My Top 5 Valentine’s DIY Crafts: Part 3

My Top 5 Valentine’s DIY Crafts: Part 3

Hello my fellow crafters! Here’s to a new day and a lovely craft to share. Today, I’m sharing my third craft. Hurray, we’re halfway there! Making each craft has been fun and frustrating at the same time, (my son barely lets me do anything, lol.) Today Valentines craft is called, “Jar of hearts,” just like the song by Christina Perri.

Jar of hearts

Materials & Tools:

  • Glass jar (I used 2 from Dollar Tree)
  • Twine (optional)
  • Glittery Vase Fillers (optional)
  • 1 construction paper or vinyl
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Hot glue gun
  • Gluesticks
  • Knob(s)

Step 1: Wipe your jar clean (soap and water, or rubbing alcohol will do.)

Step 2: Fold your paper in half. Use scissors to cut-out a heart shape. If you are doing more than one jar, cutout as many hearts as you need. Also, if you need to draw your heart out, go for it!)

Note: If using paper take tape to adhere to both the heart and the jar. This will be tricky when it comes time to paint your jar. I suggest using vinyl to avoid getting paint between the heart and the glass.
I mixed my white and dark pink to get my light pink color. It took 2 coats of paint.

Step 4: Once your heart is attached. Choose your paint color and begin to paint your jar.

Step 5: After allowing the jar to dry, remove the heart. Since I use paper, paint got in between the jar and the heart. It wasn’t too bad, I just scraped the excess paint off by using a toothpick.

Step 6: This next step is optional. Fill the jar with a filler. You can use rocks, sand, lights, or even add a candle. 

Finish jars of hearts, so I thought!

Step 7: With or without the lid while using hot glue, you can choose to wrap twine or a ribbon around the top, and then tie it into a bow. 

Now pose for the camera. . .click, click! You’re Jar of hearts is complete to add to your beautiful Valentine’s day decor. Be sure to send your pictures of your crafts via social media or email. I would to see them! What would you do differently? Let’s chat in the comments below!  

If you haven’t already have a peak at craft #1 and craft # 2. Until tomorrow my loves!

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My Top 5 Valentine’s Day DIY Craft: Part 2

My Top 5 Valentine’s Day DIY Craft: Part 2

Hey loves! Who’s ready for day two of the Valentine’s day decor diy? Me, me! If you’re new here, welcome! Today, I’ll be sharing my next Valentine’s day craft. I’m calling it “the heart box!” Shall we begin…

The Heart Box

Materials & Tools:

  • Art decor box (dollar tree find)
  • Metal heart (retrieved mines from a dollar tree sign)
  • Twine (dollar tree)
  • Ribbon (dollar tree)
  • Paint (your choice)
  • Paint Brush 
  • Hot Glue Gun 
  • Gluesticks
  • Sandpaper or Sanding Block
Decor box found at The Dollar Tree in the Valentine’s Day seasonal section.

To get started, take the box and scrap the flower off (your box may differ as there are different prints sold at The Dollar Tree.) I used scissors to complete this process, but I suggest using a putty knife. Grab sandpaper or a sanding block and sand the area so that it’s smooth. Be sure to wipe the area clean, free of dust. 

Sanding to smooth the area. Don’t forget to wipe the residue off.

Next, I mixed my three paints together as I did in my previous post (see here) to get my desired pink color. Use a paint brush to brush on the paint, then allow to dry.

After drying, add a dab of  hot glue to secure the tip of the twine to the back of the box. Next, wrap the twine around 4 times. Cut, and then glue the twine to secure in place. Repeat for the remaining 3 sides. 

Applying hot glue to the metal heart, place it to the center of the box. Cut your desired length of the ribbon of your choice and make it into a bow. Add a dab of hot glue and place the bow at the top of the box. There’s your beautiful Valentine’s Day diy decor piece! Another simple and easy win!

I hope you all enjoyed! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out “The Love Sign” in my previous post. Tomorrow, I will introduce my next diy Valentine’s Day decor! Until next time loves!

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My Top Valentine’s DIY Crafts: Part 1

My Top Valentine’s DIY Crafts: Part 1

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Love is here and forever true. 

Aww love…love is in the air, is it not? Today, I’m going to share one of my top 5 Valentine’s diy crafts that was crafted over the weekend. The other crafts will be shared over the next few days. Each one is inexpensive, simple, and easy to do. Majority of the materials are found at Dollar Tree. So let’s get started!

The love sign

Materials & Tools:

  • Twine (if desired)
  • Paintbrush
  • 1 wood board (this board came from Home Depot …it was leftover from a previous project)
  • Paint tray
  • Paint (color of your choice)

Since I didn’t have a pink that I preferred I mixed white chalk paint with a magenta pink and added a little orange to get the lighter pink hue I applied to the sign.

While allowing the board to dry completely, I sketched out the lettering “L-O-V-E” onto 4 sheets of paper.

Sketch out the letters, and then laid the paper flat on the board to lightly trace over with a pencil.

After the board dried, I then laid each sheet onto the board and lightly traced over the letters one at a time with a pencil, so it will show the imprint on the board. 

After removing the paper, I then treced over the letters with a sharpie paint pen.

Next, remove the paper and outlined over the imprint with a sharpie oil based paint pen in gold, and then filled in the letter. Repeat for the remaining letters. 

For the finishing touch, I wrapped twine around and tie it into a bow. If you would like to be more creative add lights, ribbons, and/or floral to add more beauty. 

Sweet and simple! Until the next craft my darlings!

What’s your favorite thing about Valentine’s day? Is the kiddos exchange Valentine’s cards at school? Crafting? Decorating? Baking? Cooking a nice dinner?Planning a romantic evening? Writing a sweet poem? Picking out a gift? Receiving a gift? Showing your love how much they mean to you? What is it? Let me know in the comments below.

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How to Build a Baby Gate: 10 Step Process

How to Build a Baby Gate: 10 Step Process

Welcome to the new year of 2020! I hope you all had a great New Years Day! I’m starting the New Year’s off by finishing the build of my second baby gate.

I was in desperate need of a gate since my little mister has successfully climbed over and through everything I’ve used to block his way; a chair,  a large basket filled with blankets, a large pillows, and even bean bag chairs. All were epic fails!

Honestly, I’ve been putting this off for a while now. With so much to do and so little time, things just haven’t been getting done. Now that the holiday season is over, I was finally able to build the gate and can’t wait to start my next project.

Mommy’s travel buddy and I took a ride to Home Depot to gather supplies. We gathered about 6 common boards, hinges, and a lock only to find out that I purchased the wrong boards and lock this time, (this is what happens when you’re short on time and in a rush.)

The lock is smaller than the one I purchased last time, while the boards are much wider and longer than the common boards I used in the previous build of my first  baby gate.

Sighs…No matter though!
I just improvise. 

Different boards mean different gate and I’m fine with that! 

Let’s build!

Materials used:

  • 6- 1 x 5′ x 8′ Common boards
  • Hand saw (suggest a mitre saw or circular saw)
  • Nails & Hammer (Brad Nailer if desired)
  • 2 Hinges
  • 1 Lock
  • Wood stain of your choice
  • Polyethylene (if desired)

Tools used:

  • Hand saw (suggest a mitre saw or circular saw)
  • Sander
  • Drill and/or screwdriver
  • Sponge and/or paintbrush

Step 1: Measure the length between the wall of your stairway or wherever you choose to place your baby gate. Then subtract an inch or 2 off to compensate for the board(s) that you will be attaching to the walls to help hold up the gate. 

Note: This is where I made a mistake by not examining and remeasuring the area before I measured and cut. It wasn’t too much of a disaster,  but it would have saved me from cutting one less board.

Step 2: Measure and cut the boards as you need to equal the width. 

Note: I used the same measurements from my last baby gate diy, but this time with lesser boards and a different style gate.

My Measurements:

39″ width × 33″ height

Step 3: After cutting, sand each board before assembling. 

Note: You could wait to sand until after you assemble. It’s your choice, but I chose to sand everything now.

Step 4: Lay the backframe and spread each board out as equally as possible. Then lay the front frame across on top, making sure they’re aligned with the backframe. 

Note: For the front frame, one board at the top, while the other is at the bottom. See picture below for layout.

2 boards for the front frame; 5 boards for the back frame.

Step 5: Use wood glue and apply a small amount to one board on the back frame. Next, hammer 2 nails to secure the front frame to that board. Repeat the step for the remaining boards.

Step 6: Stain your wood if you dare. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and allowed it to dry 24 hours before applying polyethylene. 

Note: I used Rust-Oleum American gel stain.

After apply the stain, I allowed the gate to dry 24 hours before apply polyethylene.

Step 7: By following the instructions on the label, apply polyethylene. Also allow 24 hours to dry.

Step 8: Depending on the placement of your gate, you may need to screw one or two board to the wall using 3 drywall screws on each. 

Note: Based on the placement of my gate, I only needed to use one board.

Step 9: Use a drill or a screwdriver to attach the hinges.

After attaching the hinges.

Step 10: Last, but not least, use a drill or screw to attach the lock bolt. 

Note: Based on my placement of the gate, I only used one board for the wall to latch the gate onto. I then attached part of my lock to the gate and then the door frame of my kiddos playroom. (See picture below.)

Lock attached to gate and door frame. Yes, I know it’s a little crooked, but it works!

It was definitely time for another baby gate. I am so thrilled to have finished this project and I’m ready to take on the next one. So with the New Year finally here, I hope to plan accordingly and finish projects one at a time. The bigger projects may occur once a month, while the smaller projects can vary from once a week to every two weeks. Stay humble, plan, and enjoy your year of 2020!

The finish product! As you can see, one board is used to hold up the baby gate, while part of the lock is attached to the door frame.

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Blue Christmas.

Blue Christmas.

Good Evening to all and Merry Christmas. I am glad to say that I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with some of my family.  This weekend I’ll be visiting the rest of my family. Unfortunately, I received some sad news. A distant relative was shot and killed. Part of my family’s Saturday morning will be to attend the funeral, while I travel to visit a little later on. 

It is very disappointing to hear that someone’s life has been taken, especially around the holiday seasons. Why do we humans hurt one another? What purpose does it serve? What power does it give? What are you gaining from harming another? 

Though I never had a relationship with my distant relative or knew them very well, l feel sorrow in my heart and wish the family my very best. Knowing that someone is no longer with us can be difficult to grasp and will take time to cope.

Though everyday in life, someone’s life is taken or someone has suddenly passed, it’s never easy to deal with. Whether it’s a lost of a family member,  a lost of an old school mate, or a lost of a relative of someone you know. How do you cope with it?

Do get angry and become mad at the world? Do you reach out to help those grieving? Do you just move on and ignore the fact that someone is no longer living?

As I am writing, I realized I have not been a good person. A year or so, someone I was friends with in high school lost a sibling. I found out through my sister since I no longer had any social media accounts at that point in time. I remember telling my sister to send a message basically saying, “I’m sorry for your lost and if you would like to talk here’s my number.” There was never a response and that was okay. Was I wrong for having my sister, send the message?

I understand people grieve in their own way and I’m sure there were many people to help aid through the process. Even still, I attended the vigil to show support and respect, but I was unable to attend the funeral.

A funeral is not a place none of us want to experience. It’s also not a place I want my children to experience. When I was a child, my dad’s youngest sibling had passed away. She was my aunt, an aunt that I did not know. While attending her funeral, there was so much sadness. People mourned everywhere. It was overwhelming and too much to bare. I cried for someone I never met. I cried because I saw the pain and hurt from others all around. That environment full of sorrow and pain is not what a child needs to experience at any age.

I am grateful for my family and love them so. Be sure to wrap your arms around each of your loved ones and hold them tight. Let them know how much they are loved and how grateful you are to have them in your life. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and keep your loved ones close always and forever.

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How I Failed at Co-sleeping with my Kiddos!

How I Failed at Co-sleeping with my Kiddos!

Have you ever fallen asleep unaware, with your infant still in your arms? 

Most of us moms are guilty of doing so. As a new mom, you are exhausted and overwhelmed. Hey, it happens to the best of us. Though, doctors warn us of the risk of sleeping with your infant arms, as well as in bed with you. These risks include: SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), suffocation, strangulations, and other death related illnesses. 

For safe guidelines from the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) click here. They offer safe guidelines of how to co-sleep, and what to do if you feel yourself falling asleep with your baby.  

From the moment my first born came into this world it was the most breathtaking (both beautiful and exhausting). As every mother knows it takes time to adjust to your newborns’ wild and crazy schedule. It can be overwhelming for the first couple of weeks of your baby’s precious life. I will admit, I am one of those mothers who have drifted off to sleep while still holding my child unknowingly and knowingly. 

This is our current night and day.

Does that make me a bad mother? No, I’m human just like you. I make choices (don’t we all.) Yes, I’ve chosen to fall asleep with my kiddos still wrapped in my arms, just as well as I’ve chosen to have each of my kiddos, sleep with me. Just like I’ve chose to have them sleep on their bellies. 

Yes, I knew the risk. Yes, I’ve heard of mothers losing their child because of this. About 3,500 babies per year have died because of this action. I’d craved sleep and just wanted my kiddos to sleep too. Is that selfish of me? 

I remember when I fell asleep in the hospital the night of the day my first daughter was born with her still in my arms. A nurse walked into the room to do her usual routine check. She advised me not to fall asleep with my daughter in my arms because we wouldn’t want anything to happen. She may fall and so on. She suggested laying her down. “If you need a break, I can take her to the baby care unit,” she said.  As a new mom I didn’t want my baby to leave my side, so I kept her and followed the nurse’s advice the rest of my stay.

Mommy and me time!

After continuously putting my child in his/her bassinet just to have them wake up soon after was frustrating. Believe me, I tried swaddling and ended up with the same result. Before leaving the hospital, I had nurses demonstrate how to swaddle my baby. I even referred to the internet for further instructions, just to ensure I was doing it the correct way. No matter how tight I wrapped the blanket, my kids were not comfortable. 

As they wiggled and made little sounds letting me know that they were about to wake. With the lack of sleep, sometimes I could not resist drifting off to sleep with them in arm. When I  awoke, I would feel some regret, but still relieved that my babies were fine. 

As a new mom for the first, second, third or umpteen time you are tired and restless and just want to catch up on sleep. Babies need attentive care from changing diapers and feeding them to entertaining and comforting them. So yes, you guessed it. . . babies require a lot of your time. 

There have been plenty of times I’ve fallen asleep with my kids on my lying on my chest because of exhaustion or lack of sleep.

How do I stop falling asleep with my child on my chest? 

Well, I’d decided to lay my child on their bellies. At night I’ve noticed that my kiddos slept better and longer on their bellies. Aware of the risk and the fact, doctors recommend that infants should sleep on their backs. Atleast, until they’re able to roll over successfully on their own. 

My first born sleeping on her belly.

I always monitor my child as they slept. Any little sound or slight movement had me alert of my child safety. Since I’m a light sleeper (I get it from my momma,) I feel that’s why I was literally okay and believed that my child would be safe sleeping with me. Anytime, my kiddos moved, I’m up! Anytime, my mister moved and had his arm covering the kids, I moved his arm. Cover over head, moved it. Yes, it happened once I admit. It’s scary, but I made sure it would not happen again. Having our kiddos sleep with us (well me mostly. . . the mister decided to sleep on the couch at times,) was a relief. It’s what worked for our family. 

IMPORTANT

I am not a doctor. This is not advice for you to follow. I just wanted to share my experiences with what worked for me and my family. Just because it worked for me, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Every situation is different. As a precaution, it is safer for you and your child to co-sleep in the same room, but separate from your bed. So many have lost their child because of this. 

I am so thankful that nothing terribly bad ever happened. Always be safe and do what’s best for you and your child. Listen and talk to your child doctors if you have any issues getting your child to sleep. Has this been an issue for you? If so, how did you fix it? I would love to hear from you.

Be ready for the next best thing!

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Where is your Elf on the Shelf?

Where is your Elf on the Shelf?

Our first year of having an Elf on the Shelf. The girls were so excited when they came home from school to find an elf sitting on the table awaiting their arrival with a book to share. They quickly dropped their backpacks and coats and brought the book for us to read as a family. 

Yes, I unpacked her before taking pictures.

After reading The Elf on the Shelf The Christmas Tradition, we sought through names and finally agreed to name the elf Angel. Angel is indeed a girl scout elf and the girls love her so. Afterwards, register your elf to receive their certificate and a letter from the big guy himself (Santa that is.) I definitely recommend this book. It’s a great read and your kids will love discovering information about their very own Elf, just as much as mines. 

The elf book.

Before I continue, I would like to address the fact that my youngest daughter touched the elf. She had no idea that she wasn’t supposed to touch the elf before making that discovery as we read the book.  

Angel probably should have made her big debut else where.

Why you ask? 

The elf scout may lose their magic and we don’t want that. 

What happened?

Scout Elf Angel stayed put for just a day.

Now what?

The real fun began. 

My girls can be bad and I mean baaaaaaad, but let’s not get into that. Elf Scout Angel returned from the Santa’s Workshop the next day in her new spot with a note from Santa simply warning the kiddos that if they keep their bad behavior up Christmas may not come this year. 

Delivering a message from Santa.

To be honest it worked, the girls made sure to clean up and not argue, at least for that time period. I’ve learned that as long as they receive notes from Santa they’ll be good.

One of many small gifts from angel.

Besides notes from Santa, Scout Elf Angel has brought the girls painting supplies. Yay fun! Each day, she finds a new spot to when she returns from her trip from the North Pole. Here, there, above, below. 

One day the girls couldn’t find her and thought they upset her. Mommy to the rescue! I search for her myself and once I found her, I gave hints of where to look and voila Angel was found.

The girls passed her going downstairs and back upstairs. I guess she blended well hanging with her .

To be honest there was a day I didn’t see Angel and the girls pointed her out to me (not that I was trying to find her or anything.)

It was an early morning and not the brightest day yet, plus the curtains was still closed.

There’s always fun little notes, ideas, or adventures to discover with your elf.  So take that journey with your very own Elf. I’m sure there will be many more adventures with ours. So where’s your Elf on the Shelf?

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