The End of Month Three: Forget the Past, Look to the Future

I am not going to get bogged down. No weight lost. Another month gone. Moving on.
Health Goals for 2012
1. No soda
2. Gym 5 times a week
3. Smaller portions
4. Eat out only 1 time a week

Weight Loss Goals for 2012
1. -5 pounds a month

Personal Goals for 2012
1. Be a better mom/wife
2. Be a better friend
3. Cook at home more
4. Stick to a budget
5. Pay off debt
6. Stop worrying (as much) about things I can not change

Coaster Tutorial

Finished Product!

Okay, so to make the coasters you need cheap tile, Mod Podge, scrapbook paper (or napkins), cork board, a clear waterproof sealant, and a hot glue gun.

I bought the cheapest white tile I could find, it was .10 at Lowes. First, you cut out your scrapbook paper. You can use napkins, but they wrinkle (it looks very textured). I prefer the scrapbook paper/cardstock because it is thicker. I like to cut my paper smaller than the tile, so you can see a little white on all sides. It makes it adhere better, in my opinion. I usually put mine down before spreading anything, to see how it fits. Generally, I have to trim off a bit on the sides to get it looking the way I want.

Then, take a foam brush and spread Mod Podge all over the tile. I like to spread it both up/down and sideways.
Once you have podged the tile, you need to set the paper down. You will have a few seconds to postition it before it sets. I like to smooth mine all the way around on the edges to make sure it gets a good seal. This can be messy!

After that, spread the ModPodge over the top of the paper. I do this the same way I did on the tile. I like to do two coats. I will do one coat, move on to the next tile, then after I finish all four, go back and give each one another coating of podge.

Make sure you smooth it out as much as possible. It will look cloudy, but it will dry clear.

After they are completely dry, spray them with a clear WATERPROOF sealer. You can get this anywhere they sell spray paint, Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Lowes....I like to spray my tiles outside, and then let them sit out overnight so the smell has time to air out.

The final step is to cut cork board to a bit smaller than the tile, and then hot glue it to the back!

These are super easy, but they make great presents. I hope this helps someone out!

Just A New Obsession

So this month I started thinking about upcoming birthday parties. I will be 29 on May 16th, A will be 3 on May 20th, J will be 30 on September 7th. All of these days are far away. I know this, but I can't stop party planning! I got the idea in my head, and now I am  spending hours (literal hours) on Pinterest and party blogs looking for ideas.

I guess some might say I have some obsessive tendencies, I think I am just slightly type A. (I am not worrying about my birthday; 29 is not worth noting. And for my 30th, I dont want a party, I want Lasik!)

I am of course in the early stages of party planning, and this will probably be my obsession for 5 or 6 months. All of my plans require a patio in the I am going to be giving up my spring break to put in a paver patio. The leading idea for A's party is a painting party. The leading idea for J's is a beer tasting.

Original Link

Original Link

Again, these may change, or I will obsess over making those two ideas into the best I can. I have not ever really thrown a big birthday party. A's 1st was just family and close friends. Her 2nd was at My Gym (I did nothing). I have never had a party for J. So, this will be a new experience for me. All this planning and looking has sparked major house envy and yard envy.

My game plan (so far)
Step 1: Major cleaning of entire house over the course of 5 months. (No, my house is not filthy, but if you are having a party, it has to be perfect!)
Step 2: Put in a paver patio.
Step 3: Clean up backyard.
Step 4: Pick perfect party idea.
Step 5: Execute party plan.

Sounds simple, right?

The True Story of How I Became an Unlikely Troll Collector

Much like Richard Mayhew, from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, I once found myself the unsuspecting owner of a Troll doll collection.

“In actuality Richard did not really collect trolls. He had found a troll on the sidewalk outside the office, and, in a vain attempt at injecting a little personality into his working world, he had placed it on his computer monitor. The others had followed over the next few months, gifts from colleagues who had noticed that Richard had a penchant for the ugly little creatures. He had taken the gifts and positioned them, strategically, around his desk, beside the telephones and the framed photograph of Jessica.”

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My collection started out is a similar manner; my Memaw brought me a Troll doll at Christmas. I, of course, said that I loved it, and I put it out on my bookshelf. To be honest, I didn’t really love it. I mean, I was 15 and it was a troll doll. BUT, in the spirit of being a good grand-daughter I gushed over it. This was my first mistake.

When my birthday rolled around, she gave me 2 trolls. Again, I acted enthusiastic. She reminded me to put them with the other on my bookshelf. I now had three Troll dolls. My collection was forming.

For my next two Christmas and birthday gifts, I would receive Trolls. I think when I left for college I owned close to 20 of the ugly little things. Every opportunity for a gift was an opportunity for a Troll.

I had those little guys out on my bookshelf, until J and I were married. Only then (at the age of 23) did I pack away my Troll dolls. I had been “collecting” them for 7 or 8 years. I had a garbage bag full of the little guys!

I am a little sad to say that I don’t know where they ended up. I hope that I had the good sense to donate them so that some other teenage girl could become an unwitting collector of Troll.
Photo via About Face

The Best Parenting Moment of My Life (So Far)

Today J and I took A to see Yo Gabba Gabba Live. I can say without hesitation, that today was one of the best days of my life. Ever.

A's PawPaw bought her the tickets for Christmas, since the show was on December 3rd. We did not tell her we were going until Friday, the 2nd. I didn't know how well she would understand the concept of one more week, three more days, two more days, etc. So we told her on Friday night.

I bounced back and forth on how I thought things would go. There was no doubt it would be loud and crowded, something not all toddlers handle well. I didn't know if A would be scared by the lights, noise, and people, or if she would even care about watching her favorite show live.

Turns out, she loved it!

We started our morning the way most of our mornings start, early. A is not a late sleeper, so when she opened the door to our bedroom at 5:45 this morning, I wasn't surprised. We spent a few hours hanging out, ate breakfast, then ran a few errands. I told her to pick out a dress to wear, and she went straight to her dress-up bin. I had to redirect her to her closet, where she picked out her "Punky" dress. (We call it that because it has about 5 different colors on it, and she wears it with her hot pink and green high tops.) She could barely sit still while I fixed her hair.

All morning long she kept asking if it was time for Gabba. When we got to lunch at Chuy's, she told both the hostess and the waitress about her afternoon plans. She even asked the hostess if she wanted to go with her. I thought she might take a nap in the car on the way to the show, but I think the excitement had her too amped up.

As soon as we started getting close, everything became Yo Gabba Gabba. The overpass was YGG mountain, the small lake was YGG lake, and all the trees were YGG trees. When we pulled into the parking lot, we had to keep her close, as she wanted to run!

Once we were in, it was very crowded. We skipped the major line for merch, and instead opted for the Kia photo line. I did buy A a set of YGG clips.

Once we got to our seats, which were really good, A could barely sit still.

Once the music started, she was so excited, I actually started crying. Not sad tears, or even tears of boredom, but happy tears. A was so happy and excited. I loved that J and I were able to have that moment with her. About half way through the show during Hugs are Fun, she told us both she loved us.

After the show, all she talked about was how great it was. Then, maybe 5 minutes in the car, she crashed.

She only woke up about 30 minutes ago. Now she is sitting next to me, cuddled up under a blanket. She just told me again that she loves me.

Days like today are victories.