It’s Ok To Be A Mom And Be Creative!

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DIY projects. If you’re like me, you alternate between having a huge list of them that you look longingly at as you think “someday”, or you have completely given up on them.

At some point I gave up. What was the point of trying to start a project when you’re interrupted constantly by little children, the demands of life, and more responsibilities that require your immediate attention?

One day I realized what I was missing. I had lost my creativity and I really wanted to get it back.

That desire to sew, make some amazing Pinterest projects, try out a new recipe, or even just paint with my children. Of course, all of this still has to be balanced with real life. And real life is messy.

Messy House and trying to balance DIY projects as a mom!

Yes, that is my actual living room. This is what it looks like after a school day is over. I could let this defeat me, and honestly some days it does. I have to choose to be creative, or I can let the mess of life squash that creativity and my children will be in college before I ever touch a sewing machine again!

I have to make choices. I can call my children in and we all clean up the living room and dining room in 10 minutes together, or it can take me 45 minutes by myself and I lose any extra time I had to work on a project.

Please understand I don’t want to be creative just for my sake. I want to bless my family, sew my girl’s clothes and make our house a pretty and peaceful place. I’m not off at crafting classes learning how to decorate cakes or fire pottery simply to fulfill a need in myself (though I have nothing against cake decorating or pottery).

I still have to balance this creativity with the fact that I have young children and a home to look after. I have to make sure that when I find an outlet for all my pent up creativity that it blesses my family.

It's ok to take time and do a DIY project to bless your family!

So far this week I’ve taken some steps in the right direction. I got my serger out (it’s sitting by my rocking chair in the picture!), I sorted through some fabric and made a pile, I purchased paint for a project and bought Chalk Pastels to try an art project with my children. Baby steps..one day at a time, and before you know it, I’ll have a project completed!

Thankfully there’s an exciting new product to help  me quickly and easily get into (or back into) the creative projects I’ve been desperate to start. It’s called The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and it’s a collection of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading authors and bloggers in the industry.

I am so looking forward to diving into this DIY Bundle, and I hope you will join me!

For the crazy low price of just $34.95, you get access to a carefully curated library of over 76 eBooks and eCourses. And let me reassure you that this really is great value: the Ultimate Bundles team (who produced the resource) has spent MONTHS seeking out the most respected experts in the industry and asking them to contribute their premium-quality eBooks and eCourses. These really are the best of the best when it comes to DIY and crafting advice and information.

Topics in the bundle include:

Home decor

Furniture painting

Photography

Chalk pastels

Handmade gifts

Homemade skincare products

Cake decorating

Photography and photo-editing

Paint colors and interior design

…and a whole lot more (76 eBooks and eCourses in total) – to help you be inspired or get started with your next DIY or crafting project!

Here are just a few resources I’m excited about:

Click through to see all the other amazing resources that are included!

Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, January 21 until 11.59pm EST on Monday, January 26.

You can buy with complete confidence because you’re covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you have a full 30 days to enjoy all the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle, and if you don’t think they provided enough value, you’ll get a full refund.

Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 4 awesome bonuses, worth over $118. That’s 3x the price of the bundle alone! These include…

A free $15 Store Credit PLUS 8×10 Art Print from Hope Ink ($43 Value), a free online class from Craftsy (up to $60 Value), free $15 store credit to Fawnsberg.com, and a free sewing pattern PLUS a Premium Video Class from UpCraft Club ($19.99 Value).

Plus, when you order through our blog, you receive additional bonus offers!

DIY Bundle Bonus Offers Exclusively from The Modest Mom Blog!

To redeem these extra bonus offers available only through The Modest Mom Blog, order your DIY bundle and fill out this form:

So, don’t miss your chance to grab The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and get 76 incredible eBooks and eCourses for just $34.95. All you need to do is take action by midnight on Monday, January 26!

This amazing deal ends in just…

motionmailapp.com
Pick up your copy right now, before it’s too late. Or, learn more here.

 

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

 

 

 

Wordmarbles – A Fun Way to Teach Kind Speech!

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Wordmarbles - A fun way to teach your children the importance of kind speech!

Written by Sean Allen – better known as Caroline’s husband. ;) 

Tell me if any of this sounds familiar?

“Quit it!”
“No!”
“You are SO mean!”
“I’m not playing with you!”
“Leave me ALONE!”
“Give me that back!”
“Go away!”

And that’s about enough of that. I could hear the little voices of my children in my head as I typed every one of those lines. And even though they’re in bed as I type this, it’s still enough to make me cringe a little. :)

Every family could benefit from more kindness in their speech. Bickering children who have hardly a nice thing to say to one another make for a very disrupted and tiresome day. Harsh words have a way of taking the peace that ought to reign in your home by the scruff of the neck and booting it out the front door. By bedtime, your ears are nearly ringing with the commotion of it all.

We’ve always had little tolerance for cruel or harsh speaking in our home, but a few months ago it seemed as if our children were constantly at each other’s throats! It usually came in pairs, that is, a different pair would be cross with each other every day. Some days were worse than others and then there were days where it seemed the whole lot of them had morphed into one of those big rolling, brawling balls of kicking and screaming you see in cartoons!

Of course our natural inclination was to diffuse the ball with – you guessed it – more shouting.

This would bring the ball to a stop but it did little to teach our children about the importance of kind words. I realized we needed some help. Something along the lines of a visual aid.

I sat down one night and began to tinker around on the computer. I wanted to come up with something that would help my children see just how often unkind words slipped out of their mouths. I also wanted them to see the times they used kind or gentle speech to one another and to reward them for their efforts. What I eventually came up with was Wordmarbles.

Wordmarbles Supplies needed, so easy and only takes a few minutes to put together!

Wordmarbles couldn’t be simpler. All you need is two mason jars, a bowl, and some marbles. Your marbles represent “words” and they all go in the “words bowl”. We’ve taught our children that words are very much like marbles. They can be smooth and bright and shiny or, if you throw them at someone, they can really hurt! It all depends in how you use them.

Wordmarbles Jar with Kind and Mean speech jars!

If we hear our children using kind words, we tell them to put a marble in the “kind words jar” and if they use mean speech, they have to put a marble in the “mean words jar”. I’ve designed three fun and colorful labels to put on each container – just cut them out, stick them on and you’re ready to go!

The “mean words” and “kind words” labels are nice because they have these little gauges built into the side of them. These are there to help you and your little ones keep track of their speech over the course of the month. You can use these gauges for either rewards or consequences as the jars fill up with marbles.

Labels to use on the Wordmarble Jars!

I was surprised to see how hard our children worked to keep the level of the marbles in the “mean words jar” lower than that of the “kind words jar”! At the end of the month, if our children have more kind words than mean words they get a treat of ice cream, sometimes at home and sometimes from Chick Fil A. :)

As with our Character Badges program, consistency is key. For Wordmarbles to be effective, it’s important to try and acknowledge as many instances of either kind or unkind speech as you can.

You can purchase the Wordmarbles pdf file here for $2.99, but for two days only you can get it totally free when you subscribe to the blog! This offer has expired. 

 

 

 

Getting the Creative Side of Me Back

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I’ve never been a super crafty person. I can sew, but not craft (there really is a difference). The more time goes on, the more I realize something.

I’ve lost the creative side of me.

Getting the Creative Side of Me Back Again!

The last two years of our life have been a blur. In order to get Sean through college and make it all work without going deep into debt, we all had to work super hard. Sean worked night and day on homework, and  any extra time was spent helping with Deborah & Co. The children pitched in and did extra housework so I could work on the business and blog.

As for me…my hobbies disappeared. All my energy went towards homeschooling, sustaining Deborah & Co. and this blog, and getting food on the table. When I would burn out (which definitely happened, especially the last semester of college in 2014), I would turn to fluff to distract myself briefly. A Jane Austen movie, an easy to read novel, or browsing Pinterest, dreaming of projects I would love to do but had no time or energy for.

This is the year of change. Sean is currently working on building his graphic design business, and I’m feeling the freedom to step back a little. I have our employee for Deborah & Co. coming more hours as needed, because I want a life back, and I need to carefully nurture the life that is inside me.

I read a book that dramatically helped me see what I’ve been missing. I’m not sure when a homemaking book has effected me so deeply. One night I was actually crying (of course that could be blamed on being pregnant and hormones!).

The Nesting Place Book.  I literally cried and laughed while reading this book.

The Nesting Place book is written by the blogger behind The Nester. I felt like she had peeked into my life and was writing out some of my story. She has lived most of her marriage in rental houses and somehow has managed to transform them into actual homes; places she loved living in.

When we moved to our rental house I looked at it as a survival house. We have lived here for two years now, and while we hope to move at some point this year, we are waiting on the Lord to bring the right house along and are hoping to save more money before purchasing.

In the meantime, I want to work harder on turning this house into a home – a place that we enjoy living in, even though it’s a small house (1000 square feet on the main level, and 200 hundred in the basement that is for business purposes).

I want to actually sew some projects, like I used to. That means getting my serger out and getting it threaded again. Not a fun task for me, but once I do that I can actually work on something!

…and make simple crafts with the children.

…and create an adorable space for the baby in our tiny bedroom,

…and make a fabric scrap banner for my girls.

Fabric Scrap Banner

I just purchased some Annie Sloan Chalk paint and I’m going to paint an end table that is in our living room.

I want to create a functional, yet beautiful house. Another book that is inspiring me is called The Comforts of Home. I love the ideas found here!

Two wonderful books on creating a lovely home!

I’m going to be creative again.

I’d love to have you join me in this journey! The timing couldn’t be more perfect, because starting next week the DIY bundle will be coming! This is put together by Ryan and Stephanie Langford, the same amazing people that do the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. Since I’m married to an author that is in the bundle, I’ve been able to see all the resources that are coming, and I’m excited!! I’m actually going to Hobby Lobby tonight to purchase a few supplies for some projects that are in the bundle, and do them with the children. :)

If you can relate to this post, and want a chance to be creative again, you will want to sign up for this free four step email course that Ryan and Stephanie are offering. It has some printable worksheets and encouraging words to read through, and will provide you with some helpful tips and ideas.

Next week I’ll be sharing with you some ideas of how I’m fitting in time to be creative. It’s not easy, but if I don’t stop and take the time, my children will all be in college before I ever get creative again! :)

 

 

Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks!

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It’s been awhile since I did a pregnancy update, and I felt like 30 weeks deserved an update! It’s always an exciting time when you reach these weeks of counting down until 40 weeks. :)

30 Weeks Pregnant. You can still look stylish while pregnant!

30 weeks pregnant, wearing the Rainbow Denim Skirt.

I struggled through a head cold for over a week, and was very miserable during that time. Trying to get comfortable to sleep at night is getting difficult. When you add a head cold where you can’t breath at all, it makes it super difficult! I’m so thankful to be over that, and hope I don’t get sick again before the baby is born!

They say movements slow down in third trimester as the baby gets larger. So far this baby is not slowing down at all, if anything it is moving around even more! Whenever I lay down to rest the baby wants to visit. :) Sean and the children get to feel lots of kicks and punches, which is sweet.

I finally broke down and ordered compression hose to try for my varicose veins. While they don’t take all the swelling away, they do seem to be helping. Some mornings I’m almost wiped out of my energy after trying to get those crazy things on! I ordered maternity compression hose from Ames Walker, and like the quality of them.

There are some days I feel like nesting, and want to take on my whole house. Sean found me in tears in the garage the other day, I was trying to move some tubs of clothes around and basically got stuck because a huge cramp started in my leg. He told me I had to slow down and helped me out of my predicament!

Other days I want to snuggle in bed all day long and read a book and sleep. So I have to try and balance those two extremes and stay somewhere in the middle. :) I’m definitely taking a lot more naps than when I’m not pregnant, but I keep telling myself it’s just a stage of life and it really is ok to rest more!

I’m working on finding space in our small bedroom for the baby things. I have a vision in my mind of what I want it to look like, but it involves some painting of baby furniture, which involves my husband. ;) He is the realist between the two of us, after owning a custom cabinet shop for several years he knows these projects can get more complicated than you would like them to be. We are still talking through what we might do, but he understands my need of having a sweet space for the baby.

How are the other pregnant mama’s doing? I love hearing updates!