Recent Posts

Selling Clothes: ThredUp vs. Poshmark

Selling Clothes: ThredUp vs. Poshmark

There are several resale websites/apps for clothing and fashion items. Two of the biggest are ThredUp and Poshmark. Both have great marketing, but which one is ACTUALLY better to use? I’ve used both, and none of this is sponsored. Just my thoughts and a few […]

DIY Maternity Snowman Costume: Easy and Only $15!

DIY Maternity Snowman Costume: Easy and Only $15!

I’ve been excited to create a couple of DIY costumes this year (coming soon!) but this made me think about some DIY costumes I’ve done in years past and how GREAT they turned out. The one that got me the most compliments was this DIY […]

DIY Fall Centerpiece (Under $20!)

DIY Fall Centerpiece (Under $20!)

I’ve been telling myself I won’t buy decorations until we move next week, but still somehow found myself and the toddler walking though Michael’s earlier today. There were so many cute (and expensive) centerpieces and wreaths for sale. Even with the 50-60% off that craft stores always have going on, the cost seemed crazy! My almost-two-year-old got excited and pointed out all the “flowers!” when I decided to take a closer look. Within a few minutes I had an idea for a centerpiece that would be relatively affordable, last forever, and have the exact types of flowers I wanted. Plus, I told myslf this was a craft activity for Riley and I, which we don’t do enough, so that’s how I justified it. But now with this sitting on my table, I am SO happy and decided that what we did was worth sharing:) In fact, thanks to those “sale” prices, my DIY Fall Centerpiece total came to $18.63! So this isn’t a dirt cheap centerpiece, but comparable premade centerpieces in the same store were listed for $79.99 (even with the 50% off, they were about $40!) so the cost seemed very much worth it.

DIY Fall Centerpiece

What I bought to make my DIY Fall Centerpiece (receipt below)

  • Small Basket- notemy original plan was to get a fake pumpkin and make that the base, but I’ve seen those everywhere and wanted mine to be a bit unique and slightly more “real” looking
  • Silk flowers in fall colors – I went for two larger bunches and three smaller ones
  • Floral foam – wet is easier to work with in my opinion

What I had at home:

  • rocks! I ended up needing these to stabilize the arrangement.
  • optional: hot glue gun and glue. this was my original plan to stabilize the arrangement but it ended up being a little off center and the glue wouldn’t hold. It might work better for you though.

DIY Fall Centerpiece Instructions

Step 1: In the store when you are planning to buy the silk floral pieces, make sure to test arrange them and hold in a bouquet. Some of you probably think that’s obvious, but not everyone knows this and it’s key!

holding the arrangement to test it out, looks good!

Step 2: once you have the arrangement planned out, begin inserting each stem individually into the floral foam. You my want to test out the height of the stems vs your basket. I had to trim a couple of the stems. Make sure to push them far enough into the floral foam that the pieces don’t move at all.

the foam should have everything secure enough to let go and stand alone

Step 3: Place into basket and stabilize. At first, I tried a hot glue gun, but the arrangement wouldn’t stay in the spot I wanted. So the toddler and I trotted out to the yard and grabbed some small/medium rocks and put them into the container to keep it in place. The nice thing about this is that it gave the arrangement a weight and it feels very sturdy.

That’s all! Honestly, this would take about 10 minutes, but I had to chase after a toddler and fight with a glue gun (you shouldn’t have to. you’re welcome) so it took me about 20. But it was still a fun craft and I’m in love with the results! My table looks so festive and it will last for years to come. What’s your favorite DIY you’ve created? Because this DIY Fall Centerpiece is definitely my personal favorite!

Enjoy!

-Rachel

 

My Whole30 Reintroduction Plan #SeptemberWhole30

My Whole30 Reintroduction Plan #SeptemberWhole30

I can’t believe it is day 25 of the September Whole30! Seriously, where the heck did September go? This round went pretty smoothly. I navigated through some family gatherings (shoutout to my uncle for grilling me up a compliant sausage alongside the hotdogs everyone else […]

Last Week of SeptemberWhole30 Prep

Last Week of SeptemberWhole30 Prep

Somehow it is the 24th of September. DAY 24 of Whole30?! Yay! Not that I want to just eat junk, but having a little flexibility will be a welcome change. Typically in the Whole30 timeline, Day 21 is regarded as the day of “I am […]

Sick Toddler, Guilty Feeling Mom.

Sick Toddler, Guilty Feeling Mom.

I’m not a perfect mom (please if you know one send them my way!), but I like to think I do a decent job. Yesterday though, I had an experience where I just felt awful and figured it was worth sharing. Our toddler (who will be two later this year) is a pretty well behaved girl, but she has just gotten into the phase of being fussy about some foods. My husband was out for work, and we went to meet my mother-in-law for dinner. We actually were bringing our own food with us and I stopped at Subway. Riley wasn’t super interested in what I was orderng her but I figured once we actually got to eating she’d be fine.

Well, I was wrong. She refused to eat for over an hour straight. I was pretty annoyed because we hardly ever eat out and in my mind this was a “treat” and she actively didn’t want any of it. Not only this but she was being very squirmy and we were out in public with my mother-in-law and her friend. I couldn’t help but worry that this lady was thinking my child is just always like this and naughty, but it was very out of character. We went home and I was pretty frustrated. The last times she hasn’t eaten enough before bed she woke up my husband and me at 1am wanting food (which we gave her). So I put her to bed, fully expecting her to wake up at some point.

Sure enough, about an hour and a half later she was fussing pretty loudly. I was annoyed because “just like I thought,” she was up and now probably hungry. So I let her cry a few more minutes. Then I went in to go grab her and give her a snack. When I opened the door, the smell immediately hit me. Then I turned the light on and poor Riley was completely covered in vomit. There was a big puddle on her bedding and she immediately screamed “mama, uck!” when she saw me.

I felt my stomach drop and tears well up immediately. I had assumed the worst in her earlier when really I just had a sick toddler and didn’t realize. Then I literally let her sit in her vomit for a few minutes because I was frustrated. Immediately, she got a shower (which did NOT make her happy at that moment), then into some cozy clean pajamas, and cuddling on the couch with a movie on.

Fast forward with a sick toddler…

Fast forward several more vomit sessions (thankfully I’d grabbed a bowl and no more showers were needed), some laundry, and lots of squirming…..and it was 4:30am and the sick toddler and I were up for the day. Did I mention she woke up every hour so I got no actual sleep? We took a quick trip to the local 24hr grocery store and I picked up some Pedialyte and crackers. I didn’t realize there weren’t any medicinces for infants vomiting/nausea (the youngest age I saw showed 6).

Thankfully, now in the afternoon she has kept down both the liquids and crackers and half a banana. I called the daycare and they said a few others in her classroom were out as well, and about an hour later they sent out an email that almost the whole class was out or had been sent home. Eventually she took a three hour nap. The whole time she’s been in pretty good spirits, except for the first big uck and shower.

And Finally

So there is my most recent mom fail. My sweet husband (who was gone overnight for work) said he understood being frustrated because he had also gotten up with Riley before when she fussed about food. We usually let her cry it out for a few minutes before checking on her, so I hadn’t done anything unusual. Riley just happened to be sick. We both were surprised that she hadn’t communicated that she felt sick, so throughout the evening and today I’ve been trying to get her to say her tummy felt ucky and things like this.

How have you handled little ones getting flu-like symptoms? What works to soothe your sick toddler? Let me know!

 

-Rachel

Whole30 Sesame Chicken

Whole30 Sesame Chicken

Today, my husband had a meal request. He told me he wanted “American style Chinese” for dinner. You see, I grew up in an area where authentic Chinese food was available, and when I moved to the Midwest was beyond horrified with what is considered […]

Spicy Bacon Wrapped Dates (Whole 30)

Spicy Bacon Wrapped Dates (Whole 30)

If you are looking for a super fast, super easy, and super delicious appetizer LOOK NO FURTHER. It was Labor Day weekend, and we were invited to a football game party. My sweet husband forgot to mention this to me until the morning of, leaving […]

Budget Fail and Budget Win

Budget Fail and Budget Win

This week I had a budget fail that really stuck out to me as a “stupid tax,” but then also a budget win that almost made up for it just a day later! These were both pretty unique things so I figured it might be an entertaining read. Because I want to end on a positive note, let’s start with the budget fail….

Budget Fail: Bacon

I have a really efficient habit that has worked really well for me until yesterday. Occasionally on my lunch breaks, I’ll do some grocery shopping. I work almost directly next to an Aldi, so if I’ve got my list I’m not even pressed for time. This is my working mom hack: using my lunch break to do the shopping means I can get home sooner! In wintertime this is even easier. I just leave everything in my car because it’s naturally in a freezer this way.  In August though? Well…I think you may see where this budget fail is going.

 

I had a really short list today of what I’d be purchasing. In fact, I only had one refrigerated item. Bacon. My husband needed it for a recipe he was making that night. While at Aldi I picked up everything I needed. I put the bacon and some cherries I planned to eat at work on the front seat of my car. This was so I wouldn’t forget it. About two hours later, I’m sitting at my desk munching on cherries when I think, “wait, did I grab that bacon?!” So I run to the fridge and it’s not there. I practically run to my car and sure enough there was the bacon. I grab it out and the package is literally hot. So I bring it inside, and straight into the trash it goes. Talk about wasteful. I was pretty bummed about that, and I may need to rethink my strategy of lunchtime shopping if cold items are involved.

 

Budget Win: the Headshot

This actually started off being a potential budget fail. I got into work yesterday morning and in my inbox was an email from the VP at our company. He sent it late in the evening the day before and apologized for the late notice. It was a notice that we were having professional headshots taken on Thursday and that we were required a dress code of a white or oxford blue button up. No exceptions. Mind you, I received this the day before our headshots! I didn’t own either required color button up mentioned which meant last minute shopping.  At lunch, I decided to head to a thrift store just to check. I found a lovely white button down in perfect condition. I looked at the tag after trying it on and realized it was Brooks Brothers! And it only cost me $2.99! Just a quick reference, Brooks Brothers has a very similar top on their website currently listed for $98!!  So I am now calling this annoyance a big budget win! A white button down is a classic piece that will be good to have for my professional future. It’s a super high quality shirt, and I’m getting a free professional headshot courtesy of my company. Yay!

 

What are YOUR budget wins? Any stupid taxes? Let me know!

 

-Rachel

Working 9-5 Feels Impossible After College

Working 9-5 Feels Impossible After College

I’ve been working at my full time job for a bit over year (I was promoted so really it’s only been six months in my current position). I’ve sometimes felt like I can’t stay focused at work all the time. Or more accurately, like there […]