Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Showing Off Summer Mom Gift Exchange~ and an announcement!

This is what I love about blogging. Exchanges, giveaways, new friends and all the fun that goes with that! :0)  Ok, guys. I lucked out *totally* with this gift exchange. I got to do the exchange with the incredibly fun Amanda Bullard, from the blog.... CCK (Cardio, Carb, and a Keyboard:)

She gets me (or she got me) with this package.

She got me a mug, beautiful notepads, (with a beautiful message), Audrey Hepburn OPI nail polish, lovely-smelling bodywash, and a very sweet and thoughtful note!

I absolutely love the mug "Choose Joy," and as I've been using it, I've been thinking about how a lot of times I really need this reminder. We Moms have so much to be thankful for; we shouldn't ever let bitterness, frustration, anger, or jealousy get us down!

I also want to say that she read my mind with this nail polish. I've been a HUGE Breakfast at Tiffany's fan for as long as I can remember, and I have also been looking for a new brand that doesn't peel off. AMANDA-- FOR THE WIN! go check her out! :) haha :^}

Thank you! - So so much!
and now... for-realz hop over to Amanda's blog to find out what I gifted her! :)

... fun! I get to announce the winner of the little giveaway I hosted a week ago on my blog.
And the winner is...
{scroll down}

Lindsay of the blog Lindsay's Sweet World.
I will be in touch with you lady! :)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Weekly Minutiae vol. 20 (!!!!)

Iiiiiiit's ba-ack!  Ok... yay! Yay, guys! I'm so excited about this, because I haven't done a WM post like this since Anders was a baby. Wow.  I've really missed it. As I was going through and reading old posts, I started to notice that I really "found my voice" while I was doing these posts. (Remember when I read Schmemman's For the Life of the World and quoted it up?! #bumpfeast lol) The fact that I stopped doing Weekly Minutiae is odd to me now, although I can see why I did back then, because they were "myself when I am real" more than any other type of post on this blog.

So I decided to harness that, and move forward with my blog from there.  The general trajectory of the posts is slightly to-be-determined, but it will probably be mainly more of the same-- what we did, silly things about the kiddos, bookish talk, and the like . And always, always, cute pics of my kiddos. Fun! I hope you'll join me.
#filters #fun ;-) ;-) ;-)

So onto this week's minutiae! (pronounced min-oo-shuh).

This routine is what's keeping us sane this Summer. And no, this isn't what I did yesterday, this is actually what I/we do everyday.  I started exercising again now that I'm nearly #6weekspostpartum. So hard to believe, I really thought the day would never come. ;-)

This is the kids' routine. The mastermind behind the screentime rules is the blessed Gina of Someday Saints. It has been keeping my kids in line and when I say this is working, *this is really working.* I love it.

I have to back up to Saturday,  because the girls returned home from camp in Nashville, and Molly and I talked about it.

Me: How was Young Scholars?
Molly: I made one friend named Amira.
Me: What did you take?

I took Color my world, is like a drawing class except it's like a crayon class, where you melt crayons and make really cool things... like new different colored crayons. Remember when we did that once? Ok, and Tuesday we made candles with melted crayons, and another day, we made play-doh with color from melted crayons!

I took Meet the American girls. We talked about Felicity's time and colored a picture. This time we made candles the  old-fashioned way by dipping a string into wax. On one of the days we had "proper day" ... we played a game where you eat cake, and whoever gets the bean hides a ring and we all look for it. We also learned a dance, kind of like do-si-do.

Me: that sounds REALLY fun. What else did you do or take?

Molly: One of the classes was called Snack Attack, where you make a really healthy snack, and then you eat it, and then after that, you make a smoothie out of fruits and vegetables, and on Friday we made a cookbook of all the things we made, and it was REALLY fun.

Frances' sculpture from Young Scholars

My other class was Drawing... and Drawing... is drawing. You just draw everyday. It is REALLY fun. On one day, I made a pin wheel. Frances did Clay Creations, so you should ask her about that.  (Frances also took some of the same classes as Molly!)

And that's all she wrote! ;-)  Thanks, Molly, for this recap from camp. 
(I asked her questions and wrote down what she said.... I'm a super really fast typer like dat ;-)  It sounds like they stayed incredibly busy everyday! ;-)

As for the rest of the week...
I kept the littles busy while the older two were at VBS. We had a Father's Day bonfire, which was a blast, and I took the kids around town- namely Aldi and the downtown library during morning hours.

As for bookish talk...

I'm really enjoying listening to Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (sister of the writer of Jane Eyre-->Charlotte).  I'm loving being back into Librivox, but I'm finding it a bit dreary, to be honest. But, I'll stick with it. I've tried reading it about 2-3 times in the past, and I always wanted to like it...  I think the audiobook might be the answer for me, in this case!

@ tacy williams beck. com

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Crafting Our Way Through Summer (Art With Children)~ Wed.

We all know that boredom can be the bane of Summer, next only to the complaints we hear from our children when they're listless from said boredom!  I have been hustling to find good options to keep my girls busy on those dog days, which are sure to come!

As I have been putting together this post, I have really felt a pull to type into the Pinterest search engine "art" rather than "craft." I have been so pleased with what I have found. There may be no going back to "crafts," because art with kids is always so beautiful, and I'm much more likely to frame them than I would with crafts! For you, I have tried to corral the most Summery, beautiful crafts, and I hope to help you turn them into art that you might want to keep long term!!

The fun thing about doing a week of crafts is that you can add a little "special snack" and it feels like camp!

I set up stations for the kids, so that they can get working on one craft and that way, take turns sharing the materials.  We had one station for the "Craft of the day," and three other stations, which included coloring books, stickers, art pad + markers and other coloring materials.

You could also do a "cutting station" and a "gluing station." Another way would be to do multiple crafts on one day, and each station has the materials for one craft. That way, they're not all begging for the glue at the same time! ;-)

Here are our artistic pursuits for the week:

Monday: Sun Craft (art)

For this project, we turned to watercolor paintbrushes, such as these.

Tuesday: Sandcastle Craft

For this, all that is needed is glue and sand!

Wednesday: Watermelon art

For our watermelon craft, you'll need shaving cream, food coloring, and glue.

Thursday: Ice-cream craft

All that is needed is tissue paper and glue!

Friday: Camping craft

For this, you will need construction paper, gluing material, and perhaps stickers, markers, and mixed media.

Here are our snack ideas: (I did not link to each snack, but if you're interested in the photos above, you can look them up using these key words in the Pinterest search engine):

Monday: teddy bear jello pool

Tuesday: Under the sea graham crackers

Wednesday: rainbow fruit cup or....

these! i wont judge...

Thursday: ice-cream cones

Friday: s'mores (to go with the camping craft!!)

Now, if you're still bored... there is a great youtube channel that I suggest you subscribe to, called Katie Knutson.  She's an amazing art teacher who does art tutorials!  These are pretty easy, you don't need a lot of extra special materials, and her teaching is clear and easy to follow! Check it out:)
happy happy ;-)

I hope this post inspires you to organize your own Summer Art Camp! Have fun!!!!! ;-) Now, definitely go check out the other gals who have posts up about Summer:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Giveaway time!

Hey friends! Today I'm so excited to tell you about a fun summer giveaway I'm hosting here on my website. I have two books for you today, and I want to put *you* in the running to receive these on your doorstep!

All you need to do in order to win is to follow me, then come back and tell me in the comments.

Here's the full rundown:
-Like me on any social media channels
-That could be instagram, twitter, or facebook (and let's be real, does anyone actually use googleplus? Didn't think so.)
-You can like me on googleplus if you want to (ha, ha)
-See my blue social media buttons for easy access and follow--->
-Come back here and leave me a comment, telling me you did so
-You will be entered to win!

Easy as pie.

Now, what is in the giveaway, you ask?
-A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot
-The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
-A Mother's Rule of Life is one of the best books I have ever read, especially when it comes to homemaking with kids. Pierlot is a homeschooling mother, and she discusses her way of adopting a "rule," much like the orders of monasteries and convents.  She follows her little rule of prayer, and she integrates that into her mothering and homemaking. It's brilliant, really! If you know me, then you know I *love* giving away my favorite books. This is definitely one of those, which means I'll be buying this one again! ;-)

-The Blue Castle would be the perfect nightstand Summer reading. It is clever, beautifully written, and it comes to you from the same author as Anne of Green Gables. I love it. Can't go wrong!

If you already follow me on social media, you can still participate in this giveaway! Like me on another social media channel. If you already follow all of my channels, just let me know in the comments, and you will also be entered to win. If you aren't interested in the books, you can still like or follow me all over on social media! I hope we stay in touch my friends!! :-) ;-)

And I hope you get the goods! ;-)

Friday, June 16, 2017

I Talked To A Priest About Marriage... Here's What He Said

1. complimentarity of the sexes

2. showing light to our children

3. being humble about yelling/anger and not lying

4. forgiveness everyday

5. be careful how you witness

6. divorce, annullment, and everything in between

7. clinging to hope and peace

I hope that helps

More information can be found by reading John Paul II's Theology of the Body.


~by the way, as I mentioned on Tuesday of this week, I'll be retiring from link-ups starting next Tuesday. Please join me by liking my facebook page and you'll be entered to win my big giveaway! **More details on next Tuesday's post**
linking with Kelly

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Couple of Announcements~ Mostly Blog Related!

Today, I just have a couple of Announcements -- (some of the important variety, some not really at all)

--We decided ballet was worth the financial sacrifice. The company our girls dance with is fantastic. We don't have to worry about dances being tasteless, and even beyond that, the caliber of the dancing is absolutely top-notch. #thankful

--I have decided that I will not longer be participating in (any?) link-ups.*

Explanation: I have wanted to move my blog in this direction for YEARS.  I have added my blog to link-ups to improve community, interaction, and pageviews.  It worked.  But now, I'm going to experiment with not adding my links to parties, and see how it goes for a temporary amount of  time.

Further reasoning: Upon viewing my stats, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that *most* of my hits were coming from Google. Second after that was facebook.

I feel like my creative energy is stifled by link-ups. I want to do my own thing more often (most of the time) and for now, this is the best way to move in that direction.

The search for more pageviews can be frenetic.  It is a frantic, frenzied desire for always more. The only way that I see out of it is to participate in far less link-ups.

One thing that's exciting about all of this is that I know who my audience (really) is now. I have readers who have kept with me from various communities I've participated in online. 

me with my family- all except my sister (+family) on the West coast 

Recently someone asked if I've done any guest posts, and the truth is-- all of my posts are "guest posts" in a certain sense. My readership has carried over from Catholic Mom and Real Housekeeping days. I have friends online from Catholic Mommy, and the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers. The fact that I built readership from those communities and more means that I'm still "writing for them," in a very real sense.

Building a readership is one of the most rewarding aspects of blogging. Making friends online and establishing yourself as a trusted voice in the blogosphere is a good feeling.  This past week, my article on The Industrialization of Birth got several shares and it sparked a conversation on Facebook with a lot of interaction. I regularly see hundreds visit my site every single day.  This is what I love to do, and this is what I am called to do. I absolutely love writing and I feel most happy when I'm using that talent and seeking God's glory with it.

And that's why I feel like it's time to strike out on my own.  If you're here, reading, I'm writing for you.

I'm proud of my blog, this little space on the internets.  I *love* my readers, and I'm passionate about what I've built here.

 Why do you come here if you are a regular "Google reader"? I hope you have found these things here:
~ a person who is vulnerable about the intersection between faith, family, books and culture
~a trusted, friendly voice speaking into today's difficult-to-weather culture
~sister-to-sister friendly (again!) advice for everyday challenges and difficulties
~an upbeat and even joyful approach to everyday life
~attention-to-detail parenting, spirituality, health, and everyday personal development
~open and honest discussion of mental health issues
~high-standards wisdom and relatable (not condemning or didactic) trustworthiness

Above all, I seek to stay positive (at all times), be honest (at all times!) and give you open advice about the thing I struggle with, too. Just like you, I am a broken vessel seeking to make good choices everyday. I'm seeking to do God's will well.

If you read my blog through a link party, the best way to stay in contact with me is to like my facebook page There have been several blogs over the years that I *Loved* reading, but because I was lazy and didn't subscribe, I lost track of them and their blog sank into the oblivion that is online reading. Don't let that happen to *us*! 

If you want, take a minute today to comment and let me know you read my blog.

I would love to hear from you! 

*Just FYI, there will be some exceptions.  I may still participate in the occasional link-up. However, it will no longer be my modus operandi.
**more info on the babies in the picture on instagram

My last announcement is that next Tuesday, in honor of the new direction of my website, I will be giving away a fun door prize of items. Please come back or subscribe, so that you don't miss it!

What do you think about link-ups? Yes, no, maybe, or sometimes? All the time, as many as you can find? Why or why not?
linking up with tuesday talk!

Friday, June 9, 2017

7 Things You Need For Your Make-up Bag

It doesn't matter where you're going... date night, mass or Church, the Post Office, or the Grocery Store. In a pinch, it's great to grab your to-go make-up and toss it in your purse or bring it with you to the car. Recently, I decided to clean out/purge my old make-up bag, and get a new one.When I had Conrad, when getting ready to pack for the hospital,  I suddenly realized that it had been about (no lie) fifteen years since I had gotten a new make-up bag. 

I love the one I wound up with. It was inexpensive (actually very, very cheap), it opens wide so I can see everything in it, and it is a pretty purple color.  The fact that I can see what's in it is what sold it for me. I love me some transparency! ;-)

While I was re-stocking some things in the bag, I thought about the things that I just cannot live without, so I thought it would be fun to share those with you here.  (I recently heard on the radio that some women spend upwards of $15,000 dollars in their lifetimes on beauty products. I'm not sure how much that turns out to be per year, but that sounds way too high to me!)

1. Face lotion~ I've talked about it before, and I'll (I'm sure) talk about it again, but I love Oil of Olay Complete lotion, with the tiny SPF 10. haha. Ok it's not sunscreen. Fine.

2. Mascara~ I tried to stray away, but I just had to come back to Great Lash mascara by Maybelline. It's the best mascara I've tried, and it is so affordable why would I go with something stupid expensive when I know this works?!

3. Powder~ I am on a cheaper brand kick after just having a baby, so I'm back to the tried and true (and gold star!) Covergirl clean powder in natural, yeah baby yes ma'am. ;-)

4. Blush~ Right now I'm using an old compact that has lasted me quite a while ... I think it is ELF but I'm not sure. I had heard or read somewhere (I think online from an article I found on Pinterest) that this is one of the better drugstore brands (T/F? school me yes please;) so I tried it and I've been pretty happy with it. ;-)

5. Chapstick and 2 tubes of lipstick.

I don't need much in the way of options because I pretty much wear the same thing on my lips everyday.  I have also been on a huge kick with L'Oreal Golden Splendor for lipstick. I keep a red wine color from L'Oreal for when I'm feeling fancy! (Which is almost never lol).  I recently decided to try the Chapstick (namebrand) in Pink Grapefruit and I love it cuz dats my favorite scent for most things. mmhmm. 

6. Nail clippers

As you can see from the picture, I couldn't find them in my bag. But because I'm nauseatingly organized (JOKE!), they shall turn up soon. ha. I find it saves me money to do my own nails, although I will admit that they don't always look perfect. *

7. Tweezers

I tweeze my eyebrows on the regular, so HOW COULD I LIVE without some tweezers in my make-up bag?!  ?!

That's it for me... what about you?! It seems that if you add up hair, make-up, and nails, it would be easy to spend a >>small fortune<< on beauty. I don't do monthly subscriptions because I have to budget for my personal needs, be it a haircut or AHEM one new nail polish! #one #lol

*While out shopping for Conrad at Old Navy, someone complimented me for having time to do my nails after just having a baby. Proudly, I walked away.  Then alas that beautiful color she was referring to-- "there's no place like chrome"-- peeled off within a day. Even with a top coat.  I tried it without too. If someone can help me deal with what to do when my FAVORITE color peels off in two seconds Ahhhhh!!!!!


linking with Kelly