Curly Crafty Mom: February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Autumn's 2nd Dance Show with an Adorable Video

Autumn had her second watch class this last Monday and it was just so adorable. My Mom had me in dance at this age and it is just so surreal to see my own little daughter in my footsteps. Here is a video, and it is just super cute. Please click the full screen button on the right, otherwise it is just wayyy too small. Autumn is the 5th girl from the right with her hair up in a big pink bow. I could watch this video a million times. It is that cute. I only took about 10 other videos on my iPhone while we were watching. :)


Mickey-Ears-Song 
I know, I know... the video is cute... but, look at this? They pulled out Mickey ears or all of the girls, and they did a couple of Disney songs. Oh, if only she was facing the other way I could have gotten her face with the Mickey ears. Cute!!


Auttie-Tap-Shoes-BIG-Smile
Can you tell she loves dance class with this huge smile on her face?


Hawaii-Aut-Waving

Hawaii-in-third
With their little Hawaiian skirts on... just adorable. I am so happy I found such a great dance school only 2 miles from our house.


Aut-Moving-her-hips
Autumn swaying her little hips to the music!! Awwwhhhh! 


Aut-in-circle-ballet-shoes

Airplane1
Airplane song 


Aut doing heel spike at her dance show.
Autumn doing a heel spike by herself 


Now, we just have class photos and the dance rehearsal and recital to look forward to in June! :) 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

What I do to get through LONG half training runs

10.2 mi. gladly done.
I am currently in the middle of my half marathon training for my third half marathon — Go! St. Louis. In training, you will have 2 regular runs and one longer run at the end of the week. At six weeks the longer run starts to get... well, longer. It is when the training starts to get tough and I have a couple of tips to share that have helped make my longer runs easier. Week 6 is the hardest week in my training program because I have to run a 10.2, a 5, a 6 and a 10 mile run ALL in one week! The other 11 weeks in my training program only have one long run and I only run 3 times a week. Last night I did the first long run of the week — the 10.2 miler! Whew, so glad to have that one done!


Extreme-Sports-Beans 
For my first half marathon, I tried the GU gels... they have some wonderful flavors, but I found it really hard to swallow them while running due to my mouth being dry and the texture would just make me gag. For my second half marathon, The Disney Wine and Dine, I decided to try out the Exteme Sports Beans made by Jelly Belly! These are little packages of jelly beans that provide energy. You are supposed to down an entire package 30 minutes before your run... I usually eat about half a package, I just think the entire package is too much for me. The jelly beans are larger than the jelly belly candy beans, I would say maybe two times the size of a normal jelly bean. I read the reviews and the Watermelon beans came up with the best flavor, I have not tried any of the other flavors. I also ordered the caffeinated ones (I got a HUGE box off of Amazon for really cheap), because the Wine & Dine was a night race. Then, during the race, I will down 2 jelly beans per mile... 3 if I can stand a third one. I usually stop eating after I am 3 miles away from the finish, because it takes 30 minutes to digest them. These really help supply your body with some good carbohyrates that it burns into fuel. It is really good to have this boost when you are running long distances. I do not use the jelly beans unless I am running over 8 miles.


Hammer-Recoverite>
After running, it is important that you drink a recovery drink. One of my wine friends (Maria) was kind enough to mail be a 3 pack of the Hammer Recoverite in Chocolate, Orange and Strawberry. Of course, the chocolate one was my favorite and now I only buy them in the Chocolate flavor. I used to drink these after 6 mile runs when I was training for the first half marathon, but now that I am more seasoned I really do not drink one unless I have run 8 or more miles. So, basically, I same them for the really long runs (to me). I have had this drink with just plain cold water or I have had it blended with some cold ice (my wonderful husband does this when I happen to run at home on the treadmill). This drink has glutamine which helps your muscles after long runs. The drink helps your muscles recover by sucking protein into them when they are hurt. This helps to rebuild the muscles and speed up recovery.


Hopefully these tips help you as they have helped me. The only other advice I can give is to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the run! I usually try to drink water every 3 miles on longer runs, otherwise on 6 miles or less I will drink a little water before the run and then fill up on my liquids after the run. 

I also really enjoy a large glass of cold chocolate milk after some of my 4-6 mile runs, milk is supposed to be good for recovery, too! As long as you rehydrate with some water first, and give your stomach time to calm down, milk is an excellent idea. There is a growing body of research that milk (especially chocolate milk) is one of the best recovery drinks available. It replenishes energy used, provides some protein for rebuilding, and gives you calcium which is important to muscle function (your bones aren't the only part of your body that need calcium).

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snow Day & Target Dollar Spot Snowman.

LOTS-of-snow
Thursday brought us a snow and ice storm... The kids had today (and will have tomorrow) off of school and they are bouncing off the walls (literally) in excitement. 


Gotta love Target's Dollar Spot for snowman supplies. :D 
TWO years ago I bought a couple snow man kits from Target's Dollar Spot. They were so adorable I could not pass them up... unfortunately, we did not get a chance to use them last winter... so, I was so excited to dig them out today for our snowman!


Snowman
The snow was so dry, it was impossible to make balls in the snow for the snowman... so, I used some different sized flower pots and rounded out the snow to make a snowman body. Then, the kids helped decorate our cute little snowman.


Closeup-snowman
I would love to make a snowman every year, so I was excited we got to this year. He is just so darn adorable. Much better than the sweet gum ball snowman that Nathan and I made a few years ago.


2013-Snow-Picture
Our 2013 Snowman picture... oh wait! Autumn is crying! She didn't want to be in the photo... so, I tried and failed. Boo! But, I guess this photo is the real deal.


Nat-Snowman
At least I got one smiley kid to pose by Mr. Frosty.


More-BIG-flakes
The snow was so beautiful, there were huge flakes coming down... but, then it started to sleet. And, ouch, it really hurt when it'd hit my face with the strong gusts of wind. So, inside we went!


Our-street
We got to enjoy the snow from our front door while sipping hot cocoa and enjoying a frozen Lucia's pizza, though! Not bad! I hope everyone enjoyed this beautiful snow day!

Winner of the $20 Target Gift Card!!!

Digging-in-bag
Since I did the drawing the old fashioned way (names on pieces of paper), I thought it would be fair to let Nathan shake them up and draw the winner. He was so excited to do this!


Opening 
Suspense!


Suburban-Prep 
And the winner is... SUBURBAN PREP! Please contact me with your name and address and I will get your gift card out to you early next week.

Thanks everyone for all of your comments. I love every single one. :) Can't wait to do another give away sometime in the future.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thoughts on 2nd Mondo Beyondo Class

In 2010, I took my very first Mondo Beyondo class... If you are wondering what Mondo Beyondo is, it is a six week long class about dreaming big. I took the class in 2010 because I knew I wanted a lot of changes in my life, but I was too afraid and overwhelmed with how to begin to push my life towards my dreams and what I really wanted. In the class we created a Mondo Beyondo list, where we jot down all of our dreams, no matter how foolish we may think they are... then, through lessons we work towards an understanding of how to catch these dreams. This can be as simple as creating a clearing or as scary as leaving it up to the universe by letting the dream go for now, to return to us on its own if it wishes... 

I enjoyed taking this class a second time because I could look back on my notes from when I took this class 3 years ago. It really made me realize... WOW. I have achieved many, many dreams in just these 3 years. Did I actively work towards all of these? No, some just happened! But, others I did work towards. It is amazing how our lives unfold for us. It made me realize I am not living in a static life, I am pursing my dreams and they are coming true for me. A huge dismantling occurred after the first Mondo Beyondo session, but out of it I can truly feel and say this:

I can now say I love myself exactly the way I am.
I can now say I married my best friend, without any hesitation or doubt.
I can now say I am excited for what the future holds for me.
I can now say that goals I never thought I could achieve, I will indeed achieve.
And much, much more.

I truly believe you cannot be happy if you are stuck, if you do not take risks or chances... or allow yourself to dream. I am still fearful of change, but I try to embrace it more than I ever did. I look back on my life before and I realize how much I have grown, how sad and scared I was before... I did not know I could make these things happen, I thought the life I was given was what I got. The foolish mistakes I had made were my scars. I was stuck with it. Forever. But, I was wrong. I was not foolish to dream for more. I did deserve better and past mistakes do not own me.

Mondo Beyondo the second time was so different than the first time I took it. I felt more in control of my life, I feel happier... I know this dreaming business is serious and it works. As a result, my second Mondo Beyondo list was much different yet the same. I know that does not make sense, but... to me it shows I still have many of the same dreams yet some of them have changed because of dreams that already occurred. Some are bigger now. Some are just different. But, with more faith in myself and more love I feel my list has grown up. I do not believe I'll have another huge dismantling after Mondo this time, because I feel more secure and happy in life. I feel I can accomplish more yet I also feel I enjoy just simmering in what I have right now in the present.

I also feel having the the right partner in life helps to compliment you. Brian has been a Godsend to me, he had been in my life all along and I had always known something was meant to happen between us. I knew this two decades ago, when I had a different feeling about him that I could never find with anyone else... I remembered this feeling and we talked about it when we reconnected. It feels like being at home to be with him.

After finishing Mondo Beyondo this second time, I feel at peace knowing that I have a lot of dreams ahead of me and a lot to look forward to.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Auttie's First Double Layer Cake.

Easy-Bake-Package
It is so fun to look in the Easy Bake aisle at all of the little packages with yummies to bake. I decided to pick up a fun Valentine's double layer cake packet to give to Autumn for Valentine's Day. It looked a little more challenging than the cookies and cupcakes we had already tried. Yay for baking with my little girl!


Auttie-Mixing-Cake-Batter
We started with the red velvet layer first (it looked more like a chocolate cake to me)


Autties-Baby-and-First-Cake-Batter-Tray-Filled
Then, with my help, we put the red velvet cake batter into the pan. Autumn loves this baby that Grandma got her for Valentine's Day and she had to help us bake. I just love this photo, it has Autumn written all over it.


Auttie-Posing-with-Doll-and-First-Cake-Batter
Autumn loves to pose for photos when she decides she wants to. (She thinks she is the boss! ha!) Here she is posing with her baby and the cake tray. Look at that genuine Auttie smile.


Pink-Cake-Mix-spooned-in-Pan
While the red velvet cake baked in the oven, we started on the strawberry cake.


Bowls-Ready-for-Icing-Mixens
While the last cake was baking, I joked on Twitter that it takes half a day to bake an Easy Bake cake! Lol! I let Autumn go play downstairs while I got the icings, sprinkles, bowls and spatullas out for her.


Pink-Cake-Baked-in-Pan
Strawberry cake anyone? Fresh out of the Easy Bake!


Auttie-Posing-with-Her-Icings
She wanted to pose again! Ready to spread that middle layer of icing!


Closeup-Spreading-Pink-Icing
She did really good... I was expecting her to try to lick the spatula or something, the Easy Bake icing is so sweet!


Layered-cake-with-pink-icing-inbetween
And, we have a layered cake... Autumn was so proud of herself. I had to make sure both cakes cooled completely before I moved them around too much so that they weren't too soft.


Closeup-of-Cake
Here is a closeup. Most of the easy bake items that you bake are so small (doll sized), but this cake filled an entire saucer plate. It was nice to have a decent sized cake!


Aut-Putting-White-Icing-On
Autumn couldn't wait to ice the top of the cake. So, she did!


Entire-Cake
What a beautiful cake! (Psst. Easy Bake could have given us a little more icing!)


Cut
We cut the cake up into little squares and then decorated it with the sprinkles.


Aut-Hand-in-Sprinkles 
Autumn wanted to eat the sprinkles out of the bowl INSTEAD of putting them on the cake. Ha!


Auttie-and-her-Cake-Bars
Here she is with her cake! Proud lady! I wish this would have been a better photo, the sunlight was just flooding the room. I also snatched her up a pretzel kit that I am going to hold onto and put into her Easter basket. Can't wait! We also have a Smores kit leftover from Christmas. Its so fun to bake with my little girl... the Easy Bake or the regular way!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Future carpenter! Nathan's scooter cart.

Nathan-and-his-wood
Nathan came home from Lowes with... all of this. Nathan wanted to make his very own scooter cart.


Wheels
He wanted his scooter cart to be just like a race car... smaller wheels in the front, bigger wheels in the back.


Measuring-butt-size 
Marking the wood so the cart will be a perfect fit for Nathan.


Brian-and-Nathan-cutting 
Cutting down the wood (ignore my messy desk!). Nathan has his own pair of goggles leftover from the Pinewood Derby. I love how Nathan is holding the wood while Brian cuts it.


Nathan-Nailing
Nathan is nailing the support boards to form the frame.


Nathan-on-his-cart
And... here is Nathan with his scooter cart. :) He was SO proud of it!


Nathan-side-of-cart 
The sporty side view!!


  
Oh, and the under side.


 


Autumn-on-cart 
Pushing each other on Nathan's new cart. Autumn wants Nathan to make her a cart now!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

14 Days of Love

My hubby is a simple guy and it is really hard to figure out gifts for him sometimes. He loves sentimental gifts, so when I saw 14 Days of Love on Pinterest I thought why not? I loved the idea of giving him a little token of my love for the two weeks leading up to Valentine's Day. I love how cheesy yet fun this is... it really put a grin on his face every day when he would find his little gift. The kids also really got into this, although quite often poor Brian had to share his gifts with the kids. ;) What is nice is that there is also a mixture of healthy snacks among some sugary snacks.

I just got an iPhone for Christmas and I have really been loving Instagram lately. One thing I found out that I did not know was that I can send the photos to not only Facebook and Twitter, but also directly to my Flickr account! I love, love, love this... I also had so much fun playing with all of the little Instagram filters by making this into a photo series during the last 14 days! I am being a little more high tech each day. LOL 

You can make your own cards by handwriting them or using a layout program or you can be lazy like I was and use the labels from the Pinterest link (its a pdf file you can print). 

Day-1 
Day 1 - You are the 'apple' of my eye. I picked up an apple crisp kit along with some fresh apples.


Day-2
Day 2 - Thanks for 'stick'ing by my side. Chapstick, of course! I even used tape to 'stick' it to the door.


Day-3
Day 3 - 'Honey-Comb' your hair, because we've got a date tonight. This was my favorite one because it was the corniest!! Haha!


Day-4
Day 4 - We make a great 'combo'! Brian told me he used to love these in college.


Day 5 of 14 Days of Love.
Day 5 - I wouldn't 'chews' anyone but you. - It was really fun picking out an assortment of gum for this one.


14 Days of Love. Day 6.
Day 6 - You have o'fish'ally stolen my heart! Can't beat Swedish fish.


Day 7 of 14 Days of Love. 
Day 7 - I think you are 'soda' amazing. Brian loves cherry sodas, so I got him some Stewart's which is the YUMMIEST soda brand ever! Although, I prefer their cream soda.


Day 8 of 14 Days of Love! Brian hates real bananas, so I got these! 
Day 8 - I'm 'banana' for you! Brian HATES bananas, but loves the banana chips. So, that is what I got... they are still sitting around, so maybe he secretly hates ALL bananas. Hmm.


Day 9 of 14 Days of Love. 
Day 9 - Life would be un'bear'able without you! We had a movie night with the kids so I thought this would be a perfect night to have gummy bears and ice cream to snack on during the movie.


Day 10 of 14 Days of Love.
Day 10 - You are one 'hot tamale'.


Day 11 of 14 Days of Love! 
Day 11 - I'm 'nuts' about you! There was a huge assortment of nuts at the store, so this was a fun one to shop for...


Day 12 of 14 Days of Love.
Day 12 - I would be so 'mix'ed up without you! I put the Chex Mix in a mixing bowl with a whisk to play up the mixed up word.


Day 13 of 14 Days of Love. 
Day 13 - We were 'mint' to be together. I just bought a lot of minty stuff.


Day 14 of 14 Days of Love. :)  
Day  14 - You make my 'heart' bubble over. We are wine drinkers and I love Cupcake so I decided to get their champagne for this one. Unfortunately, I came down with a nasty cold on Valentine's Day and we are going to save it for another time! Boo to being sick on V-Day!

Hopefully Brian enjoyed the two weeks of love.. :) 
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