Lissa & Nate - Our Fairytale

Lissa & Nate ~ Our Fairytale
marriage brings greater possibilities for happiness than does any other relationship. ~Russell M. Nelson

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

About the Million Dollar Idea

I'm sure you've noticed the boom in creative crafts these days, it's quite hard to miss. Mom's everywhere are using their skills to make things they enjoy making that are cute, fun, functional and even tasty... and some even, all at the same time, use these skills as a way of income for their families.

I'm talking about crafts like budget books made by Julie, she sells them on

and these cute bows made by Becca.

I have a couple of friends like Ariel that make nursing covers and sell them.

My friend Karen makes the most uplifting fun cards
and I love getting them for my birthday every year.

Anything Kellie touches pretty much turns to gold.
See her so cute signs here. She even made her son the cutest halloween costume!

There are amazing blogs out there like my friend Kristi's
that help us to be more creative and inspired in the functionality of our home and budget and to opening up our minds to new ways of doing things, saving money, and simply help us to think outside the box.

You can even find great furniture on Ana's blog to make for your own home which will give you a sense of accomplishment as well as save you a couple (hundred/thousand) dollars.
(bed made by a reader of Anna's Blog)

Stuck for dinner? Tired of the "same ol' same ol'"? check out some great blogs like Ashlee's
And then there's people like Ashley who decide they want to learn something new so she 'youtube's it and poof she has an amazing new skill and talent.
Don't her cakes look yummy and fabulous?!

There are TONS more blogs out there too! Those are just some by people I personally know (except Ana... I don't know her).

My point is~ I don't know if this "new age" craft era is a trend or if it's something that will stick around for a while. With the economy the way it is and just life being more and more expensive in general, women, who might otherwise choose not to, are having to leave their homes and their children to help make a living. I am inspired by the women I have linked above and all others that have figured out what they can do to contribute to their homes and society, all the while magnifying their talents and creating fun and beautiful and once again tasty... well... anything!

I am blessed to have a job where I get to work from my home. It is not what I consider fun though and sometimes I wonder~ Could I be doing something more enjoyable and still bring in money for my family? I'm sure I can! I have some great talents, the most obvious being my mad sewing skills. I have been thinking a lot lately on what I can do to market my talents. I need a Million Dollar Idea!!!! In the past I've made wedding dresses. I haven't done many since moving to Utah and it takes a lot of time away from my family and frankly isn't really realistic as far as making a living goes right now.

So I need something time efficient/cost effective. Something I can make a turn around on the money I invest. My biggest set back to discovering my Million Dollar Idea is when I see something that already being done a lot I hesitate to take a venture at it myself. I want a product that's unique. Something that people won't look at and say... "That's really cute!!! I could just make that myself." I want to corner a market and if it goes boom after me, well that's fine if I already have a clientele built up. I made crayon rolls for my nieces and nephews,
but I'm not so sure it's cost effective and I'm afraid it's one of those things people will see and choose to do themselves rather than buy (I suppose making a how-to blog about doesn't help my chances of being able to sell); plus they are becoming quite common already.

That's what I've been thinking about lately. Anyone got any million dollar ideas for me?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

About Sleep

When I was young every once in a while I used to "sneak" into my parents room in the mornings, on Saturdays and during the summers, to snuggle with my mom in bed. I can't perfectly remember, but as I recall if my mom wasn't already awake reading a book, most of the time she would wake up to give admittance and exchange morning pleasantries, and often even if she had already been up reading reading, ended up falling asleep for a short while more. The idea of being able to fall asleep right after waking up from being asleep all night was strange to me and I found myself wondering ~ HOW DOES SHE DO THAT?! with great amazement.

She had six kids. 'Nuff said! But my small mind couldn't grasp that concept.

I don't know if you know this, but snuggling with your mom is boring if she's just going to sleep. Not a big fan of boredom at that age I decided on many of these occasions that if she was asleep I wanted to sleep too. Not being tired I had to learn how to put myself to sleep so I studied her sleeping. I figured out that when she was asleep she breathed deep and slow, so I breathed deep and slow. Not sure how long it took but that usually did the trick and before I new it I was waking up in mom's bed. It's a good memory:)

I feel like that sometimes still. Every once and a while I will have short waves of insomnia and I again have to figure out how to put myself to sleep. I've figured out lots of different ways but for some reason they never seem to last. In the past I've tried the whole breathing tactic, hot shower, I've had Nate stroke the side of my face (it worked for Bud when he was a little baby, why not me right?) I've stroked my own nose (I know it sounds weird, but it's another trick that worked for Bud). I've also just given into the insomnia with the assumption that I must not be falling asleep because I didn't work hard enough~ so I give up on sleep and clean for a couple (or 3 or 4) of hours and try again to sleep when I'm happy with how clean my house is. These little tricks all worked at one time, and the charm of each has, over time, worn off. Bummer. My latest trick has been to read my scriptures, and not in the hope that I'll fall asleep reading. I actually read a chapter or more before I close my eyes to sleep and its great because I'm awake enough to pay attention to what I read but when I'm done my head is clear enough to let me fall asleep. That didn't work tonight.

So once again I feel like that 5 year old girl trying to figure out how to fall asleep on command. I don't have 6 kids yet. Maybe when (IF) I do this won't be so much an issue? Until then ~ How do you fall asleep when you can't sleep?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

About Success

A while back I wrote a blog about failure. I was so overwhelmed with life and even more so about what I wasn't doing to improve life for my family that I just felt like a terrible failure. It was a horrible feeling and not in the motivating I want to do better way, but in the I don't know how to fix this way. Well months later I am please to report that with the help of the Lord, I'm fixing it.

My world at home has changed and my attitude for the way I live has too and it feels SO GOOD. I want to give a shout out to my dear friend Becca S. Without you this never would have happened!

Becca allowed me to invite myself to come to her house every morning and workout with her.

I stink at motivating myself and Becca has been a most excellent workout buddy. We started at the beginning of winter. We've tried to be as consistent as possible but there were mornings skipped, even a couple of weeks during Christmas. The important part though is we've always picked it up again when life has slowed down.

I never in my wildest dreams expected this, but daily exercise has turned out FAR more blessings than just making my body look/feel healthier. It's like a little seed was planted that isn't growing into just a tree, but a FRUIT tree! And let me just say - I LOVE fruit.

I always thought that reading scriptures and praying daily is key to change.

I still believe this but my experience with it has not been as simple as that. I do not like to read and have struggled with consistent scripture study my whole life. I have often prayed for the desire to read because I had none and couldn't seem to get myself to do it. I feel like that's been one of those prayers that has just hung out there in limbo and for a long time, years even, I have not been blessed with that desire. I've still tried, sometimes harder than others, but for the most part I have just kind of waited for the blessing. This no doubt has stunted my growth, but I can only move forward at this point.

Over this past winter, the more active I got with working out the better I felt. I have noticed changes in my body that have encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing. Soon enough I found myself doing things that I hadn't done in a long time... like washing the dishes every morning and keeping up on laundry WILLINGLY and not just because it needed to be done. I've even started to clean the bathroom regularly! My whole perspective has changed!

From a clean kitchen (and the food storage we bought) stemmed the ability to make dinner for my family. This I think is probably the second biggest change that's taken place. Almost 3 years into marriage and I still wasn't consistently and certainly NOT willingly taking care of dinners. Now I WANT to and I'm not scared that I won't follow through!! Before I knew it I was consistently doing all the things, I thought would be hard for me, easily. AND from that I've learned a little about myself.

Last summer was not a good summer for me. It wasn't terrible, I was happy enough but I couldn't seem to muster up the energy or desire to do anything beyond sitting outside and chatting with the other mom's on the playground. Lucky for our family Nate was home all summer and picked up A LOT of my slack. The part that made summer not good was: because I was slacking I had guilt and I felt like a lazy person to the extent that I surrendered myself to thinking that's who I am.

So one day, a couple of weeks ago, while mopping my floor (I do it on a regular basis now!) I was comparing this time last year to right now and thinking about how much has changed. This is what my life looked like a year ago: I was nursing and caring for a 3 month old baby, I had 60-80 documents a day (about 6-8 hours work), I was working on a wedding dress, and my husband was in classes all day and, working till 2:30 am on average every night. This is a typical day today: Get up at about 7:30, Nate gets up with Bud and they have daddy son time, exercise at 8:00, do morning chores after exercise, SHOWER (I did not feel I had time for that last year and therefore did not shower often so~ it's a BIG deal) I have only about 5-15 docs a day (1-2 hours work) spend the rest of the day working on a project with a break to make dinner, Nate goes to school for either classes or homework Mon - Fri and comes home to spend the evening with us. WOW!!! What a world of difference.

Considering these things it finally dawned on me. I had a mild case of postpartum last summer and can anyone wonder why?! I was SERIOUSLY over worked. I wanted to be super mom. I wanted to be able to do it all, but as soon as Nate quit his job and I no longer had obligations to others outside my home I almost completely SHUT DOWN. Then I felt guilt for not working or wanting to work and I thought that must mean I'm a lazy person. I was wrong all along! I may have been lazy, but I am NOT a lazy person. I was doing some serious decompressing. I'm using the word serious a lot I'm aware.... but SERIOUSLY (it really has been a refreshing revelation)!

Exercising has given me the recharge I needed. I enjoy it so much now, and it's become such a clutch that I'm to the point that I even work out alone if I can't get together with Becca! I see now that I am capable. My house is consistently clean (enough) dinner is on the table, I have time to do the things I enjoy, and to take Bud out to do things he enjoys. And I haven't even gotten to the BEST part....

After all these years my prayers have been answered. I have the DESIRE to read the scriptures. It feels so backwards that exercise would lead to house cleaning and scripture study rather than scripture study leading to house cleaning and exercise, but it is how it is and I am so grateful. We have been taught many times that our bodies are temples and we need to take care of them and I truly have a testimony of that. When we do a little "house cleaning" our spirits are refreshed and the Lord has greater opportunity to bless us and answer our prayers.

The tree doesn't stop growing there. When we learn how to be a blessing to our family opportunities are more easily and often seen for how we can be of service to others. I'm grateful for this experience and how it has helped to change me, though I know that I did not make these changes on my own. Everything that has changed, besides making the choice to exercise, has come from the blessing of DESIRE, and that was a gift from my Savior. I know he lives. I know he loves us. And I know that if we pray for the blessings that will help us to make righteous choices our prayers will be answered. I know that our Savior knows us each by name and he cares, and if we let him he will guide us safely through this life to the next.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

About Disaster

I first want to say - I don't know how long it's been since my apt has been such a DISASTER! We have been fairly good at keeping it clean on a regular basis and even close to spotless the week leading up to this unfortunate event.

Here is how this happened. Friday we started out cleaning the house. Vacuumed, did dishes, laundry, cleaned Bud's room. It was beautiful! Friday night I had to make dinner for 2 families + our own. We were rushed for time as we had to leave at 5:30 to clean the SL temple, so I didn't really have time to clean up the dinner mess. We were there till 10:00, we watched the last Conan (I'm team CoCo!) when we got home, then went to bed.

Saturday we woke up early to cleaned our chapel, left to get Bud in Saratoga Springs (about an hour away) went to the case lot sale at Harmon's in Midvale, went home took naps, went to dinner, went to Home Depot, Harmon's in Brickyard to get some stuff Midvale didn't have, went to Wal-mart, went home, unloaded, put Bud to bed, and I worked a bit and went to bed.

Sunday was well.... Sunday, and Monday I seriously just needed a break and besides a quick trip to Walmart and Lowes, and Golden Coral for dinner we did nothing. That's right NOTHING!

In the meantime for the past 2-3 days Bud's been doing some arranging of the food storage. I have no explanation for anything that wasn't food storage, except the laundry in our living room was just washed today and, like everything else, just needs to be put away.

I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all but I have done SOME dishes now. I think I'll finish those before I start on the family room.

Now for your viewing pleasure -

Sweet Bud falling asleep while eating lunch early last week. Funny kid:)

About My Christmas Craft

So over Christmas a friend posted this picture on FB asking for someone who knew how to sew to make her one of these for her son.

I thought it was really cute, and I've seen them before at church only without the pad of paper. The paper, I feel, makes it that much more functional. Christina and I decided it would be a fun gift to do for the nieces and nephews.

It's been so handy to have at church and it's too fun that I really want to share it. I modified it a little so I wouldn't have to worry about getting perfect finished edges because I didn't have much time to do them. Here's how we did it...

Supplies and Tools:
  • Crayons (set of eight was perfect like in the picture above)
  • Small pad of paper (mine was 3" x 5 1/2")
  • 13" x 13" square of cute fabric
  • 6 1/2 x 13" rectangle of cute contrasting fabric
  • 6 1/2 x 13" rectangle of heavy cotton
  • 24" of ribbon (or more)
  • Pinking sheers
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching or Contrasting thread (matching thread will hide any little mistakes better but contrasting is really fun)

~The Process~

Step 1: When all your fabric pieces are all cut out, fold the the big square in half - press it - then fold one of those halves in half - press it.

Step 2: Lay the heavy cotton on the wrong side of fabric. Fold up the bottom quarter of the square.

Step 3: Lay contrasting fabric on heavy cotton right side up. Fold up second quarter of square. Total dimensions should now be 13" x 6 1/2".

Step 4: Pin stitch lines starting 1/2" from left and 1" apart making eight sections. Mark end of paper pocket 1/2" from right. (paper pocket should measure 4").

Step 5:
Starting from left, stitch crayon pockets through all layers from bottom to top of folded/main fabric. You can also stitch the line on right side of paper pocket, I chose to save this for later.

Step 6: Fold contrasting fabric down, exposing heavy cotton, and pin.
Turn piece over and pin ribbon into place so the bottom of the ribbon sits just above the end of the stitch lines made to create the crayon pockets.The ribbon center should line up with center of crayon pockets (four pockets on each side of the ribbon center)
Step 7: Stitch top and bottom of ribbon starting and ending your stitch lines where the stitch lines for your crayon pockets start and end. (click on pictures for more detailed image)

Step 9: Fold contrasting fabric up and stitch around top and sides. Be sure to back stitch far enough back so you don't cut off the back stitching while trimming.

Step 10: Using your pinking sheers to trim (this could be done with regular scissors if you don't have pinking sheers. The pinking sheers just give it a fun edge and keep it from fraying so much.)

Final Steps: Stick the Crayons and paper into pockets, roll it up and tie it.

It's great for traveling or any place where your kids have to sit for a long time!

FYI when you are buying your fabric have the cutter at the store cut at least 1" more fabric than you need, then you can square it up properly. You can make 3 of these out of 45" wide fabric, so they are great to make with friends if you only want one for yourself or if you are doing them for lots of kids you can plan accordingly.
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