late night ramblings

WARNING: This is really just a personal rambling, don't expect to be inspired, or even entertained by this post. ;)

It's been a loooonnnggg time.
It's been a stressful past few months for me. Working two jobs and being a part time student, on top of being a wife and mother, is definitely nothing to sneeze at. I'm glad to be reaching a rest period.

Finals for my classes were last week, and I'm very proud to say that I got A's in both classes I took. Glad for a little breather, although I know next semester will be here before I know it.

I've been working weekends at Dollar Tree, just for some extra "fun" money (all of which has gone to Christmas presents for others haha).  I also have the privelege of teaching dance classes at the local youth center, a once a week gig so far.

Add it all together: The only evening out of the week that I was home for the past 5 months was Monday.

Obviously this created some struggles. I haven't made dinner for my family in months, nor have I really eaten dinner myself. My husband is in no way domestic, so I don't even want to know what he and our daughter have been eating every night. Things that I used to love to do got pushed to the side. I haven't been practicing yoga and, I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I killed my worms.  I totally forgot about them, they were untended for an extended period, the bin dried out and well....RIP.

I've also been having sleep issues. This all started several months ago, at the end of the summer really. I've been having the dardnest time staying awake during the day. If I'm actively stimulated I'm fine, but if I sit down to watch TV, try to read, study, or have any down time at all I knock out. It's quick, and I don't see it coming. It's even started to affect me while driving if I'm going more than 20 minutes away. Thankfully Aliyah hasn't been in the car with me at those points, and I've caught myself before I actually drifted off, but obviously that is a pretty major concern. Talked to the doc on Friday about it.

On top of the daytime drowsiness I've started to have issues staying asleep. That started a while ago, I would just wake up, lay in bed for a bit, then finally go back to sleep. Now I've been having Restless Leg Syndrome at night, and rather than toss and turn and wake up hubby I've just been coming down to the computer (you can thank RLS for tonight's post).

I've been tested for anemia, diabetes, and thyroid issues a few times now. I'm not pregnant, and although I have a history of depression I've been on a steady dose of antidepressants since the spring.

Semi-diagnosis: sleep apnea. Not anything I expected, but okay. Stress can be a major compenant of sleep apnea, and I've had bushels of stress hanging around :). So I quit Dollar Tree, this coming weekend is my last. It isn't a priority, so it was an easy decision. Hopefully having my weekends back with help with this whole mess, plus I really miss my family haha.

For the next month or so I'm supposed to log my sleep issues and, yup, tonight is already jotted down. I will probably be doing a sleep study sometime next month. Oh joy. Then I don't know what will happen from there. Hopefully this goes away on it's own...

In the meantime I will relish this down period. I am ready for the holidays, for a TEENSY bit of snow, some hot chocolate, and time with family and friends.

I think my legs have calmed down a bit, I'll give sleep another shot.

Sweet Dreams,


I've decided.

After waking up at 5:30 this morning and having an hour long thinking session before falling back to sleep I've decided to forgo the Craft Show this year. I just need to keep my priorities in mind.  I'm working two jobs and taking two classes. One of my classes is for Personal Training and I'm hoping to take (and pass) the ACE exam before the end of the year. It kind of stinks that I have to put the fun stuff on hold, but it's only temporary.

However, I am pondering opening up an Etsy shop. I figure then I could work at my own pace.

For those of you who have Etsy shops already, how do you like them? Do you have any tips or advice for a novice?

Speaking of Etsy, have any of you been to Regretsy.com?  Funny stuff. Basically they find the really weird/lame/bizarre/gross things that are posted on Etsy and make fun of them. You'd be surprised how many crafters there are online that are obsessed with vaginas. Seriously.

I love some the the "upcycled" posts on there. Here's some of my favorites:



I would keep this in the bathroom to "jot down random thoughts and/or sketches".

creepy. even the model seems freaked.

...because paperclip earrings will make you more organized?

I have to say that I do like the picture, it has some nice whimsy to it.

I should make Daniel wear this on Halloween, would go well with the Alice in Wonderland theme.

My 3 year old could make something better than this.

Perhaps that bikini is sexy AFTER you drink the tequila.

 And here's one just for fun because it's Halloween time:

'And if I had a party,
Invited everyone I knew,
You would see the biggest gift would be from me,
and the card attached would say:
Thank you for feeding me brains!'
Yes, these are all real posts on Etsy. Someone is seriously trying to sell some paper clip earrings for $34.50 plus shipping.

Hope this made your Monday a little more BEARable.

Until next time,


Should I, or Shouldn't I?

So every year the local Officers' Wives' Club puts on a craft show. It's pretty popular and a lot of fun. A couple years ago two of my friends and me had a booth featuring girly accessories for infant/toddlers. I've been creating a lot of upcycled goodies lately, a hodgepodge of accessories and home decor made out of "junk" and I'd love to have a booth. However, my schedule is still crazy. I have a lot of idea for things to make, just haven't put in the energy to make them yet. I really love the things I'm making, and I think others would too; but am I ready for another big commitment?

So, do I take the plunge, or not?

I need to send my my registration ASAP since the spots are almost full. I'm leaning towards yes, there is just that little voice inside me that is second guessing....

In other news, I can't believe Halloween is only two weeks away! It seems like yesterday we were celebrating Christmas. I've known what Aliyah would be since the day after Halloween last year. Disney Store has awesome costumes, but I just can't spend full price (near $50 for some) on something that will be worn for a few hours. So I hit up the clearance sales, most of the costumes are half price.

I found a lovely little Alice in Wonderland costume last year for about $15. Considering Aliyah is blond-haired and blue-eyed it goes perfectly. I'll just add a black headband, white tights, and black shoes and she is good to go!

Best part about it? I get to be the Cheshire Cat! I still need to do a search for my costume elements (purple ears and tail, etc.) but I know I'll have fun with it. I just love Halloween, you get to dress up and go a little crazy, and you can actually be complimented for being bizarre. Plus, I think it's fun to tap into that darkness that is inside each of us, if only for a little while.

I was Googling (is that a word?) for Cheshire Cat ideas earlier and came across these really awesome illustrations that I thought I'd leave you with:

Artist Unkown

By Vanessa Boynton (check out her whole AIW series, it's fantastically edgy and sexy!)

Until Next Time,


Delayed Wordless Wednesday.

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty crappy day, but I'm staying as strong as can be. Here's a look at some of our Halloween decor! (sorry for the sideways pics, my computer is stubborn today and I don't feel like fighting it)


Worm poo!

I think I made my last guessing game a little too tricky, although I got a great variety of interesting responses! Here is the picture clue that I gave you:
cookies and cream ice cream?
And here's what it really is:
Your thinking "I still don't know what it is..."

You may think it's dirt, but in actuality it is worm castings. In other words, worm poop. And if you think about it, all dirt has been worm poop at point in time....

Why in the world am I telling you about worm poop? Well, it's great stuff! Natural fertilizer that you can make from your kitchen scraps. Completely safe, effective, and FREE!

Vermicomposting (composting with worms) is easy, low maintenance, and a great alternative to traditional composting. It takes up little space, so it is perfect for those in apartments.

For a more in-depth tutorial check this out. I promise you it's easy.


Plastic bin with ventilation holes drilled in. I got mine for free from the Post Thrift Shop because the lid and base didn't match. Size can vary.

Spray bottle with water. Mine is an old Salad Spritzer bottle (Reuse!).

Newspaper and scissors (or paper shredder if you have one).

Worms! Cute little assistant is optional ;)

Alright, raise your hand if you are grossed out now. Sigh. It's not gross at all, and I guarantee kids will love it.

All you do is cut up the paper into thin strips, toss it into the bin and spritz it with water until damp. Fluff it up a bit, and Voila! a lovely home for some worms. Then put in your kitchen scraps to compost, then worms do the rest! It will take a few weeks to achieve the final results, but this is what it looks like:
There may be a few bits of undigested food scraps, but that is fine, it will help fertilize as well.

Separate the worms from their poo and store it in a plastic or glass container in a dark place. Use just like any other fertilizer.

Tips and tricks:

- Use only black and white news paper, color ink may not be worm friendly.
- Don't use any old worms. Go to a bait shop and ask for "Red Wigglers". They may also go by the name of "Troutworm" or "Pooworm". If you tell the the bait shop clerk what you are looking for they should know exactly what you need. You shouldn't have to spend over $5.
- Don't add meat, bones, dairy, or oils to your bin. Stick with veggie scraps, apple cores, egg shells, etc. Chop up the scraps a bit to help the worms eat it faster.
- Keep the bin in a place where it won't be exposed to extreme hots or colds and check the paper every week or so to make sure it's not too dry, not soaking wet.


- "Doesn't it smell like rotting food?" - No, not at all! The only smell that is present, even from the worm castings themselves, is an earthy, mild dirt smell, no different than a bag of soil.
- "Won't the worms escape through the ventilation holes?" - Not unless their environment is too dry/wet. I've never had any worm make a run for it, they are happy in a safe, dark place with ample amounts of food.
- "How many worms do I need?" - Well, that depends. If you are wanting to turn out a large supply of vermicomposting you may want to have a larger bin with a lot of worms. However, keep in mind that worms are eager to multiply so if you only buy a little to start out with that is fine. I just bought one package and my population has easily tripled in year.
- "Why should I do this? I don't garden." Even if you don't have a green thumb, composting is a great way to reduce the amount of garbage you throw out each week. Transforming old food into usuable compost is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and better our environment. Plus, natural fertilizer is expensive, so if you have any gardener friends they may be willing to barter for your poop! ;)

They tickle!
If you want more info feel free to ask me, or just do a web search for vermicomposting, there is tons of info out there!

Until next time,


Big girls don't cry.

Well, we do sometimes, but we try to limit it. I've been thinking of my last post, where basically I was complaining about my house being messy. Big deal, tons of people have messy houses. Tons of people have more kids than I do and much more chaotic lives, who am I to pout? So I told myself that today I would put on my big girl pants, take a deep breath, and tackle my Craft Room.

A little back story: We've been blessed with a good sized house for our three-person family. We have two spare bedrooms, which is extremely rare for families in our situation. For a while we weren't sure what to do with them; we knew we would make one an office, but the other one has taken many roles in the two years we've been in this house. We would have liked to turned it into a guest room, but I know if we buy another bed chances are we won't have room for it in our next location. For a good chunk of time it was a playroom for Aliyah, but with all her toys in that room left nothing but her bed and a dresser in her bedroom. Then it sat basically empty for some time, used every once in a while for exercising. Eventually the "office" turned into my husband's "man room". He has a pretty sweet set up: big TV to watch the game on, futon to lounge on, his baby (his computer), and a mini fridge to store beer in (this year's Father's Day gift). Because I was tired of doing my crafting, sewing, painting, etc. at the dining room table I decided to take the leftover room into my own hands and turn it into my little sanctuary.

A fine idea, but one that has yet to really come to fruition.

Like I said before, the room has kind of turned into a dumping ground. Anything that doesn't have a place in the house ends up there, and usually it's tossed in the room with the door shut quickly. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Today I finally decided to take a stand against the clutter. I organized, rearranged, and tossed what wasn't needed. I am proud to say it is much better, not where I want it to be, but closer. I plan on working on it a little bit everyday this week, even if I only commit ten minutes. That is ten minutes devoted to something for me.

As any other mom can agree, we often expend all our energies on others and forget to take care of ourselves. I am no different. In the past month my eating habits have gone from pretty good to down right horrific, and that's if I actually remember to eat. I'm too tired to wash my face before bed, meaning I really do look like Aliyah's older sister (more on that at another time) and I don't make time to do the things I enjoy doing. Well that stops now, every day I am going to do something just for me, even if it's just painting my toenails. A happier, more balanced mom makes a happier, more balanced household.

Here's a little sneak peek of My Room.

The beautiful artwork is by my very talented friend Elizabeth at The Lovely Crow.

I'll keep updating with pics as this project comes together. In the mean time, I will blog for ME!

Here's a clue to my next blog:

Guess what this is all about and you win 1000 friendship dollars (left over from the other guessing game since no one won LOL)

 Let me know what you have been doing just for you lately!

Until Next Time,


still swimming.

Life is a little overwhelming right now. If you are unsure why refer to this post. It's not a bad thing, I just can't seem to keep up. The house seems to always be messy, meals are never made, and I seem to always be trying to catch up on a project.

Worst of all, I haven't had any time to do the creative things I love. Although I know it's just a temporary phase in my life, it's still a little hearbreaking. I have the desire to create and the inspiration, but I just don't have the time, or when I do have the time I don't have the physical energy. My "craft room" has turned into my version of Monica's Freak Closet; anything that doesn't have a place ends up there.

I miss Friends.
I have so many things to blog about, but blogging just isn't high on my priority list right now. Sigh.

I'll get it together eventually, this semester will be finished eventually, I'll be completely organized eventually. Right?!

In the words of Dori: "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!"

I think she saw my Craft Room.


Green Cleaning Tutorial

I'm really passionate about the environment (if you haven't already gotten that hint). I do my best to use earth-friendly practices in my housework routines. Alot of people think that "clean" means bleached and lemon-scented. In reality, having that "clean" smell can actually be dangerous. According to the EPA (yes, I frequent their site. Nerd.) the air inside an average home is five times as polluted than the air outside. A big culprit: toxic cleansers and disinfectants.

Now, I admit that I'm a sucker for Febreze, especially this time of year. Having a home that smells like apples and cinnamon or pumpkin pie is nirvana to me. I do try to balance to balance my spritzing habit with soy based scented candles. And obviously, if you have a sickness going through your home, a child who is high-risk for infection, or another need for disinfecting I won't give you the stink eye for spraying some lysol on the doorknobs. Just know that there are almost always other options, especially in our more eco-concious consumer world, to the typical harsh cleansers available. Like this, this, or this, which can all be found in most retailers today.

Okay, let me step down from my soapbox and get to the real point of my blog.

Did you know that you can thoroughly clean your sink and drain with items you probably already have on hand?
You may not buy big quantities like I do, but together these cost about $3.

It's easy, effective, and safe. Let me show you....

Start out with a dirty sink. Get as much gunk into the drain and run the disposable to clear it all out.

Sprinkle in some baking soda. No measuring, just eyeball it.

You don't need near this much, I got a little happy because I was trying to take pics at the same time.
Half of this amount would be plenty.

Using a wet sponge (or whatever you like) thoroughly scour the sink. You can add more water to make a nice paste to work with. You won't have to use much elbow grease; baking soda is a natural and gentle abrasive.

Once the basin is scrubbed well move most of the baking soda into the drain. Make sure to get all the nooks and crannies here, then push everything down into the pipe.

Now it's time for Mr. Vinegar. Pour the vinegar all around the basin and into the drain. Again, just eyeball it.

Everything will bubble up, natural scrubbing bubbles! Scrub a little more with the bubbles.

Once the bubbling action has ceased rinse everything with hot water.

You have a clean and healthy sink!

You can use these same ingredients all over your house. I know you may be thinking "I don't want my kitchen to smell like vinegar!", but don't worry, it won't. Baking soda and vinegar are both natural odor eliminators. So while it may have a pungent smell for a minute, in the end it actually neutralizes odors unlike chemicals that just mask them. Vinegar is also a mild disinfectant; it won't kill every germ, but it will do a pretty satisfactory job. I usually do this two to three times a week, however you could do it as often as you see fit. There is no need for gloves or open windows. It's even safe enough for kiddos to do (with supervision, of course) and they would get a kick out of the bubbling action.

So strive to be a green cleaner this week. It's healthier for you, the planet, and your wallet :)

Until next time,


Free art!

Hooray, I'm blogging! *virtual pat on back*

I'm always trying to think of ways to reuse "trash" and turn it into something beautiful. Well, do you remember the canvas I found while dumpster diving awhile ago? It was a print of a cafe scene, not horrid, but not my style. Well I tranformed it into artwork for our bedroom!

Materials used:
- Canvas, DD find (free)
- Mod Podge (on hand)
- Old packing paper (on hand)
- Several toilet paper tubes (on hand and free)
- Acryilic paint (on hand)

Total cost: FREE!

It was pretty simple to do. I tore up pieces of the packing paper and used Mod Podge to cover the canvas. Then I flattened out the toilet paper tubes and painted them different colors to coordinate with my bedroom decor. You could also paint the inside if you really wanted to, but I like the two-tone effect, plus the brown was already used in the room some. Let paint dry, then cut the tubes (I think I cut each one into five or six pieces). I played around with the placement of all the pieces until I had a design I liked. I filled a little dish with a layer of Mod Podge, dipped one side of a TP piece in, then pressed it onto the canvas, holding until it stuck well. I painted the outside edge of the canvas black, just to make it a little cleaner.

I can't take credit for the whole idea, I was inspired by this.

I love how it turned out. Now I just need to make some art for above the bed. I have some ideas, but suggestions are welcome!

P.S. - The bedroom isn't always this clean ;)
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