Friday, September 28, 2012

Creating Happy Kids {Habit 1: Being Proactive}

You guys…I am seriously a MONTH behind in my schedule! I keep remembering when I was little girl and hearing adults talk about how time just seems to speed up. It's true. I thought they were just making it up. I think I’ve made it to a week equaling what used to be a day. Why does time do that? So like 6ish weeks ago (or 6 days if you’re counting in my time), I told you about a new series that I wanted to start on this here blog called Creating Happy Kids.

creating happy kids

And I was going to use The 7 Habits of Happy Kids book as the platform to build from.

The 7 Habits of Happy Kids

Ummm. Yea. I wasn’t a very good blogger. I told you all that I would post about our first habit on September 7th. What day is today? September 28? 3 weeks late (or really only 3 days in my time, right? That helps me feel a little less guilty).  Well, if it is in any way redeeming to me, my 6-year-old son broke his arm completely in half and had to have emergency surgery on September 2nd. My plan was originally to introduce MY kids to the series on September 2nd and share it with you all on the Friday after. Then, the whole broken arm thing happened, and it more or less threw my whole plan out the window. Really, a lot of my plans for that first 2 weeks. It’s hard on a 6-year-old to have surgery!

Well, I’m jumping back into it now! It’s imperfect this month, but such is life. So, my new plan is to introduce YOU to the next month’s habit sometime during the last week of the previous month. So, for October, we’ll work on the first habit. Then, right before November, I’ll introduce habit 2. Does that work for everyone? There are only 7 habits, so we should be done sometime around the end of the school year.

So….Habit 1: Being Proactive.

Click on the picture for the full size 5x7 printable

In the book, Sammy the Squirrel is bored and looks to other characters to fix the problem for him. Obviously, that doesn’t work because Sammy needs to learn that he is in charge.


In real life, I was a little worried about telling my kids that they are in charge. My daughter especially. She is a natural leader and tends to try to lead (and correct) mommy all the time. I was actually leaning toward telling them that they get to decide rather than they're in charge. But, after a lot of thinking and considering, I went with the You’re in Charge motto for this habit. But, with the stipulation that it meant that they are in charge of their own ACTIONS and FEELINGS.  The first real life example that we were able to apply it to was one day after the older kids got home from playing with neighbor kids after school. We told them they could play but only until 5:30. Well, 5:45 rolled around and they still weren’t home. So, I had to call. They came home full of excuses as to why it wasn’t their fault that they were late. We explained that they are in charge of their own actions, so they couldn’t blame someone else. We talked about things they could do to prevent that from happening again – like asking the other mom to help them watch the clock or call home to ask permission to be late, etc. I loved having something to fall back on instead of just grounding them and not talking it through. It turned something that could have resulted in crying, angry kids into a teaching moment.

In the meantime, I’ve been (slowly) re-reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I only want to read each habit as quickly as I’m going through with my kids. Well, it turns out, I have some Proactivity to work on myself. I’ve read the book before, but it’s been quite a few years. In my foggy memory, I thought being Proactive was more about being productive and getting things done. You know, taking charge of your life. That is part of it. But, it’s so much more than that. It's also about being in charge of your feelings and reactions to situations beyond your control. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve blamed my bad mood on the weather. Or, decided that it was someone else’s fault that I felt offended. Not my finest behavior for sure. And I think some of my behavior has rubbed off on my kids when they blame ME for making them mad (sorry, kids - you do have to do your homework!). Or blame their teacher for a boring day at school (since when did they decide it was teacher’s job to be as entertaining as playing a Wii game?).  I want my kids to take responsibility for their own actions, feelings and behaviors. If school seems boring, what can you do to fix that? You’re not in charge of the curriculum or the teacher, but you are in charge of your attitude, or how engaged you are, etc.  You’re in charge of yourself.

At the back of the book, there is a picture of a 7 Habits Tree. I love the use of a tree. The first three habits are about establishing our roots so we can grow. We showed our kids what all of the roots are, but explained that we’re mainly working on establishing the habit of Being Proactive right now. Once you master the first habits, you can work on growing and branching out.

7 habits tree

So, are you playing along with us? Have you talked to your kids about being proactive?

September Stocking Stuffer Swap (from Life with the Hawleys)


I signed up at the beginning of the month for a fun Stocking Swap hosting by Darby at Life with the Hawleys (which you all know is one of my favorite blogs). It was so much fun! I got partnered up with Sharee at Mom Fitting it All In (don’t we all feel that way!)

Sharee is so awesome, too! She sent me the sweetest package. And she thoughtfully wrapped everything up!


I seriously think we could be friends in real life. I absolutely loved everything she sent!


I’ve never actually been to Starbucks before. I’m not a coffee drinker at all. But my mom says the Hot Chocolate is to die for. I’m excited to have an excuse to give that a try!

Thank you, Sharee for your sweet and wonderful package! And thank you Darby for hosting! This was TONS of fun!!!

$200 Amazon Gift Card Multi-blog Giveaway!!

Hey Everyone!

I've been really excited for this day to come! I've been working with some AWESOME blogs to put together a HUGE $200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway! Woot!! I don't think this could have come at a better time with Christmas right around the corner, and all! Who couldn't use an extra $200, am I right?!?

The giveaway form is through Rafflecopter to make things easy! I've inlcluded everyone's Facebook pages for you to "Like" right from here! Good luck everyone!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weekend Wonders #9

If you missed this week's features, you can see them here and here.

One of my *favorite* parts about blogging is all of the amazing creativity out there in blogland! I'm so excited to see what everyone shares! Plus, since I'm co-hosting this link party, everything you share here will also be shared over at The Thriftiness Miss

This party has been so fun and has grown so fast, that we wanted to share the party every week with a guest host! This week's guest host is Melissa from Adventures with Captain Destructo.  Melissa is a Mommy-Blogger at it's finest. She blogs all about raising her baby and all kinds of other fun parenting stuff.

Now...on to the party. The party will be open until Tuesday at midnight and we'll both be sharing our features on Wednesdays. Be sure and come back then to find out if you were featured. Plus, we'll both be sharing other favorites throughout the week on our facebook pages, so if you're not already a fan, you can find me here. We'll also be pinning the features to our Weekend Wonders Pinterest Board

Weekend Wonders Guidelines...
  1. Follow your hosts:  Adventures with Captain Destructo, Love and Laundry and The Thriftiness Miss via GFC, bloglovin, RSS or Linky Followers. If you are a new follower, leave a comment and let us know how you follow and we will return the favor.
  2. Link to a specific post, not your homepage.
  3. Show us your crafts, recipes, shopping hauls, photos, stories, really whatever you're proud of!
  4. Please do not link up Etsy shops, parties, and/or giveaways.
  5. Visit some other links and let them know how wonderful they are! We all love some positive feedback. 
Love and Laundry

Now lets party! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Weekend Wonders #8 Features

I have to tell you all that I am seriously and completely amazed by all of you who link up every week! You are one talented group of ladies! Thank you for inspiring me so much. Each week my crafty bucket list gets longer and longer!

The most viewed link this week was:

Ana Craft Love made these cute zipped pouches. She made more, too. You'll have to click through to see everything!

And a few more of my favs:

I love, love, love these pumpkins form Lamberts Lately! And the post has even more beautiful fall decorations you need to see!

Did you know that Thanksgiving is earlier in Canada? Yep. It's October 8th this year. I didn't know that until I read this post from The DIY Dreamer! I gotta tell ya, I think I'm with Canada on this one. Christine put together a roundup of awesome Thanksgiving-ness. (This feature may or may not have been chosen because Christine featured my yummy Pumpkin Cheesecake in the collection - thanks Christine!!).

 I superlove this Boo Garland from Design Stash. Yes, superlove is a word. I think any craft utilizing a black boa deserves an award!

This Antique China Cabinet from Relove is stunning. Talia refurbished this by hand. The detail is absolutely incredible! This is a talent I truly wish I had. {BTW, it's for sale if anyone is interested!}  Great job, Talia!!

And now for some wreath love because I've never made a wreath and I love drooling over them. {I really need to remedy that soon!}

This wreath from Kaminski's Creations is just so fun and beautiful! I love the fabric. And the pinwheels.

This rustic wreath Creating in Glass Slippers shared is perfect! I love how it looks against the white door. And can you believe this is a wreath makeover from another wreath on it's way to the trash? Love it!

Don’t forget to check out The Thriftiness Miss and see what her features were!

Thank you, everyone, for linking up! If you were featured today, please grab a featured button!

Love and Laundry

We’ll see you all tomorrow night for the this weeks Weekend Wonders Link Party!

TV Tray turned into an Ironing Board

Most of you know that I love to sew. I really love it. For a long time, every time I sewed, I would haul out my gigantic ironing board just to press seams. Uggh! What a lot of work. So, I transitioned to a TV tray. I draped a towel over it and used that for an even longer time. It was much, much better, but such an eyesore next to my sewing machine. I finally decided it was time to fix that, so I upcycled my TV tray into an ironing board! It was pretty easy to do.

Love and Laundry | TV Tray to Ironing Board Makeover

Want to see how I did it?

I started by lightly sanding the wood. It didn’t need very much. My TV tray was old and I think it only had a light finish to begin with.

Love and Laundry | TV Tray to Ironing Board Makeover

After sanding, I spray painted it black.

Love and Laundry | TV Tray to Ironing Board Makeover

You really only have to paint the bottom, but I couldn’t help myself and gave the top a light coat also. Can one every spray paint too much?

Then, I measured the top. Mine was about 14 inches by 18 1/2 inches.

Love and Laundry | TV Tray to Ironing Board Makeover

I cut enough batting to cover the top of the TV tray. You can make it as thick as you want. I used about 3 layers, but I think you could go thinner and it would be perfect. The more you use it, the more flat it will get as well.

Love and Laundry | TV Tray to Ironing Board Makeover

After the batting was cut, I layered the fabric (right side down) and batting like this:

Love and Laundry | TV Tray to Ironing Board Makeover

Then, I placed the TV tray on top.

Love and Laundry | TV Tray to Ironing Board Makeover

Next, I folded the fabric in and took my handy dandy staple gun to staple it in place. (Imagine a staple gun placing a staple next to the hand holding the fabric down. It’s hard to hold a camera, the fabric, and the staple gun at the same time!)

Love and Laundry | TV Tray to Ironing Board Makeover

I did the outside edges first and saved the corners for last. Here’s how I did the corners:

Love and Laundry | TV Tray to Ironing Board Makeover

And that’s it! It’s finished!! And this is what I love. I can pull it out while I’m sewing to press seams.

Love and Laundry | TV Tray to Ironing Board Makeover

And when I’m done, it just folds up and stores nicely next to my sewing machine.

Love and Laundry | TV Tray to Ironing Board Makeover

Now if only I could keep my sewing area looking this clean and organized all the time. Hehe. ;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm over at High Heels and Grills today

Today I'm over at sharing a yummy pumpkin recipe. Sarah was gracious enough to invite me over. High Heels and Grills is one of my favorite blogs. It's full of yummy goodness! Come see what I have to share!

Here's a little teaser:

The Favorite Pinterest Recipe Awards

I know you all have been there. Wondering what recipes actually turn out the way the tagline says. I’ve had my fair share of experience with Pinterest failures. Not just with recipes, either. So, today I’m sharing my favorite tried-and-true Pinterest Recipes!

{Click on the picture to take you to the recipe link}

Fluffy CCC
First up…the Pinterest cookie. This has been floating around Pinterest for months! It claims to be the softest, fluffiest chocolate chip cookie recipe thanks to “one very surprising ingredient”. The verdict: These are delicious!! I’ve made them over and over and gotten loads of compliments every time! I think these are even better than the pudding cookies that people rave about. You can find the recipe on Kelsey’s Apple a Day.

ham and cheese sliders

Ham and Cheese Sliders from The Girl Who Ate Everything. I’ve made these with and without the poppy seeds. These are so simple and so yummy! Perfect for a night on the run.


Petite Lasagnas from Can You Stay for Dinner. These are incredibly healthy and are a definite crowd pleaser. I make these when we’re having company. It's definitely one of my favorite recipes!

strawberry cheesecake burrito 2 no nuts
sweet sour chicken

Dishing with Leslie has 2 recipes that I absolutely love. Cheesecake Burritos and Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken. Leslie was the first person to guest post on my blog and she has since become on of my favorite bloggy friends. She is one talented lady! If you aren’t already following her blog, you should.  My 6-year-old son practically begs me to make the Sweet and Sour Chicken for him. It’s his absolute fav!!!


This District 11 bread from Our Best Bites is sooo good! I made it for the DVD release of The Hunger Games. One of my best friends came over and made Katniss’s Favorite Lamb and Plum Stew. (That was delicious, too!). But, the bread was amazing! It was incredibly hearty – my kind of bread. Definitely worth making!


I’ve actually already featured this recipe from The Recipe Critic on my blog.  Alyssa linked it up.  It wasn’t very long afterward that I decided to make them! I’ll be honest…I ate probably more than I should have and I blame these for that extra 5 el-bees that my scale is showing.

What about you? Do you have any Pinterest Recipe favorites?


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