including negativity from others) to God because he cares for us.

The next time someone is rude or harsh towards you remember that it is coming from a place of insecurity or hurt. One of my favorite quotes, and I am not sure who said it, is

“Hurt people, hurt people.”

Again it goes back to step #1. We are children of God and shouldn’t let others dictate our feelings or how we act in any given situation.

#3 Pray For Them

beach-1868772_640 prayer, praying

This might be the hardest thing for me to remember to do. I want to be upset because I have a right to be, don’t I? But when I look at the life of Christ I can see he has a different way of handling things. He prayed while on the cross, “Father, Forgive them. For they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34. If Jesus could pray for those who had crucified him and forgive them, then I could certainly pray for the person that just cut me off in traffic, talked behind my back or for rude comments made to my face.

The bible also says to bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you, Luke 6:28. I’ll admit that the first thing that comes to my mind is not praying for someone who has just been rude or hurt me but I want Christ to be so much in my thoughts that I begin to start thinking that way. Which means that I won’t end up thinking about how they hurt me and again focusing on myself. Instead, I will be looking at the real issue. That the one trying to hurt me, knowingly or unknowingly, is the one who needs my prayers most.

What are some things that you do to help you be a more confident mom? I’d love to hear from you!

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