It’s that time of year…I officially packed up winter coats and snowpants.  I am still hanging on to mittens and hats, because Iowa weather can change 60 degrees over night.

Time to move sweaters over in the closet, and put tees and tanks front and center.  And the biggest closet space saver, switching boots out for sandals!  That is why it is the perfect time to shop Shopbop’s sale!

I came across an article that was promoting helping in the foster system.  It acknowledged that not everyone is called to open up their home to a foster child.  But even without taking a child in, there is SO, SO much you can do.

When I first welcomed little one in my home, it was hard.  Even though it wasn’t a “newborn”, we still welcomed a new child into our home.  I was given just under 24 hours to run to the store and get diapers, food and milk.  I went through HJ’s old clothes that “might” fit him (since I didn’t know his size), and threw them in the wash.  I put sheets in the trip and pulled out age appropriate toys.  A neighbor has kind enough to loan me some “toddler proofing items”, and another foster family gave me their baby gate.

I was also lucky enough that my community has a foster organization called Kaden’s Kloset.  I was able to go there and get a high chair, car seat, a few toys and clothes.  They even gave me a first night bag with pajamas, a stuffed animal and some diapers.

I felt ready with all the necessities, but trying to get a hang of a new schedule took a few more weeks.  I don’t think I cooked for 5 days.  I had a confused child who needed extra focused attention for a while.  I had a 7-year-old who was suddenly learning to be a big brother in a span of a day.  And as a mom of 2, I felt like my life was in chaos.

I even called a house cleaner.

Besides all the essentials new foster families might need, they also need things like your typical new moms do.  Volunteer to bring dinner, come over and hang out, offer to take the older child for a while.  My hardest things to get under control were meals and house cleaning.

After about a month, I felt like we were on a good, consistent schedule.  But then come other things… like out growing clothes :).

I was also lucky enough to be put in touch with an amazing photographer.  She recently took professional photos of little one, so I can give them to his mom for a Mother’s Day gift.

And I have met fantastic foster families that help with babysitting when I need it.

It truly does take a village to raise a child.

My pinterest accomplishments/failures use to be a once a month post…but as we all know I have not been the most consistent poster lately.  So, here it is, an overdue “What I have done on Pinterest”.

Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches from No Biggie

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These were yum.  I mean it’s hard to go wrong with a French Dip :). However, it was a lot of food for HJ and myself (just the 2 of us at the time)…so we ate them for about 3 days.

I took this cool idea from Foster Love.

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A tree print if framed in our little guy’s room, and he has already left his finger print.  The idea is that the tree gets filled up with a fingerprint of each placement that comes into our home.

I made in initial strong art like the one on Fresh Crush.

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Wal-Mart actually had some small cute pallets in their craft section for $10, so I used that as the base.  I also spray painted the nails, but that was totally not worth the time, as you can’t really tell the color of the nail anyway.

I used this list from Momma Mesh for foster placement calls.  I have the list in my purse, my planner and on the fridge.  That way no matter where I was when I received a call, I would have my list available.

And finally, my yummiest pin by far, this lemon blueberry cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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I made this for my mom’s birthday (which is in June, told you this post was delayed).  It was super delicious, and you need to make it.

Now I want cake.

What pins have you finished/made lately?  Share your favorites!

I truly do not understand how time is going so fast.  I feel like we just had Christmas break, and now it’s February?  Saying life is wild right now would be an understatement.  HJ and I added a toddler to our family fun, and holy cow, toddlers are busy little people.

The house has become so hectic, even Ty has started hiding.

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But, we are having so much fun.  Opening your home and hearts to the foster care system is hard, but so worth it.  If you have considered it, please look into it.  Most states have a huge need for it (maybe even all of them do…but I don’t have time to research right now :) ).

We are fortunate enough to have Kaden’s Kloset in town, which is an incredible organization.  I have also gained some wonderful friends through the process, and am lucky they are just a text away.

Needless to say, our house has been on the go for the last few weeks.  HJ likes it for the most part, but has had a few moments of annoyance.  But then will tuck him in at night, or write on a school assignment that his favorite thing is being a brother.

Happy Monday everyone!  Monday’s are definitely my least favorite day of the week.  I woke up today praying it was still Sunday…but no.  So instead of complaining all day about Monday, I thought it was time for a super-fun giveaway!

I received the Lee Stafford Chopstick Styler to review, and am so happy with it!  The styler allows me to make my hair extra curly, without all the frizz I can sometimes end up with.  It is a skinny, clip-less curling iron.  At first, I was nervous about burning my hand with it being clip-less, but it comes with a glove that proved to be extra helpful.

And the best thing, the curls lasted for days!  I just needed a quick touch up in the morning and I was ready to go.  I would love to share in the curly hair fun with one of YOU!  To win your own Lee Stafford Chopstick Styler, enter below.  The winner will be chosen on February 13th!  Good Luck!

 

Win a Lee Stafford CHoPstick STYLER Ceramic Curling Wand #27

I know it’s cliche…but there is something refreshing about a New Year.  It’s a time to look back on what occurred over the past year, what changes you want in your life, and how to make dreams a reality.  It’s also a time to let go of things that have been dragging you down, and pick up things that will help lift your spirits.

Even the little things feel like a fresh start.  A new planner, tucked away in a new handbag.  In the past, I have always used a new planner for maybe a month.  And every year, I say this is the year I will be organized and use it all the time.  But 2017, I will use it :).

I used Christmas break to organize closets, cabinets and dressers.  I also acknowledge that the toy organization is a worthless battle, and mainly left it as is.

Our little family officially has a foster care license in hand.  A room ready.  And an anxious 7 year old.

HJ and I are spending more time playing, and less time glued to a screen.  At home, the laptop has only been used to print off coloring pages.

I am ready for the excitement that a new year brings.

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Ever since HJ turned 3, I have interviewed him with the same questions and put it in his 21 Questions Birthday Book.  Here is his interview from last year.  This year, it was SO hard to give just one answer per question.

What is your favorite color? Red

What is your favorite toy? Drone airplane (it was an airhogs plane that broke within 48 hours of his bday)

What is your favorite book? Minecraft books

What is your favorite fruit?  Watermelon and Blueberries

What is your favorite TV show or movie? Spy Kids and Spy Fox

What is your favorite game? Minecraft and Super Mario Bros.

What is your favorite outfit?  Minecraft shirt

What is your favorite snack? Extra Cheddar Goldfish.  And Bacon. And Little Bites.

What is your favorite animal? Dog, Cheetah, Jaguar and Cats

What is your favorite song? Welcome to my House

Who is your best friend? Carsten and EvanTube

What are you scared of? The creepy dude in Caleb’s garage (It was from a haunted house)

What do you love about yourself? Ninja Warrior and I can jump high

What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Chase and pikachu

What is your favorite holiday? My birthday, Christmas, Halloween and NYE

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Football, drones, cars, basketball and soccer

What is your favorite drink? Sunkist

Where is your favorite place to go? Disney World

If you could go anywhere, where would it be? Disney World

What do you want for your birthday? Remote control stuff, legos and pikachu

What do you want to be when you grow up? Vet

Do any of you have birthday interviews?  I love this fun tradition!

*Special thanks to Litfuse for sending me this product to review!

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As a child, coloring was one of my favorite activities.  It was a way for me to relax and be creative at the same time.  When given the opportunity to try out ScriptureDoodles, I jumped.

The books start by telling you how to use the books, add your own creativeness, and how to try out different fonts and techniques.  Then, you are ready to get started.  While coloring, it really gives you time to reflect on the scripture in front of you.  This is so different than just reading words, and helps you to really think about what the words mean.

If you are looking for a beautiful and creative gift for someone on your list…or for yourself, check it out here!

It’s December.  I mean, I am sure you knew that…but seriously.  How is 2016 almost over?  I am still writing 2015 on things.  Even HJ mentioned how fast the past year went.  Usually by this point, I have posted gift ideas, and deals from various places.  This year, it completely slipped my mind.

I keep meaning to post HJ’s annual interview, but keep putting it off until “maybe tomorrow”.

I am hoping my time off over Christmas will help me officially feel caught up on life.  Which sounds silly since I have all my Christmas shopping done, decorations out, and cards sent (for weeks now).  But it’s little things like, “Oh my gosh why are there so many clothes on my bedroom floor” and I keep forgetting to grab light bulbs at the store, so the mud room is pretty dark.  Also, my tv remote has been broken for three weeks.  Three weeks.  We have had the tv on the same damn channel for 3 weeks.  I have been to a store numerous times since then, but just forget to grab one.

Last week, I finally ordered a remote from amazon…and got an email today that something happened to the package while in route and they will reship soon.  (I wish they would say what happened, it has to be a good story.)  Looks like we will continue to watch channel 7 for a few more days.  Plus, once I get the package I am sure I will realize it needs remotes and have to get those at the store (which means I will continue to forget for a few more weeks).

I have also recently realized there are some days where cooking dinner just isn’t going to happen.  Like on Mondays.  HJ has a lego group that meets from 6-7.  There is no way I can pick him up, get home, cook, eat and back to school by 6.  So I am one of those moms that lets him eat a lunchable for dinner now.  Which is kind of silly since he doesn’t even like cheese.

On that note, cooking for a kid that doesn’t like cheese is weird…because I love cheese.  He also doesn’t like potatoes or eggs.  In the last year, he finally decided that pasta was ok…as long as there is no cheese.  However, he loves vegetables.  The kid ordered edamame for dinner before.

Anyone who has seen HJ since March knows this, but he hasn’t had a haircut.  I convinced him to trim his bangs once, but otherwise it has just been growing.  It was finally at ponytail length last week, and I got him to get it cut.  Just a trim!  To shape it! (actually the elf got him too) As soon as he agreed, I raced to a salon.  And he got it cut…I mean slaughtered.  You guys, he looked like Lloyd Christmas.  If you don’t know who that is, google it quick and come back.  We both cried.  I took him to a friend to try and salvage it.  It’s still not good, but better.  No pictures…he won’t let me.  But that pretty much guarantees I won’t force him to cut it for years.

That is all I will ramble on about for now, but I am hoping to get back into my normal routine soon.  Promise.

 

In case you were wondering, the countdown is on at our house.  33 days.  That’s it.  Which means, shopbop’s sale is here at the most perfect time!  From beautiful jewelry, cozy pajamas, and gorgeous bags, you can’t go wrong with a gift from Shopbop.

On my wish list, a Marc Jacobs handbag, a cute and casual top, and cozy pajamas.

The sale is going on now until 11/29 at 11:59 PST.  Make sure to cross some items of your list!