Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Top Ten Things You Will Cry About Post-Partum

1. Everything

Okay, okay... I'm just kidding. But I bet if you asked my husband what I cried about in the weeks following Molly's birth, that would be his answer - and to his credit, he dealt with the extreme emotions beautifully.

The REAL List:

1. The sudden quadruple of your stretch marks (in various places!) that you so carefully 'avoided' with a dutiful application of cocoa butter throughout your pregnancy.

2. When you finally lay the baby down. She's sleeping peacefully. You only have about 15 minutes, maximum. You start to cry can't decide if you should shower, use the bathroom, eat, or sleep!

3. The first time you step on the scale post-partum. 

4. Your baby's umbilical cord falls off on Day 4. The doctor said 8-14 days, and it fell off on DAY FOUR so obviously you did something horribly wrong!!!!!!! <--- I may be saying this from experience.

5. Post-Partum = Payback for 9+ months of no Aunt Flo. Sorry. It had to be said.

6. Milk. It doesn't matter what the circumstance - spilled, too much, too little, too hot, too cold - it'll be cried over.

7. Summer is clearly approaching more quickly than it does other years, simply because you can't imagine wearing a bathing suit right now.

8. You're pretty sure that you'll be bald in a matter of weeks. Maybe days.

9. Your husband looked at you funny/the wrong way/normal.

10. She's already not a newborn anymoooooooooore!

This is by no means a complete list of what I, personally, cried over in those first weeks (ahem, months...) but I hope that others can identify with, and maybe even laugh a little over, the above list. It's normal. I think.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tea for Twenty-Five

Dear friends of ours are getting married in September and since they are not having a traditional wedding party (bridesmaids or groomsmen) and that is typically who is expected to throw the bridal shower...and because I believe that every woman deserves a good shower in her honor, I took it upon myself to throw a Regency Era Bridal Shower!

I only have a few pictures to share, and none of them are particularly fabulous quality, but that's what you get when you try to be hostess and photographer at the same time. ;-)

This party enabled me to try several Pinterest projects/recipes that I had been eyeing. ALL of them were fantastic. 

Decor: Fresh flowers in mason jars, teacups & saucers, lace tablecloths, and pastel bunting. Just about all of this came from either my own home, my mother's home, or my mother-in-law's home. The sunflowers were given to Katelyn at work on Monday and were (clearly) still GORGEOUS on Saturday!

Cake: Made by Katelyn. Lemon cake with homemade buttercream frosting. Cake topper by yours truly. ;-)

Cake & Tea
Other Food: The main attraction, if I may say so myself, was the scones, jam, and clotted cream. I have made scones before, and they were crumbly - so that's what I was expecting when I made these. They were HANDS DOWN, the best scones I've ever had. The perfect texture, easy to make, and they make a fantastic breakfast leftover!

Scones, Jams, and Clotted Cream
The clotted cream came from the same recipe, and it, too, was delicious. I wasn't quite sure what to expect since I'd never made clotted cream before. [side note: can we find a prettier name for this dish? clotted? ew.] It took a whopping 9 hours in the oven (180 degrees), and another 8 hours cooling in the refrigerator. When I opened up the dish on Saturday morning, I won't lie, I had a moment of panic. No way could I serve my guests the lumpy, gross looking yellow and brown cream that was in front of me. Thankfully, the blog I got the recipe from suggested that I whip it a little bit with a mixer. Once I did that, it looked a little better, but still wasn't the fluffy texture that I wanted it to be, so I dumped the remaining liquid cream from the bottom of the dish into the bowl and whipped it until it was airy, fluffy goodness! 

The last food item that I made to go along with everything were these yummy homemade cream cheese mints. These were EASY as can be, and delicious to boot! I couldn't believe how simple it is to make these! I refrigerated mine before serving them which (in my opinion) made them EVEN more delicious and refreshing. In fact, the recipe made so many that I still have some in my fridge. They are going to be my treat for later. (Yeah, I reward myself for completing tasks like laundry and cleaning...what of it?)

Party Favors: I thought for a long time about what I would send home with our guests as party favors. Typically it would be candy or something like that, but I wanted it to go along with the homemade shabby chic vibe I was channeling, so I was thrilled when I found this recipe for hand lotion! I made it exactly like they said, and I put mine into the tiniest mason jars that I could find, then wrapped them in sheer ribbon...voila! 

Party Favors

The Tea Station

Filled to the Brim!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Top That!

I've been working on a project this week and I'm really excited about it! I haven't upgraded to an Etsy shop yet, so a little Facebook shop is all I've got for now. Check out these cutie-pa-tootie cake toppers that I made!

Click here to go to my new shop - The Tiny Topper!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Maine: A Photo Post

We did so many fun things on our recent trip to Maine, but because life keeps barreling on, I don't have the adequate amount of time that I would like to recount all of the silly stories from the trip. So, you get a post full o' photos. Not even taken by me, I might add - photo credit goes to my sister-in-law Katelyn and/or Aunt Debbie.

My Little Fashionista

Yes, we're feeding the deer.

"Molly, want to feed the baby goat?" "No." :)

Getting brave....
That's still a NO on the goats, Mom!

Little Lovey (Don't be fooled, there was a royal tantrum at the zoo)

About to eat our first Maine Lobstah!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thiiiis Is How We Dooooo Itttt!

Listen to the first line of the above song so that you can fully appreciate the title of this blog post. 'Cause that's how I say/sing that sentence in my head every time I say it (I won't tell anyone if you end up listening to the whole song, and then putting it on repeat for the rest of the day).

ANYWAY, back to the original reason for this post -
  Money Making Tips for the Stay At Home Mom!

AND, you really don't have to be a SAHM to do these, either - they just take a few minutes to do!

This has been my #1 way of contributing to the family, financially, over the past year and a half. I have gone through cycles where I've used it heavily ($300+/month), and some where I only made $20/month. 

You do have to have a basic level of understanding of grammar and writing, and there is a little test in order to qualify to be a writer. It isn't for the faint of heart or the easily bored - these are filler articles with dry (and I mean DRY dry) topics. But if you're dreaming of writing 40 articles about including the line 'dentist in Ontario' - this is right up your alley!

The articles are graded by the reviewers on a scale of 5 stars. Once for grammar, once for content. The average is what determines how much you receive for each article written. Typically, though, you will receive $3.30 for each 200-word article. I have received a couple of 5-star reviews now, but never received $4.00 - still hangin' out at $3.30.

You do have to pay taxes on the articles that you write, and if you make over $600, Writer's Domain will send you a W-4. If not, you can request one. I saved 10% of my earnings last year and it worked out perfectly with what I owed to the IRS. Easy, peasy.

2. I-say by Ipsos - Surveys!

I haven't had a lot of success or rewards with survey taking yet, but it really doesn't take up too much of my time, and I think the rewards will begin to rack up in a couple of months once I build up my points. This website seems to be consistently reputable, and I like that they give you points even if they don't use you for the survey for which you were eligible. You can trade in your points for Amazon gift cards, Visa gift cards, etc.!

3. If you live in our geographical area - Delmarva Sensory!

This is a branch of Perdue that pays $20 (cash!) each time that you come in for a 'taste test'. These are few and far between, but sometimes Patrick and I will both get one in the same week - holla for a dolla (or 40..)! In fact, I just signed us up for one next week. 

If you don't have the privilege of living on the Eastern Shore - look into some places that do food production in your area! I'd bet that they have similar opportunities available!