Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! Halloween Activities for the Family

Happy Halloween everyone!

This is one of my favorite holidays! I go all out. There's something amazing about the new Fall weather and spending time doing things just to make your kids happy. It just makes Halloween one-of-a-kind. Yesterday my family did all our Halloween activities in one night because we have been so busy this month! This is what we did.

Halloween Bingo!

This game has been a family tradition since I was a kid. My family played this every single year, and every single year I looked forward to it. In our married life, we have usually lived close enough to home that we could go to my Mom's house to play every year, but this year we are on our own, so I made our own Halloween Bingo cards! I think they turned out pretty cute. I got the pattern from Artsy Fartsy Mama. She actually has printables for it, and they are ADORABLE. Unfortunately for me, printables are for when your printer is actually working. I would have just printed mine off since they are so cute, but since I couldn't I made my own based on her pictures and bingo cards. It's ok though, it was hard work but I feel like it gave a more personal touch to it and I will treasure it a little more with each passing year.

So, bingo is a pretty simple game and the rules are basic. The only thing you do differently with Halloween Bingo is that you use candy for your markers. Then, when someone calls BINGO! you forfeit all the candy on your card to the player that won. Then after each round, you rotate your cards clockwise.

Vincent enjoyed himself immensely. As you can see by his huge candy pile, he won most of the rounds.

And as you can see by Max's lack-of-candy-pile, he didn't win at all. Haha, don't worry he's only pretending to be upset for the camera. It's actually funny, because he usually won almost every round in previous years. This bingo set must be enhanced with magical kid-advantage powers. =)

Another tradition we have is making Ghost Suckers!
All you need is lollipop sticks, aluminum foil, and chocolate. It is so much fun and tasty too!

This is something else I grew up with. My Mom had us make ghost suckers every year around Halloween. Once again, loved it and always looked forward to it. The picture above is Vincent's "Big Smile Ghost" and also his "Boo from Ruby Gloom" ghost. This is what we normally had when I did it with my Mom growing up - just melted white chocolate and milk chocolate chips. But now I am an adult. And like I said, I go all out for Halloween.

This is my ghost. She's dressed up for Halloween. This year she is going as Little Red Riding Hood. Unfortunately for her, in this version she gets eaten by the Big Bad Gela. =)

Here we have just a couple of the ones Max made. He made a Deadpool sucker for himself (left) and a Spidey sucker for Vincent (right). Turned out great right? He's so talented.

Here's another one Max made - The Grim Reaper! He looks so happy to be here for our Halloween party, doesn't he?

We just happened to have the red and black melting chocolate leftover from Eva's and my birthday party over the weekend. (More on that in the next post! Stay tuned!) But if you are feeling as ambitious as we were, melting chocolate in virtually all colors can be bought at most local crafting stores. I got mine at Jo~Ann

And of course, we also carved pumpkins!

Well, I have a long day full of trying to keep my kids' Halloween anxiety down before the fun stuff tonight. Wish me luck!

Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

101 in 1001 Update

Hi everyone!

I promised you all an update on all the fun stuff I've been doing this month. So here it goes!

I haven't officially crossed anything off of my 101 in 1001 since my past post, but I have been working on it. For starters, I worked on #90: Donate blood twice. I actually made an appointment and went to the donation center last week, and they ended up turning me away because apparently my iron levels were too low. So I got home, made another appointment, and took my iron pill every day until that appointment came around. When I went back, I was able to donate. And you know what? My husband came with me and donated too. It was such a good experience. They really take care of you there, and the feeling you get from doing something good for someone else is just amazing.

I have also been experimenting with #74: Try a juice detox for 10 days straight. I haven't actually started the detox yet, but I started experimenting with making the juice/smoothie. Here's some pictures of the drink that came out of it:

It looks nasty, right?? But you know what? IT WAS DELICIOUS! I couldn't put it down after I made it. Here's what I put into it:
Approx. 1 cup frozen spinach leaves
1/2 cup frozen cucumbers
1/4 cup frozen sliced strawberries
1/2 cup banana slices
1/4 cup frozen cantaloupe
1/4 cup frozen green grapes
1/4 cup frozen honeydew
Filled to the top with water & blended well.
The fruit really does a great job hiding the veggies behind yummy flavors. I can't wait to start incorporating other fruits and veggies like kale, carrots, mangoes, pineapple, etc. I have to admit that I am actually excited to start the detox after trying this, and am planning on starting it near the beginning of November! Wish me luck!

I also started on #8: Try 10 of the amazing tutorials I always see online. Technically this wasn't one for my business even though it's under the "For the biz" category. I dunno what I was thinking putting it under that! But now it's there, and moving it would mess up my numbering, so there it will stay. Anyways, the tutorial I did was this. A Time-Out Bottle. When your kid gets in trouble, you shake up the time-out bottle and give it to them, then send them to go sit somewhere. Tell them that when all the glitter is down at the bottom, they can come out. Meanwhile, your child calms down while watching the glitter settle, and if they don't calm down and throw a fit, it shakes up the bottle and makes their time-out longer. Good idea, right?

Found this idea on Pinterest, and since Vincent seems to be going through a defiant stage, I thought I would give it a try.  Basically all you do is take an empty bottle, fill it up about half-way with water, then dump in some extra-fine glitter and a matching color bottle of glitter glue. Then glue the lid, of course. Don't want your kids trying to drink this stuff.
So, I tried it out when Vincent was being a stinker the other day.....
He refused to hold it.
I tried just setting it in his lap, and he would just take it and put it on the floor. I tried to explain to him that this is how we do time-out now, and he wouldn't budge. I will give it a few more tries, but I'm thinking maybe it's not going to work for him. Too bad, I was so excited about it.

Oh, don't worry. I have lots of other news, but my time is a little pressed right now because I have a HUGE birthday party to throw tomorrow! My life is crazy right now! But as always, thanks for stopping by and be on the lookout for my other fun October Adventures!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Costumes and #50!

Halloween is getting closer!!

I LOVE this time of year. The trees outside our windows are turning yellow, the air is getting cooler, and our hot chocolate supply is running low.... I love the Fall.

I have lots of great stuff coming up this month that I am looking forward to! But the thing I'm most excited for is Halloween. Especially since my costume arrived in the mail! My husband Max and I are going as SWAT team members. Here's some pics....

Just in case you were wondering.... Those are BB Guns. Don't freak out. Lol! (I'm terrified of actual guns.) We look pretty awesome, though, don't we? We had way too much fun trying them on. Halloween is going to be a blast!

So, here's some even cooler news. I have crossed another item off my 101 in 1001 list!!

Pull an all-nighter for fun.

My husband and I stayed up all night just spending time together on Wednesday. There was no school on Thursday due to Fall Break, and he also had Thursday off of work, so we figured.... Why not? We felt like we hadn't seen each other in days with everything that has been going on, so we stayed up and watched shows and played video games and drank hot chocolate and Mountain Dew and just enjoyed each other's company. I'm amazed that I wasn't even that tired. We ended up going to sleep at around 5AM, and by some MIRACLE the kids actually slept until about 10, so we managed to still get about 5 hours of sleep! It was crazy. We had such a great time. I wish I had pictures to show you all, but we were having so much fun I just completely forgot.

Well, that's it for today. Got a busy week ahead that includes Vincent getting glasses, Eva getting her ears pierced, and my first pedicure ever. Be sure to check back in so I can tell you all about it. =)


Monday, October 1, 2012

Ghost Story~ Happy October!

I just recently posted something new in my shop. It's a

Isn't it just the cutest? I'm pretty much in love with it. So is Eva. She likes playing the korker bow and clicking the two ends of the headband together. What a sweetie pie.

It's also October 1st today.... Don't know if anyone has noticed....

But I'm seriously in HALLOWEEN MODE right now. I have lots of fun activities planned throughout the month to do with my family (thank you Pinterest!), and I am so psyched to share them all with you! But for now, I have something else on my mind....

I wanna tell a ghost story~!
(Dun dun DUN!!!!)

So, I won't get too freaky.... This is a family friendly blog after all =) But I do want to get a little personal. The story I'm about to tell is 100% true. And I know this because it happened TO ME. Here goes.....

When I was a preteen, I was up late at night playing video games, unbeknownst to my parents of course. I couldn't have any of the lights on because if my parents were to wake up and see the living room light on from under their door I would be busted. So I sat in the dark playing video games alone. Normally this never bothered me, but tonight was different. I started hearing a rustling sound. I looked around and didn't see anything, so I went back to my game and thought nothing of it. But it kept going on. I tried not to let it get to me, but eventually I couldn't stand it anymore. I HAD to know. So I paused my game and got up to investigate. I walked toward the sound, and realized it seemed to be coming from the kitchen. So I walked in and looked around. There were grocery bags all over the floor from when my Mom had gone shopping earlier that day and they hadn't been cleaned up yet. One of them was moving across the floor on its own. Me and my amazing logically-sound-12-year-old mind figured "Eek! There must be a mouse under it!" So I mustered up all my courage and lifted the bag......
No mouse.
Hmmm....... My brain started to turn. Then what could it have been? Then I realized.. "Hey, the air conditioning vent is on the floor of the kitchen. It must have blown the bag around when it kicked on." So I put my hand over the vent on the floor.....
Nope. It's not on. And the bag.... Started moving again.
It was just ever-so-gently drifting across the floor. I couldn't think of another explanation, but it wasn't that freaky so I turned back to my game and ignored it. I sat down for only a few minutes before I heard a different kind of noise. A rattling sound. This time I got up right away because I recognized that sound. It was the knob on my parents' bathroom door. I thought they were coming out to bust me. I knew I wouldn't have enough time to turn off the TV and act like I wasn't doing anything, so I turned around and waited to face my punishment and get sent to bed.
.......And nothing happened. The rattling just continued.
It almost sounded as if the door was locked and they were trying to come out but they couldn't figure out the handle for some reason. This went on for a while, so finally I mustered up the courage to walk over to their bathroom door. (I had to pass the kitchen with the moving bag to get there, luckily the bag was motionless by this point.) So I crept up to the door and stared at the doorknob. I could see it rattling. And yet, there was no light on in my parents' bathroom. And I knew my eyes weren't playing tricks on me because my Mom used to keep her hair ties on her bathroom doorknob so that in case any of her girls ever needed one we could just grab one off of it. And I could see the hair ties bouncing up and down with each rattle of the doorknob. And as I approached, the rattling got more violent.
So, I bolted my little self as fast I could to my room, closed the door, turned on my light (closet light too!) and went to bed. That was enough excitement for one night.
If that was my parents playing tricks on me somehow, they sure got me good.
I never played video games late at night again.

The End.

Have fun trying to get to sleep, everyone! =)

Happy October!


P.S. I told Vincent that I was telling a scary story on my blog today, and he said he has a good one for you all. It goes like this, "I had a strange dream that there was TWO Vincents. It was very, very, very strange."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My 50 Questions

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind

1)      How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
I would say 30. I have always been mature for my age, but I still feel young at heart. I think 30 is a good medium between having wisdom and still being able to have a good time.

2)      Which is worse, failing or never trying?
Never trying, of course. You will always kick yourself for not trying something. At least if you have tried and failed then you have that experience under your belt.

3)      If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things 
we don’t do?
Probably because we feel like we need to take responsibility. I don't ever want to wash dishes but I do it anyway because I do want to see my kids have clean plates to eat off of. As for not doing things we want to, I would say that it is normally out of fear or financial incapability. I want to take my kids to Disneyland but that doesn't mean I have the money to pick up and do it right now.

4)      When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
In my future, I see myself doing a lot of things. If I die at a ripe old age, I definitely believe I will have done things that I wanted to with my life. I know that I will get there. If I died tomorrow, then there would definitely be a lot of things I dreamed about doing and said I was going to do that never happened, but in the end I still married a wonderful man, had two amazing children, and was a really good friend. And I think that is doing a lot.

5)      What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
It's so hard to pick just one because there is so much wrong in the world. But I would say the most important to me would be to take better care of the planet. It's the only one we've got, and we are destroying it.

6)      If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
I think I'm already doing it. There is nothing that makes me happier than being home with my kids, and if I were doing anything else I would just be missing them constantly. I am rich in happiness. =)

7)      Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
I am doing what I believe in. I believe in my life, I believe in my husband's dreams for our future, I believe in my kids and their happiness, and I believe in myself. My business, my willpower, everything.

8)      If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
Wow, I guess I would be over the hill in that case, eh? I guess I would be taking more risks. Living in a nice place instead of penny pinching. Trying to pass on my knowledge to my children and give them the best help and advice that I can before I die.

9)      To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
I controlled all of it. That doesn't mean I always made the right choices and that doesn't mean that my life ended up exactly the way I wanted it to, but most of those important life-changing decisions people normally make I made when I was still just a kid. I'm not saying that I don't like my life - on the contrary I love it - but that doesn't mean I wouldn't do some things differently if I were given another chance.

10)   Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
It depends on how you look at it. A lot of the time doing things right IS doing the right thing. I do believe in helping others, though. I have been in some hard times and really appreciated the help I received then, so I try to pay it forward.

11)   You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do?
I'm a pretty quiet person so I guess it would depend on how comfortable I feel around them. If they were dear friends I would speak up, or at least listen to what they have to say on the subject and then speak my own mind about it. If they were being ridiculous about it, then maybe they weren't the friends that I thought they were.

12)   If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
It's ok to fall in love as long as you can see where you are going to land.

13)   Would you break the law to save a loved one?
Definitely. I would speed through red lights if my child needed serious medical attention. I would kill someone if they were trying to kill me. I would steal if I were broke and my kids were starving. It's not even a question.

14)   Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
My husband is an amazing example of this. His teenage years could easily be explained as insanity. It was all about finding the right outlet for that insane fire to go, and with that came immense creativity. He dreams so big that it's insane.

15)   What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I care a lot. About everything. Everything I do I put my whole heart and soul into no matter what it is. Even cleaning my house. I take it hard on myself if something doesn't turn out exactly 100% perfect. I also find I care for others a lot more than the care that they normally return.

16)   How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
It's all about taste and preference. Cookie dough makes me happy, but some people might not like it. Having kids makes me happy, but some people might just want to have a career.

17)   What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back?
A lot of things! I think my 101 in 1001 list is the stepping stone to helping me become brave enough to achieve them all. If I had to pick one thing though, I would say it's visit and/or live in Japan. I love their culture and their language. The thing that is stopping me is money. That always seems to be the problem, doesn't it?

18)   Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
I guess the only thing would be secrets. Things I feel like I should tell someone but don't for one reason or another. I don't hold on to physical objects like that, I am not a very sentimental person that way. I look at an object, decide if I will ever realistically use it, and if not I have no problems tossing it out without a second thought.

19)   If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
Haha. Japan. Because I love the culture and the language..... As previously stated.

20)   Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
I actually never do that in an elevator. I don't think I've ever pressed it more than once. Unless it didn't light up and I was checking to see if it was broken or just didn't register my push. I am guilty of doing this at crosswalks though.

21)   Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
Honestly? A worried genius. Maybe I do have one too many worries but it's just because I have so much that I care about. Worries can be a blessing.

22)   Why are you, you?
I find myself contemplating this all the time. Why am I me? Why do I have this one body and this one life forever? Why wasn't I born as someone else? I think that it's just because I was born into a life where I would overcome just the right amount of grief and have the right amount of happiness for me. It's all balance.

23)   Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
Definitely. Sometimes I worry that I am too good of a friend because I often don't receive the same kindness from others that I have shown them. But in the end I don't regret it, I just treat people how I would want to be treated, and hope that they will follow by example.

24)   Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
I would say losing touch with a close friend. My best friend moved far away, but I still feel closer to her than I do to any of my friends that still live near her. You are only as far away form each other as you feel.

25)   What are you most grateful for?
My family. For a million and one reasons that I could never accurately express.

26)   Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
I would rather die than lose the memories I have made so far in one sense. If I were to suddenly lose all of my memories but continue to live and make new ones, I wouldn't even be able to accurately care for my children the way that I would have originally. I would not even be me without my memories.

27)   Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
No way. You always need to look at all sides of any story to be able to accurately determine the truth. That's why I believe so much in our justice system. You need to give everything a fair chance before you decide.

28)   Has your greatest fear ever come true?
No. My greatest fear is losing my children. I will always do my best to make sure that never happens. Other than that my worst fear is having to rely on them to take care of me. I can't help but feel like I would have failed as a parent if I ever had to ask them for anything.

29)   Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now?
Oh yeah, it still matters. The particular time that I am thinking of is when my parents forced us to get married when just a month beforehand they were completely against it. I wanted to get married at my own pace, and it still bothers me to this day. It's the reason I am so eager to start planning our vow renewal. I want to do it how I have always wanted to. I am still a little mad at them for it, so I just try not to think about it.

30)   What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
I was 15, learning how to drive, and my Mom had to teach me how to drive on the interstate.  She did so by going on a little trip with me to a town an hour away. When we got there we picked out fabric for my Homecoming dress, then ate at Burger King and went home. It was such a small thing but it had such a significant impact on me. I am the 6th of 7 kids, so there weren't a lot of times that I had my Mom all to myself. But that was one of those times.

31)   At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
When I'm singing. I always feel like that when I sing.

32)   If not now, then when?
Soon. =)

33)   If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
It's a work in progress.

34)   Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
That pretty much describes my first date with my husband.

35)   Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
I DON'T KNOW. I can't fathom it. No offense to anyone who may be reading, but I am atheist for a reason. When you are in a religion, you are accepting everything they say without question. Who would do that?

36)   Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
No way. There will always be gray area and blurred lines. We can only do what we think is best in the current moment.

37)   If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
My job is to be a loving mommy and wife, and I would never quit that for all the money in the world.

38)   Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
More work I enjoy doing. That's why I often pick up my glue gun rather than mopping the floor. =)

39)   Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
I guess you could put it that way, but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the small differences between each day. When my kids learn something new, or when I get some valuable time to spend alone with my hubby.

40)   When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
February 26, 2012. When I founded my Etsy shop.

41)   If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
I'd stay home with my family, and call a few loved ones. My best friend, my Mom, etc.

42)   Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
No way. Both of those things are completely achievable on our own steam if we wanted it badly enough, and 10 more years just gives you more time to get there. I wouldn't feel right having something if I didn't earn it. Getting there is the best part.

43)   What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
You are alive even if you are just surviving, no matter how much you are struggling. Truly living is overcoming your fear and doing what makes you the happiest even when there might be risk involved.

44)   When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
It's always the time. You just have to be brave enough to take the first step.

45)   If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
Fear of being reprimanded or embarrassed. Mostly just fear in general of what might happen.

46)   What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
I would say whatever is on my mind. I would probably wear different clothing. I would definitely sing and dance in the middle of the grocery store just for fun. =)

47)   When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
When I did Deaf for the Day. It was the only sound I really heard all day. And it was so peaceful.

48)   What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
I love my family, and I show that by taking care of them and giving them hugs and kisses every day.

49)   In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that?
Probably not. My memory is terrible, and nothing horrible significant has happened in the past few days. I will remember jabbing my finger on a skewer a couple days ago. Lol.

50)   Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
I'm making them for myself. That's the whole reason we are here. If I were letting other people run my life, we would be in a different place. Sometimes you have to disappoint the ones you love to make the best out of your own life and what you want to do with it.

Well that was interesting!! I actually do feel like I know myself a little better after that. And there's another 101 in 1001 done! I encourage everyone to do these questions, which I originally found here. Put them on your blog and link it back here, or even just do it privately and tell me about your experience. I'd love to hear it. =) Hope you learned a little bit more about me from this. Thanks for reading!