Hand Painted Photo Matting

July 26, 2014 in contributor, decor, paint, tutorial by MinefortheMaking

Hello friends! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! I’m excited to introduce you to the last of our MFTM contributors, Siri from Of Pumpkin Thieves and Buffalo Wings. Siri and I actually attend church together and she was my daughter’s beloved chorister prior to having her adorable baby. Siri will be sharing home decor tips, tricks, and tutorials each month…I am so excited, aren’t you?! Today she is sharing an awesome idea- Hand Painted Photo Matting. 
 
So just to introduce myself a bit since this is my first time guest posting on Kara’s awesome blog, 
I am a full time mommy to my Little Muppet and the choco labs. 
I am married to my dream guy. 
I love strawberries in my lemonade. 
Whales and tigers are my favorite animals. 
I’m a certified special education teacher and a photographer!
Bascially I think life is too short to not do the things you are passionate about. 
 
photo by my amazing friend Rennai of Ten22Studio
 
One of the things I’m passionate about is home decor. 
I try to make the place that I live into a place that I love to see!
The way my home looks affects the way I feel in it. 
I want my home to be a beautiful place that I long to see so that when I am in it I feel calm, happy, and inspired. 
 
If my home is chaotic and crazy, then it usually reflects how my life is too. 
If my home is clean and in order, then my life usually is too.
Don’t get me wrong, a little chaos is good, needed even, but just not too much chaos. 
 
I like to match colors, 
I like to fill my home with light, 
and I like to fill my walls with memories that always make me smile. 
 
 
So today I’m sharing a little trick to help with matching colors on your wall hanging photos. 
 
Have you ever worked really hard to find just the right frame to hang a certain photo,
But then the matting inside the frame doesn’t match?
Since I am a photographer, I have a thing for colors matching. 
 
Peanut Brittle Art created a lovely custom watercolor of my little family, 
and I found just the right frame at IKEA for only a few bucks!
I LOVE their RIBBA frame collection because it is simplistic and fresh, 
not distracting you from what you put into the frame. 
 
 
Only problem was that the matting was slightly too small, 
and it was also off white. 
 
My daughter’s entire nursery is accented with bright white, 
like the edges of the frame are, 
so I didn’t want the off-white to dull the gorgeous painting
or distract from the lighting. 
 
Bright white always brings more light to a room. 
 
So I used a mat cutter to make the inside of the matting just the size I wanted it. 
Then I needed to fix the color. 
I fetched some of my handy dandy acrylic paints, 
(you can find these at Michael’s in any color under the sun)
and a sponge brush.  
 

 

I chose the colors that I wanted 
(white and blue since blue is the other color in my daughter’s ocean themed nursery)
and poured out some of each. 
I took the blue (which I wanted to see more of) and painted a layer over the whole matting.
 
 
 
I made sure to have something under it while I did this so I didn’t paint my table. 
I then mixed a little white in a time with long straight strokes. 
The result was giving me my “ocean themed look” 
and already looked a million times better than the off-white that it was before. 
You could do this technique and mix white with any color back ground for a whimsical, clean look. 
 

 

Finally I put my matting back in the frame and hung it all up!
It turned out so nicely
and brought just the right amount of ocean waves to the collage it is in.
Don’t settle with a matting that doesn’t match just because you like the frame. 
You can make it all work!
 
 
Check out my blog to see my daughter’s nursery tour coming later this month!
Thanks for reading!
 

 

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Pinterest Feature Friday

July 25, 2014 in pinterest, Pinterest Feature Friday, Pinterest Master List by MinefortheMaking

Hello there friends and welcome to Pinterest Feature Friday! Michele, Bev, Malia, and I love combing through the Pinterest Master List each week to find new pinners to follow and to feature one of you! 

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Today I am excited to feature Brittany from Confessions of a Secret Crafter‘s Pinterest boards

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Brittany has 14 boards and 385 pins. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite boars of hers…

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Her DIY Fashion board has 13 pins…and I love every single one!

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Succulents are one of the only plants I can keep alive, so I am digging Brittany’s Succulent Love board with 37 pins.

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Because who doesn’t love a good doughnut? Brittany’s Doughnut board has 10 delicious looking pins.

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There’s 43 fun crafts pinned to her Crafts board… 

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And 41 delicious recipes pinned to Brittany’s Food Inspiration board…

Now let’s dive into some of my favorite pins of Brittany’s!

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How rad is this mirrored wood wall hanging pinned to Brittany’s Home Projects board?!

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This Vintage Bicycle Canvas Tote pinned to Brittany’s DIY Fashion board is way cute. 

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I so want to make these beautiful Gold Leaf Succulent Pots that Brittany pinned to her Garden + Plant Projects board.

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You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be making these 2 ingredient gluten free cookie bars pinned to Brittany’s Baked Goods + Desserts board!

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Okay…now if this DIY Cardboard Box Play Sewing Machine isn’t the cutest thing ever, I don’t know what is! My daughter would LOVE this! Find it on Brittany’s Crafts board. 

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Thanks so much for linking up to our Pinterest Master List Brittany! I hope you grab a featured button. 

Join us next week for another Pinterest Feature Friday and be sure to link up your Pinterest if you haven’t already!! 

 

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DIY Ballard Designs Garden District Mirrors

July 23, 2014 in contributor, decor, DIY, tutorial by MinefortheMaking

Hello and happy hump day, friends! I am excited to introduce you to our MFTM DIY contributor, Trina of Hautala Couture Designs. She is a momma of 3, talented handmade shop owner and Arizona blogger. I met Trina through Instagram a couple of years ago and she has been such a sweet friend. She even made my daughter’s 5 year old birthday party shirt! Today Trina is going to tell us how to make gorgeous knock-off DIY Ballard Designs Garden District Mirrors!

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I know I am not alone when I say I can browse through a Ballard Designs catalog for hours and find lots of new ideas page after page. I have loved the Garden District Mirrors for years and finally thought of a way to make my own!

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I bought a few door mirrors from various stores (Target, Fry’s Marketplace and Walmart) and brought each home to see which fit the area best. After having my husband hold each up as I sat back and thought, I decided on the Walmart ones. I believe they were each $19.98 and they came in white and black.

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I decided to go with the white mirrors and to “distress” them on my own.  I basically added brown paint and used the “rub-off” technique to remove the majority of the paint except in the crevices. I worked in small areas to be sure that the paint would not dry and I could control how much paint was left in each area.

Once I had the finish “distressed” to my taste, I created a vinyl decal that resembled the design to the mirrors in the catalog.  You can purchase yours here.

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After I applied all the decals it was time to hang them up. The hardest part was making sure they were all level. One was off just a few centimeters so I added some heavy duty 2-way tape to the bottom and stuck it to the wall. Now they all are even and I couldn’t be happier!

~Trina
{Imagine•Create•Inspire}

Here are the original mirrors from Ballard Designs that Trina knocked off… Didn’t she do a fantastic job?!

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(image source)

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Mommy Tell All Monday: Three Tips to Help Kids Cope with Vaccinations

July 21, 2014 in mom, Mommy Tell All Monday, motherhood, sponsors by MinefortheMaking

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

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It’s that season my friends… Back to School season which involves school supplies and clothes shopping as well as vaccine updates. Getting “shots” is never a fun event… not for the kiddo or the mom. So today I am going to share three tips to help kids cope with vaccinations. There are simple things you can do to help prepare them and make them more comfortable, which is really a good thing for both of you. 

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1. Talk about it. Explain what a vaccination is and why your family chooses to vaccinate. I say something like, “We get vaccines to prevent us from getting really really sick. It’s a quick pokey, and then it’s done!” Tip: When you go to Walgreens for Back to School supplies, stop by the pharmacy for Back to School Immunizations too! Not only do they make it quick and easy for you, but Walgreens will also provide a life saving vaccine to a child in a developing country through the United Nation Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign when your child receives their immunization. It’s called the Get a Shot #GiveaShot Campaign. (This program is aimed for school age children, 7 and older). 

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2. Kid’s Choice on Band Aids. As you are walking over to Walgreens pharmacy for immunizations, stop by the band aids aisle and let your kiddo pick out a special box of band aids. For whatever reason, it’s always fun to pick out a new box of band aids… it’s like flashy stickers for your battle wounds. You can pay for the band aids at the pharmacy and open the box and let your child choose one for after their immunization. 

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3. Reward. After your kiddo is a brave champion, a simple reward like a special lolly pop can go a long way. Of course Walgreens has art supplies, toys, and other snacks that can be used as rewards as well, but we try to aim for simple. A lolly pop gets the job done. Especially a pink, bubble gum flavored lolly pop. 

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What are your tips for helping your kids cope with vaccinations? Anything special you do to relieve some of the anxiety? 

 

 

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Pinterest Feature Friday

July 18, 2014 in pinterest, Pinterest Feature Friday, Pinterest Master List by MinefortheMaking

Welcome to Pinterest Feature Friday!  

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HELLO Pretty People! Malia from Yesterday on Tuesday here. Thanks for stopping by the Pinterest Party… the soiree Michele from The Scrap Shoppe, Bev from Flamingo Toes and Kara from Mine for the Making and I take turns turning the spotlight on pinners YOU should follow. This week’s featured pinned is… (cue the drum roll):

Kim from Made in a Day

Kim from Made in a Day! Kim has 121 Boards and 5345 Pins. I can’t wait to see what fun things Kim has on her boards… so away we go!

Recipes to Try

Her Recipes to Try Board has 286 yummy pins!

Crafty Stuff!

I’m always on the lookout for new projects so I’m all over Kim’s Crafty Stuff! Board. There are 279 pins to enjoy.

Wreaths

Do you like wreaths? Me too! There are 147 cool ideas on her Wreaths Board.

Fabric Flowers

How fun… Kim has a Fabric Flowers Board with 75 pins and pretty blooms for every occasion.

DIY

There are 117 pins on her DIY Board. So many ideas!

ALRIGHTY… let’s get up close and personal with some of these sensational projects.

DIY Rope Bracelets

DIY Rope Bracelets by Made in a Day (what a coincidence!) pinned to Kim’s Jewelry Love Board.

Mini Monogram Pedestals

Mini Mongram Pedestals by House of Hepworths pinned to Kim’s Momogram Board.

Birthday Cake

Awesome 3rd Birthday Cake by Enchanted Mommy pinned to Kim’s Fantastic Cakes and Desserts Board.

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Library Book Tote from Love and Laundry pinned to her Crafty Stuff Board.

Summer Home Tour

If you are looking to spruce up your home this summer, you’ll want to check out this Summer Home Tour from At the Picket Fence, pinned to Kim’s Interior Decor Board.

Thanks for having such FABULOUS Boards, Kim! I hope you’ll snag a featured button.

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Have you joined the Pinterest Master List… ’cause you should! YOU just may be our next feature.

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Mommy Tell All Monday: Your Sanctuary

July 14, 2014 in contributor, mom, Mommy Tell All Monday, motherhood by MinefortheMaking

Good morning and welcome to Mommy Tell All Monday! Sara (of Simply Sara) is giving us tips on how to create a place for a bit of “mom time” to catch a breather. Where is your sanctuary?

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Let me just start by saying, I am a big fan of HGTV. I don’t watch it as often as I used to because it turned into more of a “Pinterest” feeling for me rather than the enjoyment of watching good TV. You know that feeling right? You see a renovation or design idea that sparks a thought for your own home, but then you realize you can never get around to it or there are too many projects that its overwhelming to start and you just become a little sad. Maybe you are struck with envy as you watch home after home, all of which seem to be better than your own. It’s an entertaining yet viscous cycle.

One thing that I always thought was interesting about some home buyers and renovators was the list of wants in their master bedrooms. For some wives the bathrooms that just had the stand up shower were unacceptable, they needed a tub to soak in! Some parents wanted a split bedroom floor plan so they weren’t that close to their children’s rooms or the size needed to be large enough for some furniture other than the bed. Often times the words retreat or sanctuary would be used, which I always thought was a little silly until just recently.

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Being a foster and adoptive mom has meant that my family continues to grow in size even when we don’t totally plan on it. My husband’s heart moves before his head sometimes and we push a somewhat routine home life aside to make room for kids who need a home, and finding a new routine and rhythm starts all over again. Not an easy feat, but totally worth it. When it comes to boundaries in our house I’ve never used baby gates other than for dogs; my kids have always been able to roam where they wanted and I really haven’t ever thought about keeping them out of any particular rooms. Our house is licensed for care so everything is baby proofed to the state’s approval and we’ve only lived in one-story homes with our kids so stairs aren’t an issue. But recently when our house of 6 turned into a house of 8, I found myself looking for a space to retreat from kids.

So I went into my master bedroom and shut my doors.

Why did I not think of this before? I didn’t need any gates, I have some lovely doors that shut and lock, so I used them. It was a beautiful thing. I pulled an Elsa and shut everyone out. I didn’t need to leave my house to take a breath and retreat from the chaos; I could simply make my room off limits to anyone other than my husband and myself. I simply shut my doors.

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Now I’m going all “HGTV” on my bedroom and am working on turning it into a sanctuary. (Oh that’s why people use that word on the shows!) The bedrooms in my house are always the last to be decorated, since no one sees them other than the family mostly. But I need a sweet space in my room to refresh myself from time to time, possibly even daily. I also need to create a space for my husband to do his devotions in the morning because you guys . . . my house is SO loud. Seriously.

I’ll use this post to hold myself accountable to spending some time creating a space for us, my spouse and I. As parents we so naturally put our children first, which is wonderful, however- when I don’t put my husband first the downfall of that will ultimately affect my children. Moms & Dads are a team, and teams always need a dugout, bench or locker room to regroup. Where is there space in your house to collect your thoughts? Do you have time to connect with your husband on your back patio each day over coffee? Maybe your house is quieter than mine and you can just sit in the comfy chair in your front room. Find your own sanctuary and relax Momma, you deserve it!

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Here are some tips I have for making your room kid-free & relaxing:

• Keep toys out. When I’m hanging my head down in prayer I don’t want a doll staring back at me.

• Make your bed in the morning. It simply makes the room prettier.

• Stack your laundry or toss the piles somewhere other than in your room. Mine was always folded at the end of my bed and it would always remind me I have more to do!

• Use the lock and listen rule. I usually make sure my most destructive babies are in the high chair locked in, but for the rest of the kids I just listen for screams. If your house is baby proof you’ll be fine to retreat for 10 minutes or so.

• Tell your kids you are taking Mom time. Start teaching them now at an early age that Mom needs some space; they also won’t start screaming your name all over the house looking for you.

• Light candles.

• Open your blinds for some natural light. That sun is a natural mood booster!

 

Sara of Simply Sara

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Pinterest Feature Friday

July 11, 2014 in pinterest, Pinterest Feature Friday, Pinterest Master List by MinefortheMaking

Happy Friday Friends!! Bev here with this week’s Pinterest Feature Friday!

This week Michele, Malia, Kara and I are featured the super splendid Amy – from Positively Splendid!

Amy from Positively Splendid?

Amy has 81 boards and 2951 Pins! Let’s check out some of those boards!

Amy’s Sewing Board has a ton of great projects and tips!

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If your kids have run out of things to keep them busy this summer, check out Amy’s Fun for Kiddos board! There are tons of great ideas here!

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You’ll definitely want to check out her As Seen on Positively Splendid board – Amy’s blog is amazing and you can find all of her projects here!

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Let’s dive into those pins!

I am so in love with these Felt Flower Corsages from Not Martha! The colors are so gorgeous.

Best felt flower tutorial online-at notmartha.org

This Handmade Paper Tape that Amy pinned from Just Something I Made is such a great way to dress up packages, mail, or anything! I think this would be a fun craft day project!

This Woven Chain Bracelet pinned from Nest of Posies is the perfect Summer Accessory!

Woven Chain Bracelet via @Kellie from Nest of Posies

This Sea Turtle Softie is so cute!! You could make up some of these this summer to get a jumpstart on Christmas gifts! This is pinned from Amy’s own pattern!

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These Ruffled Key Fobs pinned from Sugar Bee Crafts look so easy to sew up! Plus they’re darling!

This On the Go Reading Pillow is so perfect for those road trips this summer – for kids or even grownups! ?Pinned from The Polkadot Chair.

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These cute Colorful Pillowcases are so fun. They’d be great to make up for a sleepover – and you could do boy or girl fabrics! Pinned from Organize Your Stuff Now.

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Thanks so much for linking up to the party Amy – it was so fun to browse through your pins!

Make sure you follow along with Amy so you catch all her cute pinning inspiration!

Have you linked up yet to the Pinterest Master List?? You could be our next feature!!

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The Cookie Doughjo + a Giveaway

July 9, 2014 in giveaway, kid-friendly, sponsors by MinefortheMaking

Hello there friends!

I’ve got a great summer activity for you- baking with kids! Do your kids love to cook and bake? My daughter and I LOVE playing in the kitchen together. 

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The other day I had the privilege of taking me daughter to a blogger meet and greet at The Cookie Doughjo in Peoria, Arizona. My daughter and I had so much fun that afternoon baking and socializing with our friends. Really a great, family friendly atmosphere and I love the hands-on involvement of the kids and that they have something edible and delicious to take home. 

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The kids made delicious M&M Cookies and were able to help with all of the steps. 

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Regina (owner) was very friendly and super accommodating. Her two helpers where able to assist the kids as well, which really helped to accommodate for our large group. We also loved that the kids could decorate their take home boxes while the cookies baked. Boy did it smell good in there!

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The Cookie Doughjo is open for walk-ins and you can also schedule an event there such as a birthday party or mommy and me meet up with your friends. 

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Today some of my Arizona blogger friends and I teamed up with Regina at The Cookie Doughjo to give away 2 cookie classes and an apron! That’s a $75 value! Enter using the Rafflecopter below. 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can connect with The Cookie Doughjo on social media too!

  Facebook| Twitter| Instagram

 
Thanks to Vanessa at See Vanessa Craft and Regina at The Cookie Doughjo for organizing such a fun event for us mommies and kiddos!

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Teach Me Tuesday: FROZEN Sensory Tub

July 8, 2014 in Disney, FROZEN, kid-friendly, sensory, Teach Me Tuesday by MinefortheMaking

Welcome to Teach Me Tuesday! A (mostly) weekly series where we share all things kid-friendly that you can do with your kids or teach them how to do. It can be educational, artistic, scientific, hands-on…anything goes as long as it’s kid approved!

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Hello sweet Mine for the Making friends! It is Michelle again and I am back with another fun kids activity for you! Has FROZEN become a staple in your house like it has mine? If it is has, I have the perfect sensory tub activity for you! My daughter loved this and played with it for days, I would classify that as a successful project! Check out this FROZEN Sensory Tub:

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Doesn’t it look fun?! I have to say, I had as much fun setting it up for Avery as she did playing with it. It was super simple to put together and is something that I classify as ‘toddler safe’. By this I mean, besides the glitter, it is all edible ingredients. When it comes to glitter, if children eat a bit of it, it wouldn’t be a huge deal. I used flavorless gelatin for this sensory tub and while of course you can use flavored gelatin, I don’t like for kids to get used to eating sensory experiences. I feel like that can be a hard habit to break so, especially with the little ones, I make sure they wouldn’t get hurt if it goes in their mouths, but I don’t want it to be an appetizing flavor. Ok, I will step off my soap box now and show you my ingredients- gelatin, food coloring and glitter (you will also need water).

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I made the gelatin according to the box directions (I just used water instead of juice) in one big bowl, then I separated that into 3 tubs and added food coloring and glitter.

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I mixed that up and while it looks great for the picture like this, I thought it was a little shallow in the container. I think these three containers would work great if I had doubled the recipe (I would have needed two of those small boxes, though, I need to just invest in the big one because Avery loved it!).

Isn’t it pretty?

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Yeah, this is much more appropriate in my bread pans, just not nearly as cute. Oh well. Function wins!

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I put these in my fridge over night and pulled them out in the morning. I noticed that the glitter mostly sunk to the bottom, next time I will add some more on the top. But, I found that my plastic spatula worked well to keep the glitter stuck to the gelatin squares. I just cut them with a butter knife into semi square ish shapes.

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Once they were cut up, I arranged them on a tray, added Avery’s little plastic Elsa and let her have a blast! She built castles, made a floor for her to dance on, made her clothes and eventually just squished up all the blocks. I still don’t think she is done yet, even squished up, it still looks awesome and inviting!

Plus it is cool to have a cold sensory activity when it is very hot outside, perfect!

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I hope you all have as much fun as we did with this activity!!

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If you love Frozen, check out my FREE Printable Alphabet Cards

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And my FREE Frozen Birthday Printables!

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Mommy Tell All Monday: Motivation

July 7, 2014 in fitness, healthy, Mommy Tell All Monday, motherhood by MinefortheMaking

Hello mommas and welcome to Mommy Tell All Monday, a place where we share all things motherhood. Today I get to introduce you to another new MTFM contributor! My dear friend Sara is going to be sharing about mommy fitness and health once a month. Sara is a writer, mother, physical trainer, and fitness gym owner with her husband. I’m really looking forward to her monthly posts, as I could use some great tips and fresh perspective. Today she’s talking about motivation. 

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Fitness is such a tricky topic to cover no matter the genre you are writing for. Mom fitness? Well, that is a whole other ball game entirely.

I am not an expert on working out. I am not an expert on eating clean. I am just a mom that just so happens to be passionate about fitness and nutrition. I am just a mom treading through the uncertain ‘Post-Baby Body’ waters. The same waters many of you might currently find yourselves in.

If that is the case, let me first say CONGRATULATIONS on your new baby. Also, WELCOME to your ‘post-baby body’ life and to your biggest challenge: getting back to the ‘you’ you want to be.

I am a first-time mom to a 6 month-old baby girl. The last six months have been the most stressful, wonderful, exhausting, beautiful, eye-opening, and best experience. Ever. During my pregnancy, I read all the books and filled my brain with (too much) information. I knew what to expect while pregnant and during labor, but do you know what those books forgot to mention? The after. The adjusting; not the adjusting to life with baby, but the adjusting to life with a body after it has been through labor (any type of labor).

I will wholeheartedly admit I thought for sure I would be ‘ready’ to work out, go hog wild, drop all my baby weight within a few months (I mean, I have these super-powered breastfeeding hormones working in my favor, right?!) and be the superstar mom.

What I was not expecting was to be told by my doctor she was not going to release me for physical activity for another three weeks because I was not fully recovered yet.

Mentally I was thinking: Wait, what? You want me NOT to work off this extra fluff for another four weeks? Okay, I can do that because (if I am being honest here) working out just really does not work for me right now as I am pretty much obsessed with my kid and have ZERO desire to even enter the gym…. Or stop eating my waffles…. Or drinking my hot chocolate…. Or leave my kid any longer than it took me to shower.

You see, what I was not prepared for (not even in the slightest) was the complete and total lack of motivation I would have to return to my post-baby body. Sure, I loathed the scale entirely, I would look longingly at my closet full of fun clothes that were many sizes too small, I would think about working out (and would actually miss working out), I would read mom blogs about fitness post-baby, I would stand in front of the mirror in total shock of my changed body, and I would pin the heck out of ‘motivational’ things on Pinterest, but nothing seemed to really give me that kick in the behind I needed to jump-start my weight loss journey. My motivation just seemed, gone.

Motivation is defined by Merriam-Webster as a force or influence that causes someone to do something.

Motivation. A noun. A thing. A thing that can often times be the equivalent of that pot ‘o gold at the end of a rainbow.

Where does it come from? How can I get me some? Oh, and how can I keep it once I find it?

For me, my ‘oh-my-goodness-I’m-finally-ready-to-work-out’ moment came when my daughter was 12 weeks old. (2 weeks after being released from the doctor. So much for going hog wild, right?) She was entering the stage where she enjoyed playing on her activity mat, but only if I was playing with her. Down there. On the floor.

I found myself getting up and down and up and down (and up and down) so many times throughout the day it was ridiculous. By the end of the night, my back would be killing me, my knees and ankles aching, my arms exhausted, and do not even get me started on how my legs felt.

I remember saying to my husband on many occasions, ‘gosh, I am exhausted from playing with the baby’ or ‘lifting the stroller is just too much work for me can you please put it in the car’ or ‘can you just help with the baby because I am so sore.’

Wait.

What?!

Hold the phone.

Was that really ME saying those things?

Was that the same me who used to work out six times per week before getting pregnant?

The same me who would lift heavy objects just because I wanted to and I liked to? The

same me who loved being able to do things I was previously physically unable to do?

Answer: Yup. It was.

Truth: I felt like a wimp.

A big fat wimp. Fact: I did not like feeling like a wimp.

And there it was. There was my source of motivation. I did not want to feel like a wimp anymore.

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I knew that the older my daughter got the more active she would become and the wimpier (is that even a word?)I would get. That was simply not going to work. Nope, not at all. So, Monday morning I told my husband I was going to the gym. I nervously got dressed (in the one random workout outfit I could fit into), cried (a lot), worried about how she would do without me (but, really, I was worried how I would without her), got in the car, and drove to the gym. By myself.

That was 13 weeks ago and I can say it was the best decision I ever made. I feel better, I have so much more energy, I can actually play with my daughter (yup, down on the floor) for hours and still be able to function properly, and…. I am happy. Really happy.

Oh, and my feelings of ‘wimpiness’ = GONE! I finally feel like a strong woman and mom that can slay dragons or climb mountains for my daughter. (Or, you know, put the car seat in the backseat without completely throwing my back out.)

My motivation to get back into shape was all about me. I found my pot o’ gold. And I am still carrying it on my back whilst doing lunges back to my side of the rainbow.

Motivation comes in many variations. I asked several moms what their source of motivation was to get back (and keep) a healthy and active body. Maybe their answers are just the sort of motivation you need.

“I would say my number one motivator is that it is my obligation to set a positive example for my kids. I used to be a fat mom and now I am a fit mom. My son always checks ingredients before eating something new, we work out as a family. I hope to raise them in a lifestyle they will choose to live with their children and so on. Number 2 motivator, my sanity. Sometimes, when I am out for a 15 minute run or I go to yoga that is literally the only time that day I will get to myself. I cherish that time.” Michelle, mother 3.

 

“Exercise is something I want to do for me. It is nice to have a goal to work towards to break up the monotony of work/kids/sleep. I also love having my son ‘workout’ with me and I want it to become a routine for me so that my kids do not see it as me just trying to lose weight again (and have them develop insecurities about weight or body issues), but as something that is normal and something you do to stay healthy.” Cristina, mother of 2.

 

“A ton of my motivation is wanting to feel sexy for my husband! I realize that the pounds do not come off fast and I respect that my body needs nutrition while I am nursing, so I give myself a little grace and do my best to get back into the gym at that six week mark. The truth is, as I feel healthier, I feel sexier, and when our intimate life is active this momma is a lot happier during the day!” Sara, mother of 5.

 

“WELL, other than being able to fit in my clothes because I do not want to spend hundreds on a new wardrobe, I want my son to have an example of what it is to be healthy. He will be bombarded with unrealistic expectations of health. I am his first role model. I want him to know exercising is a way of life, not a chore.” Jayme, mother of 1.

 

“For me, as a new mom I put all my energy towards taking care of my daughter and neglected myself. She was seven months old and I still looked six months pregnant. We talked about growing our family and I realized I could not enter into another pregnancy without first losing the baby weight. After a month of working out to videos at home and eating right, I had lost the baby weight. It was hard to put myself first, but I realized that I could not be the best mom for her if I was not healthy.” Joanna, soon to be mother of 2.

 

“My main motivation has to be the ‘been there, done that’ factor. I knew from my first child that if I did not get up and get moving ASAP I would regret it. I knew from having my second child that if I ate well, hydrated, and walked our sweet precious babe around like I had with my previous baby, the weight would start to melt away. I had learned. Another main motivation was myself. I had gotten there before and I would again. In my own time.” Breanna, mother of 3.

 

“Okay, one of my biggest guilty motivators is knowing that other moms can work out and are working out. It helps me tell myself that there is no reason I cannot workout as well. Reading about and hearing other mom’s success stories, seeing their pictures, or watching them working out, it gets me moving.” Crista, mother of 3.

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If you’ve just begun your search for motivation or maybe you have been searching for a while, but still have not found it, do not fear. You will find it. Most likely, however it will find you.

Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow.

One day, it will come flying out of nowhere, slap you in the face and drag you back to ‘you’. The ‘you’ you want to be.

Light and Love,

Sara

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