Today’s link round-up has organization tips for kids’ collections, Christmas ornament ideas for kids, a natural salt and sugar scrub, and more.
A Beautiful Mess showed us some cute ideas for using rainbow ink.
Kids’ Activities Blog shared some tips for keeping kids’ collections under control.
How Does She shared 21 Christmas ornaments kids can make.
Crafts by Amanda showed us how to turn stenciled CDs and DVDs into coasters.
Olivia Cleans Green taught us how to make natural salt and sugar scrubs.
Pizzazzerie showed us how to set colorful kids’ Thanksgiving table.
Painted Home Designs showed us how to turn a dresser into an island.
Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Crafts by Amanda
When I was growing up, we knew our neighbors. We were in one another’s homes, our parents got together socially. We didn’t just recognize each other; we all knew one another.
It was still that way when my children were young, but gradually people moved away from real relationships and we fell into a wave-at-one-another kind of friendliness.
I recently had a note placed on my car for parking on the easement across from the house I was visiting. The property was a wooded ravine but offered enough off-the shoulder space to park.
The note told me not to park there because it was hard enough to get the grass to grow. I looked around wondering who would have put it there. No clue, but I didn’t park there again.
My story is nothing compared to the young 26-year-old mom who arrived home to find an anonymous note in her mailbox that actually accused her of being a negligent parent. It read:
“You may be able to ignore your baby crying but we are tired of listening to him crying non-stop all day.”
The mom, Trish LaForty, admits that the note left her feeling “shocked and emotional.” She and her family live in an apartment complex, and hadn’t had any problem with any of their neighbors.
Like me, she had no idea who had written the note, so she went to the community’s Facebook page and posted this message:
To whoever wrote this note: thanks. Like being a parent isn’t tough enough… You didn’t even have the guts to come knock on our door.
FYI Our baby doesn’t cry ‘all day’, he cries when he doesn’t want do go to sleep, when he’s getting his nappy changed and when I say ‘no’ because I refuse to let him be spoiled and run around like he owns the joint.
If you’d like to chat more, feel free to pop in. You obviously know where we live.
To her surprise the post garnered overwhelming responses that were supportive and positive. So she decided to do things the old-fashioned way. She visited her closest neighbors to clear up any misunderstandings and to see if any of them had received similar notes.
It turned out her neighbors were as surprised about the note as she was. No one had any idea who had written it.
LaForty said, “I think it’s sad that there are still people out there who lack the true feel of what a community should be.” Perhaps her visits to her neighbors can rekindle some of that, or at the least put a stop to any more of nasty anonymous note deliveries.
Photo credits: SunriseOn7
Today’s link round-up has a few Thanksgiving ideas, plus fun cake pops, boo-boo bags, a DIY crochet cowl, and more.
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to make Thanksgiving turkey snack bags.
Mind Body Green talked about five relationship problems that are totally normal.
Pint Sized Baker showed us how to make cute Marie Antoinette cake pops.
Homemade Interest taught us how to make a Thanksgiving turkey sign.
Living Chic on the Cheap taught us how to make boot socks.
A Mom’s Take inspired us to make some boo-boo bags.
A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make our own crochet cowls.
Photo credit: Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons and Homemade Interest
I’ve seen all kinds of statistics that suggest there are ways to determine whether or not your marriage will last based on how you got married, how much you spent, and how many people attended.
Some of the latest information to come out in a study published by Emory University seems to say that the more you spend on the ring, wedding, honeymoon, etc., the less likely your marriage will survive. As I read it, I couldn’t help but think of the people who put off getting married until they can “afford” it.
The information gathered for this study included current marital status, duration of marriage, length of time dated, feelings and attitudes at the time of the wedding proposal, children, honeymoon, cost of engagement ring, wedding attendance, how much was spent on the wedding, age at the time married, gender, race, education, religious attendance, and household income.
One of the things this study revealed is that those spending a large amount for a wedding ring or ceremony were linked to a higher divorce rate.
How much is considered expensive? For this study, men who spent $2,000 to $4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 time more likely to get divorced, while those who spent $500 to $2,000 had a lower divorce rate.
In the same study, the numbers showed that women who spent $20,000 or more on their wedding dress were 3.5 times more likely to find themselves divorced. Those who spent between $5,000 to $10,000 had a lower divorce rate, and couples who spent $1,000 or less on the wedding had much lower divorce rates.
I’m often looked at as a wet blanket when I question why people are spending so much on that one day. I understand wanting to make the day special. I don’t understand why people are willing to go into debt to start their life together.
Debt causes stress and can lead to arguments about money. Instead, why not use that money toward a house or something else you can use for the rest of life together? After all, that’s when the happily ever after is supposed to happen.
Photo credits: wikimedia
Many of us juggle jobs, home, kids, and more. We can get so busy as parents that we forget to let our spouses know that we appreciate them. If this goes on for too long, it’s easy to feel like we take second place to the kids.
In fact, I’ve seen marriages go on like this where couples become strangers living in the same house and when the kids are grown and leave, there’s nothing left.
Don’t let that happen to you. Take the time to show your spouse they are appreciated by making sure you make them a priority.
You can do this by getting a sitter and having time together regularly. Even if you go out to grab a burger, or watch the stars, it gives you time to be a couple to talk without interruption. It’s a chance to be you and not mommy or daddy.
Plus, going out without the kids, also shows the kids that mom and dad are important to one another. But aside from a date night, it’s important to show you appreciate one another throughout the day to day rat race, too.
Take time to send a thank you text, email, or even tuck a “thinking of you” note in his briefcase, lunchbox, or pocket. And do what you can to make life easier for one another. Even little things like putting your dishes in the dishwasher or throwing your socks in the hamper show that you care.
Physical contact is really important, too. Don’t forget to hug and kiss each other and something more when the time is right. Think of life before kids and try to bring some of that spark to your relationship with kids. Remember, when the kids are gone what you’ll have left is what you’re building now.
Along with showing your spouse they are appreciated, show others, too. When you go out with friends, don’t complain about your spouse. Instead find a positive story or two to share.
Photo credits: Tom Godber
This past summer was from from hell redux.
I won’t bore you with all of the crazy details but suffice it to say that I hit was stressed, tense, and ready to come unwound. It isn’t that nothing good has happened, actually there were a number of really good things. Nope, it was the summer from hell because the stuff that’s bad was really bad and overshadowed the good stuff.
So, I wasn’t surprised when I hit the bottom of my energy reserve and realized that pretty soon mom needed a time out.
It isn’t that I need to get away from the family so much as I need to be by myself. Going to a hotel alone offers many benefits; think about it.
And the final reason I was ready to head for a hotel room? I can cry it all out without making anyone feel like they have to fix the problem. How about you?
My first response to that question is a shrug and Who in the hell knows? in a tone dripping with sarcasm. Although, when it comes to people I have much better luck going with my first response to them, when it comes to words I am learning to wait and see.
So, rather than laughing hysterically and heading for the half gallon of Blue Bell in the freezer I decided to actually read the article in question.
At first I scoffed. The woman that was being interviewed said that weekends away and flirting with others was an important part of what made her marriage work. I was about to click off the page when I decided to read further. I was glad I did.
While weekends alone and flirting with other men are not the marriage strengtheners I would recommend, the basic ideas were good. Her philosophy is that it is important to have your own life, to take responsibility for your own happiness, and to see your mate as a partner rather than someone to fulfill you.
I think that is all great advise. I am just pretty sure that if my husband started flirting with another woman he would be getting fitted for a new suit at the morgue, if you know what I mean. I am also pretty sure that if I was to flirt he would not be a happy camper.
Taking responsibility for your own happiness is primary. It’s just so easy to say and so very hard to do! Are you able to do it in your relationships or are you the kind, like me, that has trouble with that?
I was talking, or rather whining, to someone the other day about how guilty I feel all the darn time.
I feel guilty because my house isn’t clean (it did used to be, I promise!). I feel guilty because I am not homeschooling anymore (my schedule is grueling). I feel guilty because when my husband gets home we both want to be pampered because we’re tired and neither of us has the energy to do any pampering most of the time.
I feel guilty because I think the ex got the best me — the energetic, young, thin me who lived and breathed to fix his meal and make him happy. My husband doesn’t get those kinds of perks. Hungry? I am on deadline. Get it yourself.
I feel guilty.
When I shut up, my friend began to tell me about how she felt. You won’t be surprised that she mostly feels the same way I do about things and guilt is tearing her apart, too. We were silent for a bit. I mean, what can you say to that?
Prior to the 1950s, I don’t think women had much guilt. Television was limited and Pinterest hadn’t been invented yet.
Then came the 60s where women had to be able to see themselves in their dishes, the 70s where we needed to bring home the bacon and fry it, and now, in the 21st century, we are subjected to perfect women, with perfect homes, who create perfect meals and crafts to pin to Pinterest. It’s impossible not to feel guilty.
So, you know what? Maybe we should just accept that we are going to feel guilty no matter what and move on, guilt and all. What do you think?
I keep reading articles about how to spice up your sex life because you never know when you are going to need to know how to properly tie a BDSM gag, right?
I find the articles amusing because they either list stuff that you already know and 5,000 other articles have said the exact same thing or they list stuff that a lot of us don’t have the energy for.
We have jobs, kids, houses to clean, and playdates to go to. When we get home we do not have enough caffeine in the house to make us want to don a black leather corset and play You’ve Been a Very Bad Boy.
Which leads to my next point. How do you jog through the house in a shelf bra and garter belt without the kids making gagging noises and telling their teachers at school that they are being passively sexually abused?
The entire answer to really awesome, really hot, married sex is simple. You don’t need 10 ideas, positions that turn you into a pretzel, or even a black corset. Those things are add-ons. What you need is simply to get rid of the kids.
I think more couples have boring sex lives because of their kids than any other reason. You have to be quiet. If the bed starts to squeak you have to try to find a quieter position and you are constantly listening for someone to knock at the door and ask what you’re doing.
Rather than making a list of things to do you are better off to make a list of places to go. Trade babysitting, go away for an occasional weekend, or find other ways to get at least one night to yourselves once a month or so. Yeah, you’ve heard it before but it’s a lot more doable than squeezing into a fishnet catsuit.
photo credit: Clear Frost