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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mormon mom bloggers and how I want to be one

Hi there.

So my husband recently sent me this article which then led me to read this one which spiraled out of control on a click-fest of blog discovery (a click-fest which has been happening far too frequently for my taste).  So before you read any further I suggest you follow those links.  They're about a new fad called "blogging" and more specifically "Mormon Housewife blogs".  Yes.  Serious. (Oh by the way, if you don't know, I'm Mormon.)

I'm not going to summarize because I've provided the links and I think you should check them out for yourselves. But I want to know what people think.  And I really hate FB conversations in the comments section.  A couple interesting things Emily Matchar (author of the Salon.com article) brings up are, one, that Mormon women are amazing bloggers because journal (record) keeping is such a huge part of the Latter-Day Saint culture and second, they're on the rise because LDS women have been taught from the time they could walk how to craft and upcycle - in her words "with the rise of DIY culture across secular America, all of a sudden those skills have become trendy, even bankable."

Here's my reason for this post: as I read these articles I thought "Oh no.  That's ME.  Or, at least, the me I'm trying to be. The me that wants to say 'Hey, look at my life! I have cute kids and I'm crafty and I just love love LOVE to bake and isn't my husband great!?' " Don't get me wrong, I do want to identify with this (obviously) - I've always been a follower of trends. While I may always follow these trends there will always be a rebellious part of me screaming "NO! You're different!" But here's the thing; I may have been that rebellious and "different" girl years ago (maybe I'll post about that in the future?) but I'm not anymore. So this is my attempt at embracing that happy-Mormon-housewife ideology.  Because while it may have disgusted me at first to think of myself as wanting to be a part of the masses - I realized that in occasionally pretending to be a happy domestic Goddess, one can actually become a happy domestic Goddess.  No, I'm not there yet, nor will I ever be.  But I know that using a blog to reflect on one's life, love, family and baking/crafting/scrapbooking/photographing capabilities can be an addicting mood lifter.  And there's nothing wrong with that. I said this in another post but finding your identity is good for you, doing things that make you happy is good for you.  So even though I may be just like a thousand other crafty Mormon moms, and the things I do may not be unique, I can still feel unique while doing so.

 So after reading that article I wanted to take the opportunity to tell my (all of nine) followers about what you'll find here in the future and maybe get some feedback on what you might want to read (please?). Here are the things I'm interested in sharing, as a friend and blogger, with you:

- Projects I'm working/craft ideas
- Internet finds (which will vary from cool bloggers to Pinterest Picks and stuff in between)
- The rare Recipe once in awhile (quick and easy is my specialty)
- Social commentary surrounding the theme of motherhood, parenthood, relationships and perhaps religion (but no politics)

The first and the latter will probably be the majority of it. This blog is mostly my creative outlet but I will also use to inform family and friends about the goings on of my family. I'll keep it interesting as long as my life remains interesting.  And when it's not I'll post a recipe or two to keep you coming back for more ;)

Monday, October 22, 2012

DIY Driftwood Picture Frame

Hello friends.  Today I am unveiling my first-ever DIY!  I like to keep things fun and simple so I thought I would share this with you. It doesn't require much effort.  

- Four sticks that are roughly the same lengths (painted for more fun!)
- Clothespin
- Two eye screws (I use these )
- Baker's Twine or string
- Glue gun

First things first - figure out how you want your sticks to look; the sticks you choose for the top and bottom of the frame must lie flush with the wall. Glue the stick ends together after you've decided on your layout. Like so.



Once the glue has dried (shouldn't be too long) glue the clothespin in the center of the top stick.

After the clothespin is dry, screw in your eye hooks on each side of the top stick.  Depending on the size of the stick, this may be an inch or so from the ends.  Use your best judgement here. Then string your twine through the eye hooks and tie to desired length, trim the ends and then you're done!

Voila! And in case you're interested in sticks like mine, you can purchase my hand painted DIY Driftwood frame kit right here in my shop !

Friday, October 19, 2012


I'm pleased to announce the Grand Opening of my Etsy shop!

So I have been creating like crazy the past few days/weeks/months and I've finally been able to work out all the kinks and open shop!  I'm so excited to get all my projects up and out in the open.  Each one is special to me and I've taken care to ensure quality in each one.
Some of you may know what I've been up to but for those of you who don't I've been spending most of my days creating unique driftwood pieces.  I love the beautiful driftwood that I've found here in Hawaii and creating inexpensive household decor out of it has sort of become a requisite for those living in campus housing (i.e. temporary home + lack of funds = creating decor out of local finds).  So I thought I would share that novelty of my life with the rest of the world.  And there is definitely more good stuff to come! So please take a look around my shop (maybe "like" my Facebook page while you're at it! ) and let me know what you think!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Embrace the Camera

 This week I've somehow managed to maintain my peace and patience.  Something about my perspective has changed and suddenly it's become easier for me to live in the moment.  When I figure out how this came about I'll let you know.  But for now, I'm enjoying each second with my family.  Instead of worrying about tomorrow, or next year, or careers, or money, etc. I've become aware of how important it is to stop and think about what's going on in the world directly around me.  Instead of wishing I did things a certain way or longing to be "that kind of mom/wife/woman" I decided to just do it.  And it is SO much more fulfilling than all those aspirations and expectations I know I'm not capable of achieving.... for the time being.  I think this is the first time in my life I've been so happy with who I am in my own skin.  It feels good.


Hello dear reader!
You can now find me on bloglovin! (It's like google reader - it keeps all your blogs in one place but you can "like" posts to remember/save for later).

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday's Musings (belated): This is Halloween?

 So Halloween is fast approaching and it's time to start thinking about costumes.  Most of you with kids are probably way more on top of this than I am but I lack resources (i.e. a car, a working sewing machine, decent craft/fabric stores)  to do anything fancy. I also have a very fickle three-year old who changes his mind on an hourly basis as to what he wants to be.  Hence, last year I decided for him.  You might not be able to tell from the picture above but Bannock went as Draco Malfoy and Brecken was his little Owl.  That's as homemade as I get out here in Hawaii (but I was pretty proud of my "creations" none-the-less).  So this year I was perusing the Target website for some last minute ideas/deals because up until yesterday afternoon Bannock wanted to be a race car driver ("Just the clothes, but no car" - his words).

This is where my rant begins.  What is the deal with kids' Halloween costumes these days?!?! Seriously.  I selected the age-range box that specified ages 3-9, little boys, and the results varied from typical (Iron Man, Thomas, Dragons) to completely appalling.  Call me old fashioned but I believe in preserving our children's innocence as long as possible. So yeah this is coming from a girl who wanted to be a dead cheerleader in high school (bloody Pom Poms protruding from my head and chest, classy.  I didn't go through with it though). I might be bordering on old-lady sentiment here but there are some things that children under the age of twelve should not see nor personify, even if Halloween is about creepy ghouls and goblins.  So I compiled a "can-you-believe-this?" list of the ones I found most offensive. Take my word for it or follow the links below...
- this heartless zombie is probably the worst.  I might have words with the child's mother if I saw this wandering the streets. OK, probably not, but someone tell me they agree that this is too disturbing.
- So maybe it's just the zombie thing (my brothers are totally into this fad) that bugs me the most.  I remember seeing Night of The Living Dead when I was about ten and it scarred me. I think walking corpses are disturbing and disgusting.  So what if you watch the Walking Dead? Your kid doesn't need to.These two are dumb and gross: zombie sock monkey and this zombie costume
- Don't get me wrong, I actually liked The Dark Knight Rises (Joseph Gordon Levitt as Robin? Genius.) but again, it's not appropriate for kids.  Bane was super creepy, well done by Tom Hardy, but creepy none-the-less.  So this Bane costume goes on the list.
- and the others I won't link but these were their names Zombie Chimp, Evil Jester, Evil Dead, Wicked Troll, Bleeding Scream, Soul Taker, Corpse Costume, Last Laugh Clown Costume, I mean come on, really?  Whatever happened to throwing a sheet over a kid and cutting out eye-holes? Anyway, let me know what your kids/nephews/nieces are being for Halloween.  And if you don't agree with me about these disturbing Halloween costumes please feel free to tell me!

Oh and as of yesterday evening my son now wants to be a cockroach - great.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A few thoughts on motherhood

These are my boys. Thing One and Thing Two. Not really. (But sometimes).  My oldest is three and a half and my "baby" is 14 months. I wouldn't trade these two snuggets for anything.  Thing One is all boy - he has a relentless obsession with cars and trucks and trains and construction vehicles.  His intelligence astounds me; his vocabulary and his ability to reason are (annoyingly at times) advanced for his age (Today he told me "I don't want to watch anthromorphic (anthropomorphic) cars and trucks, I wanna watch real ones").  He is exactly like his father in every way. Thing Two is a darling, chubby ham.  He's a snuggle bear that will just eat your heart out (and pull your hair). That grin you see up there? That's called "squashy face" and he does it on command.  He is a busy little bean and has quite the attitude which he enforces to get what he wants.

That was just a brief introduction but suffice it to say these boys keep me BUSY.  I love being a mom but I have to admit that there are times when I don't really think I was meant to do this.  I know, I know, that sounds like every other mom out there but I mean I seriously question myself and whether or not I can give my children what they need.  Yikes, so I'm not going to give them up for adoption but I might just consider myself done-zo.  Like, no more.  I'm seriously considering throwing in the towel.  It's not that I'm defeated.  I think a lot about having more children and about those women who can handle (or so it seems to me because they keep doing it) having their kids so close together.  (Mine are two and a half years apart and I sometimes wonder why I did that to myself. ) My husband and I were sort of thrown into parenthood (read: unexpected pregnancy) and I often wonder if any amount of planning and preparation would have actually changed our "by-the-seat-of-our-pants" method.  Other events in our life have forced us to change our strategies and mold ourselves to the situation. But through it all I couldn't help thinking that I wasn't made of the right motherhood material.  I still feel that way.

I used to consider myself the kind of woman who "found her calling" in motherhood. That lasted, like, a week.  As I went through college I became aware of a part of me that had remained untapped.  I understood the conflicting roles in my life - wife, mother, daughter, sister, student, self - and that there is no way to juggle them all at once (even though it seems like that's what we're always being told).  Though we are supposedly amazing multi-taskers, I think the best way for women to be completely satisfied in their varying roles is to slow down and focus on one at a time.  Don't try to be a mom and a wife at the same time (for me, the mom always wins).  Live in the moment and stop thinking in the future.  This isn't easy (my husband will roll his eyes when he reads this) but I think the common misconception of women being able to "multitask" is really just a nice way of saying we are constantly thinking about everything at once and subsequently trying to do everything at once.  So I've decided to take my own advice and break my day up into different sections devoted to the different roles in my life; like right now, this section of my day is for my Self, a part of me that usually gets forgotten about when I put on my "mom" pants.  The biggest thing I've come to realize in the past few months is the idea that I need (need) my own thing.  And by using that amoeba of a word I mean hobby, past-time, me-time, alone time, whatever you want to call it.  But in order for my happiness (and therefore the happiness of my household) to survive I need an identifier that coincides with who I am as an individual (i.e. Mom=kids, wife=husband, self=ME). I'm still working out the kinks but it seems to me that when I create something I feel better about myself - lately stamp carving, wood painting, canvas sewing and notebook stitching has become my favorite form of self-expression.

So, today's rant is really just a public form of me admitting that I will probably never be the perfect mom (although I've got both boys napping at the same time right now so that's pretty close right?), that I'll probably never be the organized mom and I'll probably always be the mom on the verge of a nervous breakdown BUT I can still be happy in my tangled roles by understanding my Self first. I don't mean be selfish, I don't mean think of your Self first.  But doing something for yourself on a regular basis will help you understand your capabilities (and your limits). Knowing who I am and what I need can help me sort out the needs of those around me. And I think that's a decent start on the road to perfection success!