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.

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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

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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

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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!

This post contains affilates links. Read full disclosure here.

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3 Ingredient “Tropsicles”

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Happy first day of Spring! Since it seems like Summer sneaks up on us pretty quickly I thought I’d share with you a popsicle recipe that will take you away to your own private tropical paradise…

Ha, just kidding. You’re still here.

Anywho, these coconut pineapple mango (Phew! That is a mouthful) “Tropsicles”, as I like to call them, really hit the spot if your kids are wanting something cold and delicious on a scorching summer’s day. And they only have three ingredients! How easy is that? Coconut water is the perfect way to stay hydrated. Coconut water also replenishes lost electrolytes from sweating. Ew. The pineapple and mango add just the right amount of sweetness. An awesome bonus is that there is no added sugar!

*Warning!* Rant! Can companies please stop putting added sugar in something that is already supposed to be sweet? I don’t feel like it is that hard anymore to make something taste really good without adding more unnecessary sugar! Okay. Rant over.

I love popsicles because they are so easy to make and kids think they are so much fun! One of my favorites parts of summer when I was a child was getting out of the pool to enjoy a nice, cold popsicle. Now I can’t wait to watch my children enjoy the same thing!

I had some coconut pineapple popsicles the other day and while they tasted okay the pineapple in them was mushy and overly sweet. They also had other unnecessary ingredients which is why I decided to make my own!

Okay, let’s do this. You’ll need: (You might need a little more or less liquids depending on the molds you have.)

  • 1 cup of Coconut water
  • 1 cup of Pineapple juice
  • 1 Mango
  • 1 Popsicle mold

Pineapple juice, coconut water, mango, popsicle mold

Mix the two liquids into a measuring pitcher. It is easier to pour the liquids into the molds that way.

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I was using a funnel at first but I realized it wasn’t necessary. You want to fill your molds about 2/3 full so you can add the mango to it.

When choosing a mango you want to pick it up and squeeze it a little bit. It needs to be firm but have a small amount to give to it. When you cut it open it should be a bright orangey-yellow color, like this…

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Mangoes are a little tricky to cut but this video is super helpful! Plus, his accent is fun to listen to.

Next, cut your mango into tiny chunks. They will fall to the bottom of the mold but it will still taste fabulous.

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Now add a small handful of mango chucks to each popsicle mold. Make sure to leave a little room at the top for the popsicles to expand when they freeze. Don’t ask me how, go ask science. 😉

Put the tops on and pop them into the freezer!

Make sure to store the rest of your pineapple juice in a glass container. After the can has been opened it is not safe to store something so acidic in the tin can that it came in. You can read why here.

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A few hours later your kiddos (and mom, if you so desire) are ready to hydrate and enjoy a tropical summer treat!

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I was so thrilled with how these turned out. While I was taking the pictures I could smell the pineapple juice! It was so tempting to not just eat them right off the plate before I was finished taking pictures of them.

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The mango chucks froze beautifully in the popsicle. When I tried the popsicle, the mango had stayed nice and firm. You taste more coconut water than pineapple juice but that was alright by me. If you want more of a pineapple flavor make the measurements 1 1/2 cups of pineapple juice and 1/2 a cup of coconut water.

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Hope this recipe makes your summer more memorable!

What kind of summer treats do your kids love? Share yours in the comments!

Save while you spend? There’s an app for that.

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“A penny saved is a penny earned.” So the old adage goes.

I don’t know about you but anytime I can save effortlessly, I am all for it. I stumbled upon this nifty little app in my search for ways to save our family even more money. When your family is really tight on money it is hard to put away because you feel like there is no where you can pull from that won’t hurt that expense.

That is the great thing about this app. You are putting away into savings without it feeling like you’re putting a strain on your budget.

This app is perfect for a college student who maybe doesn’t have a steady income. Or a one-income family living paycheck to paycheck.

You could keep all your change in a bottle somewhere that you have to take to a store to put into a machine that charges you a percentage of your own money to count it for you. No thanks. Or you could sit for hours putting them into rolls for the bank. Your choice.

Or you could just download this app called Qapital.

Qapital

This is a free app, for now, that will round-up the change from your every day purchases and put it into a savings account! That is what they call a “rule”. I wanted to put a screen shot of how much we have already saved but for privacy reasons I couldn’t take one.

As of this post we have put away $65.93! just by rounding up each purchase spent. We have been using the app since December of last year. That is basically like putting $4.00 a week away into savings. You can set your rule to round-up to the nearest $1.00 or the nearest $2.00 and so on. I have it set to round-up just to the nearest $1.00. So if you bought a  cup of coffee for $1.85 it will round-up the $0.15 into your savings account.

It takes two to three business days for you to see any savings at first because it works very much like a bank. Just like a bank will show you pending purchases the Qapital app does the same. It shows you the total but has underneath the pending amount for the day.

One user said,

“This app is AMAZING! I’ve been struggling to save money for months and this simply does it for me. You set your “rules” on what to withdrawal from your account and even stops if you have less than $100 in your account. Very easy to set up. You guys are amazing, thank you so much for creating this app!”

Another user said,

“This app is easy to use and very helpful! I’ve been saving so much without realizing it. It’s also very secure, and I love the overdraft protection! Thank you Qapital!”

First off, how does Qapital work?

How does Qapital work?

“Qapital automates your savings by letting you set up Goals toward the things you want and then save toward them by setting up different saving Rules. The saving Rules trigger transfers from your connected bank to your Qapital account where you can build up your savings.”

And to know your money is safe.

Is my money FDIC insured?

“Yes. The funds in your Qapital Account are FDIC-insured and held at Wells Fargo Bank for your benefit.

Qapital itself is not a bank, therefore does not have an FDIC insurance number.

The funds are FDIC-insured on a “pass through” basis. This means that each individual customer’s balance is protected by FDIC insurance, up to the limits established by the FDIC. Other funds that a specific investor has on deposit with Wells Fargo may count against any applicable FDIC insurance limits for that user. All funds held within Qapital are FDIC insured up to a balance of $250,000 per user.”

You can watch their video that explains how the app works too.

Because I already have the app and I love it I am going to share my referral link with you! Please be willing to use the app for a while and don’t just take the money and run. With this referral link you get $5 and I get $5. It’s a win win!

Follow this link and they will text you a one time SMS code to download the app. https://my.qapital.com/?_branch_match_id=368942348347476363#/download

The $5 will be transferred to your Qapital savings account.

After you download the app you will need your bank routing number and account number for the Qapital app to link to. When you have that put in it asks you to set up a pin number for the app.

Then you will be asked to set a “rule”. This is a goal that you are saving for and how much you want to round-up. I believe you can set up as many rules as you want but you might not save up as quickly because your “change” will end up being split too many ways.

Once you are in the app, It shows your total savings (including upcoming deposits) and then you can scroll down through your recent activity. There is a little + sign button at the bottom right of the screen where you can quickly make a new transfer, make a new goal or add a new rule.

There are three icons at the top of the page. The top left shows your savings with Qapital. The middle wallet looking icon shows your Qapital savings account at a glance and your bank account at a glance. If you tap on your bank it shows all of your transactions since using the app. If you tap on the Qapital account it shows you all the deposits made into your Qapital account from your bank account. It also has your goals in there as well so you can see how close you are to achieving the goal you set up. The last icon is a little person showing you your user info and settings. This is where you can change your rules, accounts and it has your own referral link to give out to family and friends. Lastly, there are the app settings where you can change your password, contact Qapital, (I had a quick response from them) view the terms and conditions or log out.

You have to put your pass code in every time you enter the app so I don’t feel the need to log out.

Another really nice thing about their app is that everything is completely free! No joke. This from the fees section on their site.

No Minimum Balance

No Minimum Balance

Why should you have to pay a surcharge for being broke? We say “no way” to that.

Zero Setup Fee

Zero Setup Fee

Just get the app, open your account, and link your bank, without spending a cent.

No Monthly Fees

No Monthly Fees

There’s no annual fee, either. It’s not too good to be true – we promise.

 

Hope this post was helpful in saving you time and money!

Have you heard of this app before? What other ways do you save?

Coffee, Anyone?

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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. See disclosure here.

Hey there! Let’s jump right in, shall we? I finally took the plunge and tried my hand at chalk painting and let me tell you it was sooooo easy!

I was super intimidated by all of the really pretty furniture I had seen done by others that I thought, “Ain’t no way mama gonna make it look that nice.” Well, I proved my self wrong and have a fantastic finished product to show for it. Now I’m going to show you how I did it!

I found the style of sign that I wanted at Hobby Lobby (A. K. A. my second home) and also the chalk paint I was going to use. I wasn’t sure if my piece would turn out as nice looking because the chalkpaint is on the cheaper end of the spectrum but it turned out better than I had imagined. I highly recommend the Folkart chalk paint for newbies or for smaller projects because of it price and ease of use. And if you make a mistake, you’re not out that wad of cash you spent on the more expensive kind.

I applied two coats and there is still half a bottle left. I am brainstorming as I write what other projects I could paint with it.

I painted the piece first in “Linen” by Folkart paint (not pictured). I wanted a creamy color peaking through after I distressed the piece. Let that dry and painted a second coat on top of that.

Next came the chalk paint.

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I have never used Annie Sloan chalk paint or any other professional chalk paint so I have nothing to compare it to. This chalk paint is very smooth and dries very quickly! It says it takes a couple of hours to dry between coats but mine dried much faster because I was in a nice toasty room. Applied a second coat to cover up the cream color and waited for it to dry.

Next, I used a really fine grit to sand the edges of the sign. 220 grit, to be exact.

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It’s hard to tell in the above picture but I only sanded the edges to give it depth and dimension. It only took a few strokes to take the chalk paint off to let the cream show through.

Next came the more trickier part.

The words.

I was originally going to free hand the lettering because I have done so many times before buuuut not with paint. So I didn’t trust my hand this time because paint isn’t as forgiving as pencil or actual chalk.

I found this pretty font here and traced it onto the board. I created some guidelines so that the words would be straight. I took off part of the curl on the C because it was too difficult to trace.

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I used a white eraser so as not to leave any pink smudges on my work. I didn’t bother erasing the lines in the letters themselves because I knew the paint would cover them up.

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This part was a little more time-consuming than the rest of it but the sense of accomplishment when you finish is well worth the effort, right? Like when you finish organizing your pantry…oh, just me that feels that way?

Okay, moving on.

I used the same color as the base coat and started painting my letters on it.

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The above picture is the first coat. See, the pencil lines are already covered even with just that one coat.

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And here’s the second coat.

Now comes the part I was most terrified of. The wax coat. I even left the project sitting several days because I didn’t feel up to the task. That, and my children and laundry were calling to be taken care of.

Then I just had to bite the bullet and get on with it.

Again, I haven’t tried the wax from Annie Sloan, or any other wax for that matter, but this seemed to do the trick. For those of you new to chalk painting and such, you need to wax your piece afterwards so all your hard work doesn’t get scratched off. This is what’s called “sealing” your work. If your piece is a going to be in a high traffic area you should seal it with something more heavy duty like a polycrylic. Otherwise a soft wax should be just fine.

I went with a clear wax because I didn’t want it to have that antique look like a brown wax would give because I didn’t think the brown wax would look good over the grey. This Folkart wax is super runny. Very similar to Mod Podge. You need to allow the wax twenty-four hours to dry before your next coat if you want to do two. When it is dry it feels very smooth. The bottle says you can buff it with a rag and that it can be washed with soap and water, which is good to know because I want to hang this in the kitchen where food could potentially get splattered on it.

Time to add the hardware.

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Lay your work on a towel (or an old t-shirt of your husband’s) so your work doesn’t get scratched and draw a long line across the back so your hanging hooks will be lined up. To keep these little babies from moving around while you hammer in the nails just put a little piece of tape across the top of it. Now you’re free to hammer away.

I put two hanging hooks on the back because I wanted it to be extra secure.

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This is the hook size I used. The 1 1/4 inch measurement is the length of the hook not including the screw thread. Make sure to bring the cup you will be hanging on your board with you to the hardware store or measure the width of the coffee cup handle because the first hooks I bought were too small and I had to take them back. Your local Ace Hardware store will most likely carry these or you can get them here.

Flip your piece over and add the hooks. I spaced mine about 3 1/2 inches apart. I estimated this spacing by placing the cups in a hanging fashion next to the work to see how far apart I would need to space them so they didn’t knock into each other.

These little hooks hold up to 20 lbs! Do you hear that? That is the sound of my heart beating thinking about how much coffee a cup that big would hold!

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Ahem.

Any who! These hooks are fairly easy to screw in. Just apply a small amount of pressure and twist at the same time and the hook should screw in smoothly.

And now, the piece de resistance…

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Aren’t these little espresso cups adorable? These cups are from Starbucks but I don’t think they make this kind anymore. There are very similar ones here. My son loves drinking hot chocolate out of these and pretends that he is drinking coffee like mommy and daddy. The cups only hold 3 ounces so I don’t feel bad about giving him that little of hot chocolate.

Well, there you have it folks!

What chalk paint projects have you been dying to try but have been too intimidated to start? I would love to hear from you!