Monday, May 28, 2012

TV Decorating Inspiration

In our new home, TV placement is driving me crazy!  I don't want the TV to be the center/focal point of my home, but it feels like there's no hope!  Enjoy browsing these 10 great inspiration photos.  My mind is now racing...
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Elena from Three Little Birdies Designs

A couple of months ago, I contacted Elena at Three Little Birdies Designs to create a new look for MommieJoys.  Being new-ish to the blog scene, I didn't really know what I wanted/needed.  Elena was an incredible help!  I figured out the style I wanted, and she took it from there.  Buttons, header, social media icons, phone layout, etc.  Amazing.  She was always so quick to answer my questions, and I never felt pressured to be done and gone.

THANK YOU, Elena, for helping me get a sweet looking blog!  And oh so affordable, I might add.  *smiles*

**If you mention that you read about Three Little Birdies Designs on MommieJoys, you can get $5 off at check out!**

But Three Little Birdies Designs does more than just blog design...

Sweet Pea in a Pod Baby Shower Invitation

Flowery Bridal Shower Invitation

Chic Pink and Black Bachelorette Invitation

Design your Etsy

Because of the awesome communication and result I feel I received through Elena, I decided to ask her for an interview to share on MommieJoys!  I hope you enjoy getting to know her just a little bit, and make sure you stop by her shop!

What inspired you to start your business? Well, I had picked up some experience with Photoshop & graphic design, being on bed rest for a few months-- and was now a stay-at-home mom with baby twin girls. I thought it might be fun to try and bring in some extra income while doing what I did as a hobby.

Are there any challenges you’ve had to overcome? JUGGLING! It really is a real job. Putting orders first in the evenings instead of browsing Pinterest/FB took (and still takes) a lot of self-discipline practice! Especially after studying all day. Then there are the nights when I SHOULD be studying, but end up doing orders instead.

What are some of your personal favorites – movies, themes, a piece of jewelry, etc.? I love Jesus! I have a lot of Christian themes around me, my family, and my home. My favorite necklace is a personalized one I bought off of Etsy with all my kids' names on it with the quote, "Love you to the moon." on it. I kinda like my wedding ring, too. ;)

Do you any dreams/plans to make your business bigger? Not right now! It's perfect & I am so grateful! I am in Nursing school full-time, and am barely keeping up with the orders I have coming in! I hope to keep my business up and running even after I am working as a nurse, though. :)

Spring or fall?  FALL!!! I am a fall freak! I live for Fall! 

Rainy or sunny day? Well, we don't have any rainy days in New Mexico, so when they do come, they are the excitement of the whole town, for sure. Not to mention, rainy days are so good for relaxing and cuddling at home. <3

What’s the biggest order you’ve ever done? My blog designs are definitely a job. I have spent up to 2 months on a single blog, working with the owner to get it just right. It's awesome to see a finished blog that I was able to design with a clients' vision, see how happy they are, and see them publish their writings through it. It's almost like being an interior designer, except with their online homes. It's an honor, really.

Will you design custom orders? I can, and do design custom orders. I love the challenge, so bring it on! I have done everything from hunting/fishing-themed graduation announcements, to playboy bachelorette party invitations, to sport-playing giraffe birth announcements.

Where do you get your ideas? I like to browse other Etsy designers' shops, Pinterest, etc. to stay current with design trends, but I usually come up with the designs on my own. 

Do you have a favorite website/blog/store?

Favorite website: craigslist; facebook; pinterest; instagram...the usual. :)

Favorite store: Online? Zulily, Amazon, :)
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Cried, In Front Of My Child

Mustache Party Pack Giveaway ends in less than 24 hours!!! 


I have a confession to make.  In truth, I don't know if I did right or not.  Last night, for the first time, I cried in front of my daughter.  Tears didn't come because of loss or grief on a physical level.  They were emotional tears of frustration, sadness, bewilderment and love.

Normally sweet, obedient and mild-mannered, my little one has decided to take up tantrum throwing.  Not often mind you.  Just one here and there.  That first tantrum was an intense shock to me!  "What in the world?  She's NEVER done this!"  I'd read about such children, but mine was not "that kind" of child.  HA!  Talk about God humbling me.  *sigh*

Then came the Google-ing and the books and the asking others for advice,

"Ignore her during a tantrum, she just wants attention."

"Put her in time-out every time she starts a tantrum."

"Never give in.  Your will has to be stronger than her will."

"What are you doing wrong in your parenting?"

"Be consistent."

"She must need more discipline in her day to day life."

"It's just her personality starting to show through."

"She's testing her boundaries, trying to grow up."

And on and on it can go.  Everyone has a different opinion.  Everyone has different advice.  It's overwhelming when, as a loving Mommie, you want what's best for your daughter and you know allowing tantrums to become a habit is not best.

So this is where my crying came in.  After 2 hours of trying to get her to bed, I'd had it.  Usually she's so good at bedtime...usually she's so good ALL the time!  Finally, she settled down, but still refused to get in her bed.  I sat in the rocking chair, held her and began to cry.  Nothing out of control, but a definite real cry with tears, a runny nose and a couple sobs.

To this she responded, "Mommy, no cry.  Mommy be happy.  Mommy, why you cryin'?"

As simply and honestly as I could, I attempted to explain,

"Mommy loves you.  I want what's best for you.  I'm sad right now because I cannot figure out how to help you understand why obeying Mommy and doing what's right is so important.  I can't find a way to help you see why throwing a fit and not obeying Mommy isn't good for you.  I'm crying because I don't know what to do.  Mommy wants you to learn to do what's right because you want to do what's right and because you love Jesus."

That's what I was feeling.  So if you analyze my psychology or theology maybe it's off somewhere, but at that moment, that's what I felt and tried to explain to my little one.

Most of the day today, I've carried around a twinge of guilt.  But finally tonight, I've decided to accept the fact - I cried in front of my child.  It's what happened.  Hopefully, she knows it's because I love her.  And I do.

Through this event, something I already knew has finally clicked in my mind - I cannot control my daughter.  She is her own person.  Her heart and conscience are between her and God, not me.  Yes, she's still little so my job is to teach her the difference between right and wrong, social graces, life skills, Who Jesus is, etc.  I cannot force goodness and truth into her bloodstream.

Other morsels I gleaned are...

My daughter is strong.  This strength can be used for much good as an adult.
Her will must be guided and bent, not broken.
There's more than merely being "good" or "bad."
I am her emotional example.
Trust my gut.

While I may follow every book and person's steps to avoiding/ending tantrums, the fact is, I'm not in control! Who knows, I might be the perfect mother doing everything correctly!  (Just for this moment of conjecture mind you.  *winks*)  But because I have a human for a child, things are not going to be perfect!  My daughter has her own free-will.  At some point, I have to let go of all ideas, steps and rules to follow and let God's grace guide my child's growing up.

Here's what couple other sources have to say about crying in front of your children...

Easy Peasy Kids

Circle Of Moms

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kids Apron Tie Solution

Don't forget to enter my Mustache Party Pack Giveaway - open until 5/24/12.

So this may be an old trick for you more skilled Mommies, but this is something that just "dawned" on me the other day!

My daughter loves aprons - when she's helping me cook, playing dress-up, squishing Play-Dough - you name it, she's running around in an apron.  But since she's still so little, most aprons are too big for her!  I've tried tying a knot in the neck strap, but she doesn't like that, says it's not comfortable.  *sigh*  Thus, this new way!

Pull the apron up in the front, allowing the neck strap to sag in the back.  
Pull the side ties through the neck strap from behind.

Tie a bow!

And voila!  Your apron now fits!

Go play!

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Wood Patio and Deck Inspiration

A deck is next (actually, it's ONE OF the next things) on our list of "to-do's."  Here are some great pics to get juices flowin' and ideas churnin'.  Hope you enjoy browsing, I know I had fun compiling this blog entry.  "Honey....!!"
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MommieJoys Featured on Mom's Talk Network

Today I was featured on the Mom's Talk Network!

Check it out here and leave a comment for me!

Thanks to Kelly and Bianca, I appreciate your interest in MommieJoys...and the feature!

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Mustache Party Pack Giveaway

Jenny over at I'm Seriously Joking generously sent this adorable Mustache Party Pack - set of 7 mustaches and 3 vintage inspired glasses - for a MommieJoys giveaway!'s party time!

**As as added bonus ALL MommieJoys readers can get 10% off their orders by entering "MommieJoys" as the coupon code at check out!  Thanks, Jenny!**

While looking for a gift for my cousin's baby shower, I stumbled upon I'm Seriously Joking.  Jenny was so accommodating and her turn-around-time was fast.  Here's what she made for me...(shoes from another store.)

The onesie was well made and seemed like a quality product!  Certainly, I was thrilled with my gift, and it was a great hit at the baby shower!

A couple of my favorite things in Jenny's shop are the mustache pillow cases and the mustache decal for a CAR!  Simply so COOL!  Would my husband ever let me put that on our car...hmmmm?  *winks*

Giant Mustache Appliqued Pillowcases- The HandlebarGiant Car Mustache Vinyl Decal - The Handlebar

Let's get to know the fun girl behind the creativity over at I'm Seriously Joking...


What inspired you to start your business? 

- After I graduated college with an art degree, I knew I didn’t want a regular job. I wanted my “job” to be doing something I love. I decided I wanted to take the first year after graduation to find my nitch & see how well I could do with starting my own business now that I had all the time to devote to it since I had no school getting in the way. 

Why did you choose mustaches?

- I love photography & doing photo shoots… One day I decided I wanted to do a crazy/silly photo shoot. I had to come up with props that would make it fun & that’s when the mustache light bulb went off in my head! 

Are there any challenges you’ve had to overcome?

- Absolutely! When I first showed my mustaches to my family, a few of them gave me the laughs they were designed for…. but some just thought I was crazy & didn’t get it! I knew I had a great product though but at the same time I knew I was going to have to work extremely hard to prove that I could be successful in this “funny business”. 

What are some of your personal favorites – movies, themes, a piece of jewelry, etc.?

- I love comedies, hahaha go figure! I’m kind of an old soul… my favorite comedian is Carol Burnett & I absolutely love the Dick Van Dyke Show (I record it on my DVR every morning). :) Also, my two favorite things are my camera & my converse shoes. 

What’s the biggest order you’ve ever done?

- Kind of a funny story… My business was extremely slow the first 2-3 months (maybe 2-3 sales)… I even considered closing my shop, thinking “hmmmm, maybe I was wrong about this whole idea”. But, I decided I’d stick with it & just see what happens. Thank God I didn’t listen to those little voices telling me that it’s not going to work… because a few weeks later I got my largest order to date… 5,200 mustaches on a stick!! For 2 weeks I worked 17 hr. days, 7 days a week. It was me, myself & I creating 5,200 mustaches. It truly was a test both physically & emotionally. 

Will you design custom orders?

- Yes, about 40% of my business comes from custom orders. I love working with customers to fit their needs for whatever event they are having.

Do you have a favorite website/blog/store?

- My friend recently introduced me to Pinterest… I am totally addicted to it! My favorite stores are Hobby Lobby & Michaels; I’m in there at least 3-4 times a week.

Additional fun facts...

- I’ve sold all across the U.S. & to 13 different countries. 
- I’ve always tried to find the humor in life & love the joy that comes from making someone laugh. I enjoy connecting with my customers & hearing their stories! My hope is that my shop is able to provide a little extra fun to your next event! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Flight of the Ant

One of the great things about having 2 acres with lots of to empty fields and other homes on 1-5 acre the NATURE!  Right now it's misting, and I have my kitchen windows open.  The breeze is blowing through, the smell of rain fills the room and it's quiet.  (Quiet except for my daughter babbling away at her play.)  *sigh*  Now, how long will this blissful peace last?

A few weeks ago, as my daughter and I were walking about outside, we can across one of God's great natural phenomena  - the flying ant migration - or whatever someone official would call it.  *grins*  My daughter said it was baby ants being born, I like her concept.

There was a tree that had been cut down to a stump.  That stump was infested with ants.  Those ants were taking off on a special flight adventure.  Fascinating.

First, there was a troop of ants that would swarm out of the stump.  It was a mass of skittering, fluttery wings.

Next, in a strangely organized manner, the troop would line up single file along the edge of the stump and wait for the breeze to blow them off.  And would fly!  Moving together in a billowing, lace-like cloud.  (Which proved impossible for me to photograph!)

Then, the next troop would storm out and begin the process over again...and again...and again.  We watched for at least 15 minutes as this beautiful act of God's creation took place.  Entranced, my little one barely moved.  I snapped pics in amazement.  We were so blessed to witness the event.  It makes me even more grateful and happy we moved here!

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

DIY House Numbers

You remember this pile of landscape bricks I had in my yard?

Well, after doing a little work with them - making my patio garden - there was still, a pile left!  That light bulb turned on in my head and I grabbed a few bricks, and my newly purchased paint pen.  (It actually looks and works more like a concealer stick, but smells like paint!  Mine is from Hobby Lobby.)  Since I didn't have and super-cool-looking stencils, I chose to free-hand.

Literally TWO minutes later, here's what I came up with...

My new front porch and flower beds are a work in progress!  So far we've trimmed the existing bushes and put in mulch.  Also, we chose to put new landscape rock as the bed border.

We had our house number on the mailbox out at the road, but I wanted them somewhere else too, bigger and nearer to the house.  The bricks balance solidly on the landscape rock!  This was basically FREE and as I said, only took a few minutes.  I LOVE this kind of brilliant inspiration!  (And so does our budget!)  *smiles*

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Friday, May 11, 2012

"It's time for your vitamins!"

While my daughter has never had a hard time taking her vitamins, I still enjoy finding creative ways to "serve" her supplements.  Often kids fight "vitamin time" but maybe with a little fun thrown in, they'll at least get some enjoyment out of it!  *smiles*  Look around the toy box, could the dinosaur "feed" your son or maybe a vitamin could slide off a princess wand into your daughter's mouth?  It's worth the effort if you have a picky kid.  *BIG grin*

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