Thursday, March 31, 2011

Craft Time! Snack Box Purse!

I made a little purse out of this snack box and I had to share with you!  You're gonna love this!
 You need a small cardboard box.  You can use a cereal box or a snack box, depending on the size of purse you want to make!
 Cut the box down to the size you want, and cut a couple holes in it near the top for the handle of your purse!  Honestly, this is the hardest part of the whole process!  Be careful not to cut yourself like I did!!

 Put a fold in the sides of the box so that it is just a crease to make the box more purse shaped.  Now you're ready to go!  Get some scraps of pretty scrapbook paper or wrapping paper and cut them to fit your box.  They don't have to be perfect, they will overlap like a collage.  You will also need some Mod Podge glue and a paintbrush.  This is the glue that is used for decoupage and gluing puzzles together.
 Start layering the paper onto the box in whatever pattern you want,  clip, cut, or fold to get it to fit in whatever way works!
 Brush a layer of the Mod Podge on top of the paper too!  This will hold down the overlapping edges and give your purse a shiny finish!
 It takes about 15 minutes for the glue to dry!  That's it!  You're done, and now you have a very fashionable and cute hand bag, AND you just recycled a cardboard box!

 This one is small, but it's the perfect size for my keys, cell phone, and a small wallet.  You could use it as a gift bag, a place to store crayons or markers, holding sewing supplies, or whatever you want!  Isn't it cute?  It has a real "vinyl" feel to it and it's flexible and rather sturdy!
I have a bunch of cereal boxes and snack food boxes saved up, and a lot of decorative scrapbook paper, so this will be the craft project for my daughter's birthday party!  Each child will get to pick a box and some paper and decorate their own purse however they want!  After they dry I'll throw a handful of candy in each purse and the child has a great little gift bag to take home - one that they made themselves and can re-use for whatever they want!  It's going to be so much fun I can't wait!

oh, and I must give credit, I found this craft at Disney Family Fun, under the Recycled Crafts section!  There are SO MANY great ideas like this one there, check it out!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tackle It Tuesday; Mount Washmore, CONQUERED!

The weekly Housework meme!
Since the house is in decent shape and I was relatively caught up with the general housework, I decided to get ambitious and dedicate today to LAUNDRY!  The pile in the Laundry Room (better known as Mt. Washmore) has been taunting me for weeks.  I swear it's been breeding.  I would wash laundry, and the pile would not get any smaller... in fact, it would tend to grow.  So, today I decided to tackle it!

7:00 am.  There is a door behind that pile.  And supposedly a FLOOR under there, but I don't really remember what it looks like.  I started a load of laundry from this pile, and then got busy and folded the two clean loads that were in the livingroom from yesterday.....

9:00 am - Load 1 folded and then put away.

9:30 am - Load 2 folded and put away.

10:30 - load 3 folded and put away

11:00 am - load 4 is in the dryer, load 5 is in the washer, I'm finally starting to see progress.  Of course, the blankets, sheets, and comforters in the corner will have to wait until another day.  But I sorted thru them and got all the clothes that had been mixed into them sorted out :)

12:30 - load 4 is folded and put away!  I'm starting to confirm my theory that the laundry pile has been breeding.... I don't even RECOGNIZE some of these clothes.

1:30 pm - load 5 is folded and put away!  Load 6 is in the dryer and.....

I can see the FLOOR! 

Holy cow!  I can walk into my livingroom from the laundry room without wading knee deep through laundry and risking broken neck or twisted ankle!

2:30 pm - 6th load is folded and put away!  I was so excited to get that last load put away that I forgot to take a picture, so you'll just have to take my word for it!

My husband got home from work and saw the floor in the laundry room (and the absence of piles of clean laundry in the livingroom) and declared an official Miracle of God.  And I don't feel too shabby about it myself!

Now, tomorrow is Anti-Procrastination Day - maybe I'll wash those blankets and sheets lurking in the corner...

want to blog about your housework projects?  Join me at Tackle It Tuesday over at 5 Minutes For Mom!  Check out what other moms are tackling!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Let's Get Prissy

The Queen of Memes has asked her subjects for beauty tips!  I shall try to comply, though I'm not very "girly" in that respect... but here I go, I will try to answer this week's prissy questions!

1. What is your favorite lipstick color and why?
I've never been into lipstick before... I always would wear just a light lip gloss or a light colored lipstick.  But right after my 31st birthday I discovered the joy of RED lipstick!  I don't know the exact shade... I just know it's dark and bright and makes me feel fabulous!

2.  How long does it take you to get ready to go to work in the morning?
That would depend on how long I have to get ready!  If I get up 20 minutes before I have to leave, I can be dressed and have my make up done by the time I leave.  If I get up 40 minutes before I have to leave, I might do something with my hair other than a pony-tail.  But, I've been known to get up only 7 minutes before I have to leave for work.... I still get "ready to go to work"... but it becomes limited to just getting dressed and walking out the door.

3. Do you have your nails professionally done? Mani? Pedi?
Every once in a great while I will get my nails done.... I love how they feel and look when I get them done but it's not often an expense I can justify.  I've only gotten a professional pedicure twice - I loved it but it's not something I would spend money on all the time.

4. Tell us about your latest spa experience - real or imagined.Spa?  Well, 3 or 4 years ago my hubby got me a day at a fancy spa for Mother's Day.  It was fabulous!  I got my nails done, got a fancy bath with all kinds of salts and scents added in, and a great massage.  That was definatley a great experience... hey isn't Mother's Day coming up again?

5. Is there something you'd like to change about your appearance? Would you ever have cosmetic surgery? I would change my teeth.  I need to get some work done on my teeth, and a whitening would be nice too but those are not good for you.  Cosmetic surgery?  well... to be honest I WOULD get a boob job if I won the lottery or something.  Not to make them bigger, but just to make them... more shapely.  3 kids equals rather deflated ta-tas.

6. How do you take care of your skin?
wash it.  apply lotion if needed.

7. Tell us your secrets for vibrant, shiny, healthy-looking hair.
Wash it.  Sometimes 3 or 4 times a week.  I like Herbal Essences shampoo.

8.  What is your favorite fragrance?
Lavender. or Vanilla.  I like light scents.  I do NOT like perfume... many perfumes give me headaches.  Something light scented in a body spray or lotion is all I need, and all I can really handle.

9.  Everyone has a certain color they love to wear. What is yours?
Black.  Green.

10. Do you have ink?

11.  How would you describe your personal style?
90's grunge meets thrift store mom. (Jeans and t-shirts)

Read other replies to these same questions here at The Queen's Meme!


I've moved my blog.  If you're here, you're at the new blog.  I just didn't like the wordpress format that much so I'm trying this out here at blogspot.

I copied some of my posts from the old blog to this one.  Not all of them, just a few of my favorites.  A lot of the photo blogs and cleaning blogs have been left behind at the wordpress blog.  You can always pay them homage or give them a visit if you want to jog down my memory lane.  (The old blog is here;

But anyways, aside from the few posts I have moved over here, it's time for a fresh start with a new blog!  A lot of the same, but maybe something new as well!  Thanks for joining me in my adventures of writing about my life!

October Revisited 11/9/2010

Wow.  It’s been awhile since I have posted a blog here.  I know there have been several times over the past couple months when I have thought, “I should blog about this”, or “I really need to update my blog”, but I just never seemed to find the time or proper motivation.  October turned out to be a very busy month for me.  It included a hospital visit, three birthdays, and Halloween…. among other things.

Here’s the synopsis of the last 2 weeks of October, as told and recorded by my Facebook status updates;

Oct. 17 - Just got home from the emergency room with Alyssa :( The kids broke a window and she got cut very badly around 8 pm. She got 12 stitches on her right arm and 2 stitches on her left wrist. She was very brave at the hospital ♥
Oct. 18 – Awww, Alyssa wants to help me wash the dishes but she can’t because she can’t get her bandages and stitches wet yet.
Oct. 18 – What’s for dinner? I’m making baked potatoes with everything on them! Cheese, bacon, chives, tomatoes, and sour cream, yum yum!! And fresh salad too. Mackenzi’s friend is staying for dinner, he keeps complimenting me on my dinner, and it’s not even ready yet! LOL! and he also helped me wash the dishes :)
Oct. 20 – A cool rainy day here in the desert. And you know us desert creatures are so wimpy… I’m looking for my jacket so I won’t get the shivers while walking to the store… and it’s 65 degrees out!
Oct. 20 – Worked off my frustrations with some yard work. Found all kinds of creepy critters living under the pile of old cardboard boxes (which should have been thrown out months ago). Found a nest of geckos and several hatched gecko eggs… cool! Now I need a shower.
Oct. 21 – “As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.” ~Terri Guillemets
Oct. 21 – Click “Like” if you have ever gone to clean a child’s bedroom and felt like you were going to have a heart attack because you were so *MAD* at the state of their room and belongings! Or had to bite your lip to keep from yelling and cursing at them… LOL
Oct. 22 – “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”  -George Washington Carver
Oct. 22 – Feeling domestic… made eggs and biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Changed Alyssa’s bandages, gave Mackenzi some tea and vitamins (she’s feeling icky), Started laundry, gave Xander a bath, and have been listening to kid’s music and folding laundry with Alyssa!
Oct. 22 – Had craft time with the kids :) You remember those little plastic beads and pegboards that you melt together with an iron? We made those, it was fun! Now back to the housework….
Oct. 25 – Had “game night” with the family… played Yahtzee with hubby and the kids. In the middle of the game Xander fell off his chair and we all had a good laugh… wish I had it on video!
Oct. 26 – Today volunteering at the school; Coloring! That was fun! (Colored some pictures for some word games for a 1st grade class) Now I’m home, I’m tired, and not very motivated… I think I’ll just read for awhile….
Oct. 26 – Mmm.. hubby’s birthday dinner; Grilled NY Steaks with bleu cheese butter and carmelized onions. Green Beans and Salad with ranch & bacon bits & more bleu cheese. Chocolate cake for dessert, if I’m not too stuffed!!
Oct. 27 – Happy Birthday to my son Xander!! You are amazing! Can hardly believe you’re 5 years old today!!
Oct. 28 – Xander needs a haircut!  Where are those clippers??  C’mere boy!
Oct. 30 - Sooo tired, but so excited! Tomorrow morning going to my parent’s house to celebrate my dad’s birthday with my aunts and uncles! Then after spending time with the family it will be time for trick-or-treating and Halloween!!
Oct. 31 – Scaring kids is FUN!

All in all, October was busy, but fun.  Other than the trip to the emergency room with Alyssa… that was NOT fun!  She’s doing fine now, BTW.  Her stitches were removed on Nov. 1st and she has no infection and minimal scarring.  Xander had a great birthday; I still can’t believe he is 5 years old now!!  On Halloween we went to my parent’s house for the day and several aunts and uncles from dad’s side of the family came in from out of state to suprise dad for his birthday.  It was so great to see everyone again!!  Then we came home and I took the kids trick-or treating while the husband stayed home and handed out candy and scared a bunch of little kids silly!  I was home for the last hour or so of kids coming to the door, so I got to watch my husband lurking and lurching through the yard dressed as a zombie and sending some kids running and screaming down the street!
Anyways, I just thought I would give an update, attempt to make some sort of blog post.  I’m gonna try to get back into my blogging again… it just depends on if my November is just as busy as October was!

Falling Apart; it's Cyclical 8/2/2010

My interest in things has always been somewhat cyclical.  I will have an idea, work on a plan, obsess for a while… maybe even get something done, but after a while I get bored…. or overwhelmed, and suddenly I’m not “into it” anymore.  Usually this is because I think of a new project or goal (or two or three) and just get totally overwhelmed.  I am the Queen of unfinished projects.
I’ve come to realize that one of the biggest things that brings me down is my perfectionism.  “If I can’t do it ALL, and do it PERFECTLY, then why bother?”  For some reason my sense of self-worth gets tangled up in my projects, and when I realize I have fallen off track, the depression sets in.

I just don’t know HOW some people do it.  Especially mothers.  You know, those “perfect moms” who manage to do all the great mommy stuff like; homework/studying with the kids, taking the kids to the park/library,  going to school functions or meetings, AND taking their kids to cheerleading or baseball or youth group or whatever it is their kids are involved in.  On top of this they also do the grocery shopping, menu planning, cooking, and cleaning, and while their houses might not be spotless, they aren’t any worse off than my house… probably much better on most days.

For me,  just keeping the house “livable” and the kids fed is pretty much the extent that I can handle.  I’m constantly fighting with the pile of laundry that I spitefully call “Mount Washmore”.  Getting the groceries planned, bought, and put away sucks more life out of me than anyone knows.  Most days, just keeping the kitchen clean enough to eat out of and the livingroom clean enough to “live” in stretches me impossibly thin.  The thought of adding in homework, reading to the kids, or taking them ANYWHERE; well that’s just crazy talk.  Then there’s keeping the kids clean, fed, uninjured, and occupied.  I just don’t have it in me to do it all.

Not that I never do any of the other things.  It’s just, I don’t feel like I do enough.  I often come up with these great “plans” and schedules… for the kids, but mostly for myself.  These schedules have ways in which I can fit in the housework AND the studying, AND the fun.  All goes well for 1 week, maybe two.  Then the schedule starts to falter; no – I start to falter.  I cut something out.  Then another.  Either the housework gets neglected, or I don’t help the kids study or do crafts with them.  Then, the whole thing is scrapped and I do nothing for a few days straight.  It was just too much.  Either the kids, or the house.  How can I choose?  Sure, the kids are more important than a clean house.  But if they don’t have a clear place to study or read, and can’t find their school supplies, or can’t eat dinner until some dishes are washed, that’s not good for them either.

Today, I realize there are only 2 weeks till school starts.  In the beginning of summer, I had great plans for making sure the kids studied all summer.  Kenzi was going to do math every day, Alyssa was going to practice her sight words.  I even had preschool activities for Xander.  That lasted about three weeks into summer.  After we stopped, I kept telling myself,  ”We’ll start again next week.”  But somehow that never happened.  “All or nothing”  has gotten me nowhere.

This is all part of a cyclical pattern with me.  I will suddenly realize I’m slacking in one area, pick up the slack, then lose momentum and fall apart.  Then I find a huge store of motivation within me, and it starts again.   Right now I’m on the “falling apart” end of the spectrum, feeling mostly overwhelmed to the point where just washing the dishes seems like too much work.  Next week, I’ll probably be buzzing around like Super-Mom, doing insane amounts of housework every day as well as making plans and schedules for homework after school and all the fun, wonderful, important things I want to do for and with my family.

I’ve decided on a theme song for my life;

Please, just listen to your waitress! 7/25/2010

I love my job, I really do.  I enjoy customer service.  I enjoy talking to people, I enjoy serving food.  But no matter how much I love my job, after each weekend, (sometimes after each shift), someone or something has given me a reason to need to rant, rave, and vent.

I enjoy going to, just to see the other horrendous stories and realize I am not alone.  Today I just really need to vent a little.

I have come to realize over the years that people just DON’T LISTEN.  Yet this continues to be one of my biggest pet-peeves at work.  Here are some examples of customers not listening, and these are things that have happened personally to me or to other people I work with.

Me = Me, smiling and doing the best I can
C = Customer (C1 and c2, etc. if there is more than one person at the table)

Example 1;
C1; “I’ll have the Ham and Eggs”
Me; “And how would you like your eggs?
C1; “Over Medium.  And with wheat toast.”
Me; “Okay. :-)   And what would you like?”  (turning to the next customer)
c2; “I want the same thing”
Me; “The same?  You want Ham and Eggs?”
c2; “Yes, the same as her.”
Me; “Okay.  Over medium eggs and with wheat toast?”
C2; “Yes.”
(Note, I repeated the order to the 2nd customer just to be sure.  Because sometimes people will say they want the same thing, but then end up ordering something completley different.)
Later, I deliver the food.
Me; “Here is your ham and eggs.”
C1; “Thankyou”
C2; “Uhhhh… I wanted bacon.”

Example 2;
During a busy shift, I am delivering food, taking orders, and clearing plates from several tables as fast as I can.  As I am delivering food to one table, walking with my arms, full, I notice that a different table is running low on coffee.  As I pass by them with my arms full of plates, I pause to smile at them, make eye contact and say “I’ll be right back with some more coffee for you.” and continue on to the other table to deliver the food.  I drop off all the plates, make sure this table has all their food, then turn around to go to the back to get the coffee pot.  On my way, I notice the other table waving at me.  The one that I just told I would be back with coffee.  I figure maybe they need something else.  So I turn around, walk all the way back to their booth, “Yes, can I get you something?”
“Umm, coffee please?”
Me; “$@#^%”  ”Yes, I’ll be right back”
It’s really hard to keep my composure sometimes.  I mean, I had TOLD them I was gonna get some more coffee.  I hadn’t even made it back to the drink station yet.  I would have been at their table with a pot of coffee in 10 seconds if they hadn’t stopped me and waved me back.

Example 3;
Delivering food.  I can’t carry it ALL.  I can’t carry a huge heavy tray.  Sometimes I can get another server to follow me with a few plates, but most of the time I will just carry what I can, drop it off, and then go back for the rest.
Me; “Here’s your breakfast,” (naming each item and depositing each plate in front of each customer,) “and I’ll be right back with your toast.  Can I get you anything else?”
C1; “Um, don’t I get toast with this?”
Me; ” Yeah, I just told you I’d be right back with that, jerk.” “Yeah, I’m sorry, I couldn’t carry everything at once, I’ll be right back with that.”

Another variant of example 3;
Me, delivering food; “Here’s your pancakes and bacon!  I’ll be right back with some syrup, is there anything else you want with that?”
C; “umm, syrup?”

and again;
Me; “I’ll be right back with some steak sauce for you, is there anything else I can get you?”
C; “Um, yeah, can I have some steak sauce?”

Please, before you go out to eat, clean out your ears, turn on your hearing aid, and try bringing some manners with you.  I realize you didn’t come out so that you could talk to me, but listening to your waitress will help keep her in a good mood, and you might even realize that you are recieving excellent service if you would just stop and LISTEN!

Close Encounters and Premeditated Murder 7/20/2010

The desert heat can bring out some strange and creepy critters.  I find myself constantly on the lookout for desert creepers such as Scorpions, Centipedes, Tarantulas, and other nasty bugs.

What I wasn’t expecting were these alien-like creatures which appeared on my front porch a couple nights ago.
Each about 3 inches long – 4 or 5 inches if you include the length of those antanae, these wierdos scared the crap out of me as I noticed them just before I sat down on the wooden bench.  They had pinchers, and no fear.

Being a typical woman in some respects, these bugs had me thouroughly freaked out and I knew I would not be able to sleep knowing they were outside my door.   I was sure they were plotting a break in.  Getting rid of them involved some planning.  Murdering aliens is not always a crime of passion… this one was certainly premeditated.  I found the bug spray.  The huge bottle from Home Depot with the pump in the handle for the steady stream.  I sprayed and sprayed.  One ran up the window screen and the other ran down the leg of the wooden bench.  They moved their antenae around ferociously, I swear they were sending out radio waves, calling the Mother Ship.  Once I was sure they were stunned by the spray, I knocked them each onto the sidewalk with the broom, where they met their destiny under the heavy solid part of the bottle of bug spray.

I went back inside, satisfied yet disgusted and feeling somewhat guilty.  After all, they probably wouldn’t have harmed me.  Then again, they looked like they would have enjoyed munching on my skin, or laying eggs under my kitchen sink.

I showed the picture to a friend, who agreed, they most definatley look Alien.  She suggested that I call the White House.  I told her, too late, I already killed them and disposed of the bodies.  Besides, the Government probably would have called me a racist, accused me of racial profiling, and then sued me for not welcoming the aliens into my home and offering them free food.

Monsoon Meandering 7/20/2010

I haven’t slept in my bedroom since last Thursday.  In fact, all three bedrooms in this house have gone un-used and virtually un-inhabited for the past 4 days, with no end in sight.  We’ve all been sleeping on the floor in the office.  That’s where the Air Conditioner is.  The rest of the house doesn’t have A/C, just a swamp cooler (Evaporative Cooler)  The swamp cooler was working pretty good up until this month, when the humidity started to rise.   What we consider humidity here is anything above 20% – which normally would be bearable, but without an A/C it is proving to be quite miserable, as the Evap. Coolers don’t work when the water can’t evaporate.

July and August are called “Monsoon Season” in phoenix, because the humidity and dew point rise and there is a chance of thunderstorms.  Sometimes these storms can be severe, but we haven’t seen anything like that yet… just sweltering heat in the triple digits.

The office, a small room in the back of the house with a large wall unit A/C has turned into our sanctuary.   Thankfully, this is the room with a couch, a tv, and the computer.

Last night I woke up to a rumbling sound.  At first I thought it must be someone’s loud engine running somewhere down the street.  But as I lay there, the room brightened with a brief flash of light and then another rumble was heard.  Thunder.  I got up and walked into the hot part of the house, to the front door.  I could smell the rain before I opened the door.  It was still warm, but the rain was cooling the air a bit, and it was slightly cooler outside than it was inside my house.  So I opened the front and back doors, and moved the fans in front of them.  It was 2:30 am, and here in South West Phoenix I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back to bed with the doors wide open.  So I stayed up for an hour, letting the fans move the cooler air into the house, pushing out some of the stuffy air that had been accumulating in the kitchen and front entrance.  I stood in the rain in my pajamas and felt relieved.  I knew the relief wouldn’t last long.  Eventually, around 3:30, I reluctantly closed the doors and went back into the air-conditioned office and tried to get some more sleep.  My back and hips are starting to complain from sleeping on the floor for 4 nights, but it feels so much cooler in here that I really don’t care.

Now it’s 11:00 am.  The sun is shining and the temperature has already risen to 100 degrees, with the humidity at 32%.  I don’t know if having the doors opened last night helped the temperature in the rest of the house – it’s still too hot to comfortably make use of any room other than this one.  The rain we had was much needed, and I am thankful for it, but the light sprinkle in the middle of the night won’t do much other than make it more muggy and humid the rest of the week.

I just wish we would have some of those insane torrential thunderstorms and then have this monsoon season pass us by.  If the humidity clears out, I may be able to use the rest of my house.  For now, it’s a matter of staying in this room as long as possible, and if I must go in the other rooms to clean or cook, I will wear wet clothes, wet hair, and try not to work for longer than 15 minutes at a time.

Hello World! 7/19/2010

Monday, June 19th 2010
2:45 pm

Hmmm,  a blog.  Oh the possibilities!
I’ll have to figure out this WordPress thing… I’m not sure how this site works yet.
Of course, that will have to wait.  More mommy-duties are needing my attention.  I need to make the drive to North Phoenix to pick up my paycheck and pay the cable/internet bill.  I’ve been sitting here putting it off, because it’s 112 degrees out there and I really don’t want to drive in this.  But then I remembered… since we are late on the bill, my internet will be turned off if I don’t pay it today.  So then the new blog really would be pointless.
Off I go to hand over some money, all so you have to opportunity to read about my life.  Vanity?  Maybe.

5:17 pm
It sucks when you drive all over the city, and come home empty-handed but with less money.  I paid the cable/internet bill, picked up my paycheck, cashed it, and then put $40 on the elecrticity bill.  2 hours late I’m home, sweaty and stinky, and I’m getting a headache.  I didn’t drink enough water today.  NOT SMART!!  I took a cold shower.  With my clothes on.  I was hoping maybe to have a wet t-shirt contest with my husband.  I won by default.  Actually, with no A/C and the kitchen already feeling like an oven, I’m just prepping for cooking dinner.  I could probably just leave the food out on the countertop and it would get heated and cooked without me turning the oven on….

Yesterday a man in Phoenix ran outside to chase down the mail man.  He didn’t put his shoes on.  He ended up in the hospital with 2nd degree burns on the bottom of his feet.

Today I’m making Frito Chili Pie.  Chili and cheese on top of Fritos corn chips.  Simplicity at it’s finest.  Somehow, it goes along with my attire – wet red white and blue bandana around my neck.  Wet white tank top.  Pink skirt.  Flip Flops.  Sweaty.  Doesn’t that just scream “Frito Chili Pie”?