Pinspiration Friday

Good afternoon! It’s Friday {yay!} and all week long I have scoured Pinterest {ok, obsessed over} for more Pinspiration. Let me tell you; there are lots out there. Im finding it hard to not pin everything I see to the Pinspiration Friday board, but not everything can go in there.


Pinspiration Friday


A long while back I came across a blog that had this darling little a-frame tent and a how-to on how to get it done. Being the lazy pinner I am, I forgot to pin it and it was lost forever. Until I dusted off my Kindle and saw that I actually had bookmarked it! So I finally pinned that sucker to my Pinspiration Board, gathered the materials, made a few for the inside, and put it all together.

It sure came out lovely!

Here is the inspiration post for the tent

Now that is lovely. I love how she used the crocheted cover! But in order to be frugal I just couldn’t find anything similar at the thrift store that I liked for my vision. But I did find a pretty vintage floral sheet with ruffles, which gives it a cute little shabby chic look and coordinates well with the quilt I have for the inside.

What’s inside:

Quilt from my dad

Three handmade pillows by me {one of them is upcycled from a Urban Outfitters bag!}

A green lattice picnic basket

Books

Two crocheted doilies for coasters

Upcycled vintage floral cloth shower curtain turned throw

A plastic bottle lantern that Bry made for light while reading at night

She brought her guitar in there to play

Bry is pretty much in love with it!

So much so that she invited little brother inside

I think he loves it too!

Now if this silly rain would go away {at least just for a day} so we can put it back out side and Bry can hang out in it then it would be perfect. But in the garage it must stay. Thank goodness I made oversized pillows for her to relax on.

Have a lovely Pinspiration you would like to share? Link up below!

{Richard was a big help with this and took the photos! Check him out at Richard Fusillo Photography}





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Thankful Thursday

This past week I have been thankful for:

The ladies in PTA with me

Easy meals

The ability to make natural products for house and home for my family

Rain

Sunshine

Food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our backs

My customers and blog followers

What are you thankful for?


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Reusable Produce Sacks

As you may know from my previous post on my reusable grocery totes, our county placed in affect a plastic bag ban. Any retail store of 10,000+ sq. ft. would not be able to hand out plastic bags to their customers. In addition to that, if you needed a bag, you could pay the store .10 for a paper bag. Or you could just bring a reusable bag!

But grocery stores are still providing plastic produce bags! I feel as though that is the one thing that consumers do not reuse when grocery shopping a whole heck of a lot more than the actual plastic grocery bags {I would reuse mine for the trash cans in the bathroom}. Yet grocery stores are still providing them to their customers. So I thought, in addition to my reusable grocery totes, you can also purchase reusable produce sacks!

Whats great about these, aside from the fact that they’re reusable, is the cost is low for me so the purchase price is low for you!

Another great fact: they’re virtually weightless so it wont effect your price when weighing your produce. And they’re see-through so the checker is able to still see the stickers on the produce!

Speaking of produce stickers here is a great photo full of info on what those numbers on that sticker means

These bags are pretty much my new fave thing!


If you would like to order some, email me at willow.little@gmail.com! I can do just about any color and size!

Even if your county doesn’t have a plastic bag ban, reusable is the way to go! Keep our streets and oceans clean as well as keeping unnecessary waste out of our landfills! Plus, these are just too cool not to buy!


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Currently…

I am currently… Linking up with Harvesting Kale and This Amazing Day!

Here is what I am currently up to…

reading… blogs. I am catching up on all of my subscriptions on Google Reader. Currently have 1000+ unread posts! I am also reading my Parents magazine and Family Fun. Have you guys read the Family Fun magazine? It is amazing! Our family has found so many awesome projects, crafts, recipes, traditions and has had fun doing them all! If you haven’t yet, subscribe! Find a coupon for a free or discounted subscription… I’m sure there is one out there somewhere.

wishing… honestly, I am wishing for us to be able to get through Christmas with out going broke. It has been a rough year for us financially and we have had to sacrifice {with no complaints at all, I promise} a lot to be able to make it. I was working all through my pregnancy, went on maternity leave and came back to no job. So ultimately I became a SAHM. Coincidentally, Richard’s photography and his 9-5 slowed wayyyyy down the week we had baby and now his 9-5 job is furloughed. I know we will make it and I know it will be hard, but I am wishing we didn’t have to go through this.

cooking… nothing tonight, woohoo! The 6th grade classes are having a fundraiser at the local Round Table to raise money for Science Camp this year so we are planning on eating out tonight! I don’t have to cook anything until Sunday!

thankful… for my life. Though financially things are hard and I feel like I don’t have time for anything, I take one look at my kids – at my little family – and am so thankful for a life with them. In a time when most people would throw in the towel, I see all that I have around me and press on. And I couldn’t do it with out them.

loving… my new reusable produce sacks! Our county went plastic bagless except for the plastic produce bags. Which makes zero sense to me being as though more people reuse the plastic grocery bags over the plastic produce bags, but I found a solution to the produce bag issue and I am in love! Want to know more about these awesome, and affordable, bags? Check back for a post on them and how you can get your hands on one!

What are you currently up to? Link up with Harvesting Kale and This Amazing Day!

Harvesting Kale


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Dealing with a Tween

Next week my lovely daughter; the one I used to rock back and forth and hold in my arms and play tic tact toe with and hold hands with while crossing the streets, will be 11 next week. 11. I feel old.

Mostly I feel old because Im under 30 and have an 11 year old. I also feel old because I am under 30 and have two kids, one who is 11 and one who is a baby.

A lot comes along with an 11 year old. This is when they start to hit puberty. They get all emotional and pushy and testy and take everything so darn seriously {as if they didn’t take it all so seriously already anyway!}. Now throw having an 11 year old in there that is a girl and everything is magnified by 100. I remember that age – my mom lived in San Diego at the time so it was just me, my dad, and my brother. Going through puberty was hard with out my mom! And my dad was no help {it’s ok, dad – you did the best you could with what you knew! I still love you!}.

This is the year, when boys become the main topic of conversation and their bodies start to change. When the words ‘sex’ and ‘penis’ and ‘period’ isn’t followed by an echoed ‘EWWWWWW’. Speaking of sex; I gave ‘the talk’ to Bry. Wanna know what surprised me? She pretty much already knew what it was all about. Thank you chatty kids at school. When I talked with her about it, the concept didn’t gross her out, but explaining how it was done made her put her hand up in disgust and ask if we could finish watching Pretty Little Liars now. Thank goodness for that! But boys and sex and all that cooties stuff doesn’t bother me or worry me too much.

It’s that damn attitude. If I had a penny for every ‘I know’ I wouldn’t have to worry about money ever again. Do your kids do that? ‘I know, Mom’. Well, if you knew then you wouldn’t have done it, right? Sheesh. And it’s not like they say it in a way that is reassuring, oh no. They say it in a way that is full of a miss {or mister} know-it-all ‘tude that makes you wanna slap the pig tails right off of her. Any why does every thing have to be a chore? I’ll ask Bry to please pick up her socks from the living room and put them in her dirty clothes basket and she translates it to ‘you must pick up those socks now and while you’re at it clean your room and do the dishes and wash your clothes and sweep the front porch and while you’re at it, knit me up a new pair of socks’. As she sighs the longest sigh of her life all the way to her bedroom. 

Also, 11 year olds transition from ‘play date’ to ‘hang out’. When you’re a kid and you can’t have a play date with a friend its ok, I’ll throw a fit for a couple minutes and then ‘ooooo, Teletubbies!’. Done. But tell an 11 year old they cant hang out with their friend after school today and it’s like the worst tantrum ever. They’ll hate you for two solid days straight, stomping all over the house, avoiding you at all costs. Cause you just kept her away from her favorite person ever. Which should be you {which used to be you}, but didn’t you get the memo? It’s that one girl down the street who has the coolest pair of shorts ever, mom, didn’t you hear? No. And I don’t care. {But really I do, cause Im really invested in who she is friends with}.

So, how do I deal with it?

Simple.

I learn to pick my battles.

I allow her to be upset and angry. Feelings are feelings – they’re never wrong.

I put my foot down when it is necessary.

I find a balance of being her mom as well as being her friend.

I tell her I love her {even if I don’t like her at that moment}.

And so far, I haven’t run her over with the car or shipped her off to her dads so I’d say I’m not doin’ too bad a job here. Of course for as much work as I put in to my relationship with her, I expect in return with me. So to be able to do that {aside from what I listed above}, she and I have a book. Its the ‘Just Between Us’ journal. And yeah, we have used it!

There are some cool questions in there like who was my fave band when I was her age and what did I want to be when I grew up. I love reading her paralleled answers. We are so different and so unique.

But what I love most about the journal, is that we are able to write down how we are feeling about anything with out having it feeling like a confrontation. Bry can write to me about something she would otherwise feel uncomfortable talking about face to face.  It has given us the opportunity to be open with one another whether it be something she is doing {or not doing} that is frustrating me or something someone said to her at school that day that upset her. We still talk to each other about issues, and I love it, but sometimes its just easier to write out your feelings. It has definitely helped us resolve some things and it is something I highly suggest to any mother and daughter – issues or not!

So with her 11th birthday rolling around and the days of childhood fading behind her I know there will be many more challenges ahead of us. Her tween years will turn into teen and then she will be an adult {which I am sure I will hate more than anything!}. But as long as I keep doin’ what I’m doin’ and stay the adult in our relationship, my daughter, though always my daughter, will be also be my friend. Because even now we have the best time ever together. And it’s those days that I remember.

Even if I don’t like her very much some times and I ‘ruined’ her ‘life’.

Heh, oh well.


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Mommy-Brain Mixer Link Up With Two In Diapers

Hello, friends!

If you haven’t already, go enter to win the gorgeous Cranberry & Oak Beaded Necklace from The Mint Collection, enter to win here!

You can also enter to win a copy of Disney’s Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups here!

Also, head on over to Two In Diapers this Saturday for a wonderful new blog series called “The Mom Connection!” You don’t want to miss out on parenting tips and advice from some of your favorite bloggers, so put this Saturday, November 17th on your calendar! We will be discussing the topic of teaching your littles to be thankful!

——

Welcome to week 17 of the Mommy-Brain Mixer, ladies!
Last week we had 74 link-ups! Please help spread the word so the Mixer keeps on growing!

Before we get started, Cassie is feeling a little generous!! From now until midnight EST on November 17th, purchase one month of any ad spot at Two In Diapers and receive a second month for FREE!! Is your choice spot full? Well don’t worry, because this deal also applies to ads in the queue, so plan ahead! Awesome deal, ladies! Don’t miss out… She sure spoils her sponsors! Purchase your spot here

If you haven’t noticed, one of the favorite things to do over at Two In Diapers is to share stories about motherhood and her littles. One of her favorite things about sharing these stories is your comments with stories of your own children!

So welcome to…

At the Mommy-Brain Mixer, we will be linking up our writings about anything and everything motherhood! We want to see funny posts, serious posts, sweet & sappy stories, mommy-brain episodes, memories from when your older children were younger, thoughts & lessons learned, and anything related to motherhood or little people. You know that post you wrote yesterday about your teething baby? Or that hilarious post you wrote about your 2nd grader’s school play? Those are perfect, so link ’em up! 

The Mommy-Brain Mixer is the perfect place to find some great new blogs to follow, make some wonderful new blog friends, and enjoy some entertaining new reads!

To make things even more fun, Two in Diapers friend Mar, over at Raising Bean, is hosting a sister link-up
for you to join, too! 
Head on over there after your finished here and link up your recipes, DIY, arts & crafts, and sensory activities!  
Let’s get to it, friends!
 
THE DEETS:
{the first link below}
If you are new to the Mixer, please leave her a comment so she knows to follow you back! She tries to get around to all the posts but, as the Mixer is growing, there are some weeks that she is not able to!
2. Follow your co-hosts
This week’s lovely co-hosts {the first 3 on the linky} are:
Whitney from The Sweetest Things
3. Link up your mommy post!
4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link-up and maybe even follow them!
{and comments are always loved}
5. Tweet about the Mommy-Brain Mixer to help spread the word! 

//  
6. Grab this adorable button and place it somewhere on your blog!
Photobucket

7. Don’t forget to check back often, as we gain many new links throughout the week!

If you are interested in co-hosting a Mommy-Brain Mixer, send Cassie an email at twoindiapers@gmail.com!

**I am having an issue with the link code in WordPress currently {sorry folks!}, so please head on over to Two In Diapers to add your link. Hopefully we can get this all worked out tomorrow!**

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Movember Mustache Necklace Giveaway!

Movember. Spread the awareness of men’s health! Women’s health is in every magazine, spread across headlines in newspapers, and major stories on talk shows and news shows. But what about Men’s health? Men are human too and we want to keep our men around!

I love mustaches, so naturally I love this month! And because I want to support Movember I’m having a giveaway!

A mustache necklace made by yours truly.

Wanna win it?

Awesome!

All you have to do is head on over to my MoSis page and make a minimum of a $1.00 donation to support Movember. Then come back and leave me a comment letting me know you did. Of course, you could make a donation in any dollar amount over $1.00 – Movember & Sons would like that!

Please spread the word. Share this with your friends, family, classmates, co-workers, the guy next door.

*Giveaway ends November 21st at 11:59 pm PST. Open to everyone who donates. You may make more than one donation, but only one will count as an entry. You must make a minimum of a $1.00 donation to be entered. Winners will be picked and announced the next day. Thank you and good luck!*


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{Photo} Print Swap | Landscape Theme

My honey, Richard {of Richard Fusillo Photography} is hosting a photo print swap with a landscape theme!

I’m joining in on the fun and you should too!

Open to photographers beginner to professional in the US and Canada.

Landscape theme print of an 8×10 or 8×12. Must be your photograph taken by you!

Head on over to his blog for more info, dates, rules, etc. How fun to give one of your prints in exchange from a print from another photographer to display in your house?!

Share with friends, family, anyone you know who takes photos and would be interested!

#printswaplandscapes {Twitter and IG}


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Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I love it {so much} because you’re surrounded by family, giving thanks, and there is no obligation of giving or receiving gifts. Its just precious time with your family eating delicious food.

Everyone has their own traditions for the day, whether it be the traditional turkey dinner and giving thanks or hanging out in the living room watching football and BBQ’ing up some delicious meal {sounds like my kind of holiday!}. Mine was always a combination of the two when I was still at home with my parents. Through the years after leaving the nest and creating a nest of my own, I’ve tried to establish some sort of tradition with Bry in the home. Some things have changed, some I’ve brought along from my childhood, but one thing stays the same: my homemade cranberry sauce.

With this simple recipe you will never buy canned cranberry sauce again.. trust me!

Ingredients:

2 cups of fresh cranberries

1 cup of sugar

2/3 cup orange juice {with pulp}

2 tbsp grated orange rind

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

Method:

Combine orange juice and sugar together in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil

Throw in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until thick

Remove from heat

Serve warm or cold as desired

*I like to add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg on top when I serve it

What is your go-to Thanksgiving dish? How do you and your family celebrate Turkey Day? Share with me in the comments below!

Link up your recipes with Small Anchors!

Happy cooking!


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DIY Lip Balm

Many lip balms out there contain ingredients that can be harmful to your skin and lips causing more damage. Isn’t the reason you use lip balm is to help with chapped lips? Why cause more damage by using a product claiming to do just that?

You could go out and buy an all natural lip balm and lip balm that doesn’t contain phenol, menthol, salicylic acid, vitamin e or alcohol. Or you could just make your own!

It’s really easy and only takes a few ingredients. Ingredients you may already have!

Gather:

Coconut Oil

Petroleum Jelly

Beeswax

A pack of kool-aid {yes, Kool-aid!!} in any color {we used cherry}

Small container for the lip balm. I found mine at Forever21; they came in a beauty kit with some bottles in a cute bag. Even came with a funnel!

Shave one tablespoon of beeswax into a microwave safe bowl

Add 4 tablespoons coconut oil and 4 tablespoons of petroleum jelly

Heat in microwave for about 45 seconds or until melted

Mix in as little or as much of the kool-aid as youd like until dissolved. We used cherry, but as you can tell, it turned it a nice plum color. We got it for flavor purposes more-so than color preference.

Pour into the container and let set for a couple hours. Or put in the fridge for about an hour. Then use and enjoy!

The containers came with cute little spatulas too.

Loving the plum color too! When you apply the lip balm there is a slight hint of the color.

I added a cute little label to them


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