I don't know if it is because we ate black eyed pea soup last new years or if things are just going right for us, but 2013 most certainly was the best year to date for my family. Last year the mister was blessed with a job in N.C., we were blessed to live in home to ourselves, my (oldest) baby girl started school and is doing very well, we made some good friends, and we are happy and content. 

As 2014 comes creeping on us...I just hope that we continue to have happiness, friends, and success with whatever we do. Yes, my kids will be a year older...and I might cry over that, but they will be healthy and happy and that is all that matters. 

To celebrate the friendships that we made we threw a "winter get together" or what I call an "appreciation party". I wanted all of those who made a difference in my life (for the good) to know how much I appreciated them and their friendship. The older I get the more I realized that friends are important...I do have a handful of friends who live in different areas of the world....but most importantly, I feel as though I need a good support system around me. People who uplift me and not criticize, people who laugh with me and can joke around and put a smile on my face really become a source of inspiration....Inspiration I have been missing since college. Not that I was lonely, but I made friends who I can honestly say are "genuine".  I can honestly say I can name 3+ things about each of them that love and cherish and that makes me happy. 

I gifted everyone that has made a difference in my life a candle and something for their kiddos...I know friendship cannot be bought...but I thought it would be fitting to get something for everyone due to the holiday season and just for the fact that I wanted to...why not? 

Since Moving to N.C last year
 we have made it  a point to visit/stroll downtown during the holidays…we did it last year and we did it again this year. The kids love it and who doesn't like to see all the trees and city lit up? The difference between last year and this year…it wasn't as chilly this year and we went during the day instead of at night…night or day it was still BEAUTIFUL!  

This is hands down the cleanest down town I have ever been to. It was dressed for the season with 55+ trees decorated for a a charity contest, fresh cut trees located on greenery to buy along with other holiday greenery, restaurants at every corner, an ice skating rink for the holiday season, and picturesque industrial art surrounding the buildings. It was lovely and ever so beautiful. 

Read more »

As I was washing dishes, I realized that I am turning 30 in less than 1 1/2 years…time flies by soooo fast….I don't even know what I have accomplished. Anyways here is my 30 by 30

1. Buy a home (hopefully….if not by 30, then definitely by 31)
2. Pay off school loan
3. Go to Disneyland/World with JUST mi familia
4. Travel up the east coast
5. Take a trip to Myrtle Beach
6. Visit New York
7. Pay off van--Already Did
8. Goal…..have my now 3 year old reading before I am 30
9. Do something spectacular
10. Go on a mini vaca (no kids allowed)
11. Read a GOOD book (novel)---not a decorating book either
12. Wear some Box Braids
13. Purge some of my clothes and shoes and just let go (my goal at least 100)
14. Sew something for myself
15. Reupholster my couch
16. Try African food
17. Start a garden
18. Take an interior decorating class to freshen my skills
19. Do something WILD and unexpected (Don't know yet…but I have some ideas)
20. This is something never-ending but hopefully, I will have my rental fully decorated
21. Wear at least 30 not so everyday shoes that I own (just to say I at least wore it)
22. Wear every single article of clothing in my closet at least once (I have a plethora of clothes with tags still on them that I have not worn…but are oh so cute)
23. Go to Disney on Ice with my family
24. Go to a broadway production at an actual theatre with my daughter (s)
25. Do a "ME" day and do whatever I wanna do
26. Go on a shopping spree just for me
27. Go to the movies either with just the mister or as a family (y'all know how it is when you have kids)
28. Dance
29. Take nice family photos (maybe even professional ones)
30. Stay home for a few hours all by myself (and do nothing)…just once

Happy Holidays…from my family to yours! 

Every year we try to take holiday photos…this year we were blessed to be in our own (rental) home and decorate it to our liking….and take the photo from our house. You know once you have more than 2 kids taking photos become a process and nothing ever goes right. So I am blessed that we  are able to take photos at home. 

All I can say is my kiddos were so cooperative and excited to take photos…I mean, literally…even my boo boo was smiling and making faces for the camera. So happy everything went smoothly. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 

My family has been using homemade laundry detergent for almost a year…and well…we love it. Our first batch lasted us 8 months, our second one  (made with zote) lasted us well…2 months. Now, I know a lot of people love their zote, but for some reason it was not getting our clothes clean enough we had to either double up on detergent or rewash clothes that were already washed.

Our first batch of laundry detergent was made with Fels-Naptha, Ivory bar soap, borax, and washing suds. Recipe below:

1 bar of Fels-Naptha (or Ivory soap)
2c of Twenty Mule Team Borax
2c of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Suds

We use one tablespoon per load depending on size and dirtiness

Basically all you do is grate the bar(s) of soap in a mixing bowl and mix in the other ingredients and transfer it over to a container or jar.

I used the recipe above but I did it X4 and I used both Fels-Naptha and Ivory soap…so it can last a while.

In the zote recipe I solely used the zote as my soap (+ borax and washing suds), I did not mix in ivory soap with it nor did I double, triple, or quadruple my recipe…hence, that is probably why it did not last that long…but that aside…it was not getting the clothes clean.

All in all I just want to share my experience with all of you. We have sensitive skin, we are on a budget so this works for  our family…literally we spend less than $10 on the supplies alone and it last us about 8 months….PLUS it truly gets our clothes clean and fresh.

My baby girl helping (messing) mommy make laundry soap

My children always tell me I am their best friend….I am happy to be, but something I always tell them is, "before I am friend, I will always be your mom and when you step out of line or do something I do not agree with I will let you know". I can honestly say I do say that and that statement holds a lot of truth in my home…and they know it at 5 and 3 years of age. When my children get in trouble most of the time they come back to me and say, "but I thought we were friends" and I tell them…"I am your mother, and as your mom I was not happy with the choice you made, because…(fill in the blank)...". I will always be their mom and I will alway put them in their place when I feel they are wrong. I will honestly say, "Hell NO, I will not solely be their friend, because (and I have observed this and seen this with people I know) when you become your child's friend, you get afraid of hurting their feelings…afraid of them running off…in return, they step all over you and disrespect you.  NOTE: I do not sugar coat my feelings or tone of voice when I talk to my children.

I know my kids are all under the age of 6, but with how crazy kids are todays…you just never know and quite frankly, I don't want to see my child on the channel 6 news. I worry about how they will develop and progress in this ugly world….it literally sickens me….So I want to start now. My children have an agency and they will use it. Agency, the ability to choose right from wrong is something my 5 year old does on a daily basis in kindergarden. I want my children to live a righteous, glorious, happy life.  I love them and as their mom I will always love them…I can never fall out of love with them, I may get disappointed with them, I may get mad, but I will NEVER fall out of love with them.

Christmas time is finally here! I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving…I know we did. It was quiet and very very relaxing…no rushing, just relaxation. We finally put up our tree, since this is such a short holiday season I think we should have put it up before thanksgiving. With all that said…
Happy Holidays!

You could tell the kids decorated the tree, eh?…Love it! 

This Thursday I am thankful for…(here we go)….I already stated I was thankful for family, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, clothes, food, heat, my car, a bed, and so much more….but I have not stated that I am super thankful that….I do NOT cook on Thanksgiving…or any other holiday….So thankful to have a day off! I get to sit back and relax….yeah…and probably do dishes…but hey, I get to tune in every year and watch the parade and dog show….whoop whoop! So thankful to have a husband who loves to cook….honestly, no joke…I do not cook on Thanksgiving….okay, maybe I make the corn. LOL.

The mister and the kiddos making pie

Love it…So Blessed!

Since this is somewhat a journal of my thoughts and I know someday my children will read this…I just wanted to say parenting is not easy. Lately, I have been feeling the need to be the best mom EVER…sometimes my children tell me I am….the other times….they don't say that, but I am okay with that.

Growing up I never thought about what our parents go through raising us. I am not saying my children are bad, by all means they are not, but they aren't perfect. They make mistakes, they make a mess, they say mean things, they don't listen…but hey they are kids…Right? I get that, but I am tired of using that excuse (and I am tired of hearing people use that excuse). I am the disciplinary in the family and I hate repeating myself and lately I have found myself raising my voice a lot more than normal…too much. The old me minus one child prior to living in TX would have NEVER raised my voice at my children, I simply would just put them in their room and have them cry it out with the door closed…long story short they were usually tired and would just fall asleep. Back then my husband and I were super passive and I can honestly say it worked for us. We raised a happy little girl who was and til this day is very understanding of right and wrong and is fully aware that I (we) do not like to hear crying especially from someone who is not a baby. Fast forward to now and add on trials, a new baby, and other stuff that we have experienced…our parenting strategy has changed and it has us looking dazed and confused…thinking...What can we do to better ourselves? What can we do to stop the constant whining of a toddler? What can we do so that we can NOT yell? What can we do so that we can be more understanding and sensitive to our child's need? what can we do?…A lot of this is What can we do as parents because it is not the child's fault, it is how the parents parent the child…right? 

To kick off my new parenting strategy to help me not loose my cool and be more understanding and patient…here is what I am doing…starting the month of december I am going to do a test run and change up my parenting skills by: 
1. not yelling or raising my voice but I will still use my stern voice
2. cutting technology down by 50% (meaning no answering phone at dinner (dad), no work calls while at home (dad), no eating and being on the computer/ipad at same time, no tv on while eating)
3. Be more consistent as a family unit (not just mommy doing it) with family nights. A lot of times it is just mommy and the kids…so we will save those significant days for when daddy is home. 
4. Being more consistent with time outs
5. Returning back to crying it out in the room
6. locking mommy and daddy's door (My kids love to play in my room and it makes mommy upset…unnecessary mess)
7. Hanging the rules up on the wall so that they can see it and (maybe) say them on a daily basis to remind ourselves of the rules (We have house rules but we don't have it mounted in plain sight)
8. Use our manners more (they use their manners but I plan to introduce more)
9. Listen (sometimes I don't take time to listen to their needs because all I hear in whining)
10. Take a mommy time-out
*11. Say a prayer

I hope these will work. I feel like I have OCD when it comes to a lot of things that kids do or the mister does that bother me but as a mom sometimes I need to give myself a time out. so hopefully I can establish that before I start repeating myself over and over again and allow me to become more patient. My kids and my husband knows I cannot stand mess or crying so this list is basically to help me stay less stressed. *A happy mom = A happy home*

Sometimes it is the comfort of your own (rental) home that can make someone smile and feel sooo blessed. With that said, I am so thankful for my husband's J.O.B, he works so hard and I am thankful that with his job we have a place to call home. I am so thankful that he receives a paycheck so that I can stay at home and take care of my children even though 70% of the time I wish I had a break…but I would honestly NOT want someone else tending to them. I am thankful for the food that we are able to buy and for having food in our cabinets. I am thankful for all the benefits that my husband's job provides my family with. I am thankful for the clothes on our back. I am thankful for the plethora of furniture we have, even the ones we really do not need. I am thankful for all of our beds and blankets to keep us warm. I am thankful for having heat in our home and shoes on our feet. I am thankful for our vehicles (thanks mom for car #1, car #2 and for finding our van for us when we were not even considering a new vehicle, you are the best) that we OWN…had to add that, b/c I am so thankful that we were able to pay our van off in one year. I am thankful we have running water and that we are able to shower. I am thankful that we are able to go about and do things (on a budget of course). I am so thankful that I have a husband who works so hard to do his best so that he can provide for our family….Love you babe…Feeling so thankful for all that have…Blessed. 

The Mister working

Something strange happens the older you get….For me, I have come out of my shell…I am still somewhat of an introvert, but I am not afraid to be outspoken. I have been stepped all over, I have been talked about, I have been broken down…but not any more. I may not know what I am destined to do nor have I reached the limit of greatness, but I do know that I am more than I appear. I may look young, I may sound a bit clueless, I may not be great at math…but this I know to be true: I am a Mother, I am a believer and I strive to be the best, I am woman and I know my worth, I am faithful, I am honest, I can be funny, I am mean (when needed to be), I am a lover of design, I love to be challenged, I am loyal, I am….Me….Strange things happen when you get older…you change….and change can be GOOD. 

Before I start…I would like to say that my Thankful Thursday's are in no particular order

 I am Thankful, ever so grateful for Jesus Christ, our Savior. For his sacrifice and for his example. I know I am not perfect, but I am so thankful for having the knowledge of someone who was and is perfect. I am thankful for Heavenly Father and all that He has blessed me with... wonderful parents, a husband who loves me, my children, a home, a car, food to eat, clothes to wear, and so much more. I am so thankful and blessed to have the gospel in my life and to be influenced by it and to know right from wrong.  I am thankful for the Temple and to have been sealed for all time and eternity to my family. I am thankful for all the opportunities that I have to visit the temple with my family and the feeling of warmth and love that we receive when we visit, it is a feeling like no other. I am thankful for our church leaders and for the goodness that is within them, they are truly a source of inspiration and admiration. I am ever so thankful for all that I have been blessed with, I know I may be undeserving at times but I am so thankful that I a Heavenly Father who sees through my flaws and knows me for me. ...So Blessed. 

You see this little sweet girl, yeah this girl (in the pic above)…although she does not look very happy, this is my 3 year old baby girl…who thinks she is grown. First let me address, this photo was taken when she was throwing a fit, because she had an accident on herself (hence, the diaper). Second, doesn't she still look adorable. Anyways, this sweet, fun, adrenaline running little girl…thinks with every ounce of her itty bitty body that she is grown. One of her favorite things to tell me or her daddy when she does not get her way is, "we ruin her life"….honestly? Let me start off by saying, we (her father and I) do NOT, absolutely, do NOT entertain that type of attitude….It has been corrected and we let her know that, that is not something you should say to anyone because it is not nice…we absolutely do not talk like that in our household, so we expect our kids to have a clean mouths as well. sometimes it slips out of her mouth which she is fast to correct. Let me say, she did not get that saying from me or her father…I 100% think she got it from her barbie movies…which I might give away…I just think it is way too grown for my kids and as of right now not one of my favorite wholesome family get-ups…if ya know what I mean.

On a side note: I am sooooo NOT ready for her to grow up….

Although we should be thankful all the time, everyday, every single moment of the day, I am dedicating my thursday blogs to what I am thankful for in lieu of thanksgiving. To kick it off, I am most utterly grateful for…(drum roll….) : My Family

My Family is so special because it is made up of special people…lol…We have the mister, who works super hard and is an excellent daddy. We have my children who inspire me to be better and who make me laugh on a daily basis.

Read more »

Topic # 18 from the Baby Making Machine playlist

Hmmmm…..This one is hard…..my craziness????? Why else would he stay???? Just kidding…I don't really know. Okay, this came straight from the horses mouth while he was half asleep, "Jess, this may sound counterintuitive but I like your innocence, clumsiness, and your just a genuine person"….there you go…from the mister's mouth himself. 

Topic # 17 from the Baby Making Machine playlist

As anyone can tell from all of my post...I wish I were SO much better at taking photos. I think I am like one of those people who rush the photo process...if ya know what I mean. Then to top it off my camera has way too many settings and I am just at a lost. So yeah...I wish I could take quality, beautiful, magnificent one of a kind photos. 

ABSOLUTELY love Halloween and all the dressing up...it is soooooo much fun, so when I found out that my church will be planning a trunk or treat for the kids, I was ecstatic (another day to dress up).  I was so excited for all the halloween festivities but to my dismay everything was so hectic and crazy...lets just say, my kids, yeah my kids, were on their worst behavior...maybe it was the excitement of halloween approaching or the fact that we were all dressed in costume....I don't know...all I know is that the mister was NOT there and if he is not there next year...my kids will not participate (they were so bad)---maybe I will think about it, but as of right now I am pooped and need a long break...it was exhausting chasing them around. 

Read more »

My family...is interracial...ethnically diverse. My husband is Samoan and Irish. I am mixed with primarily Filipino and Black...but if you want the logics, I have Chinese, Spanish, Asian Indian, and European descent in me...I would not be shocked if I had other stuff mixed in there as well. I love the fact that my family IS interracial. I LOVE seeing interracial couples and families...I think it is beautiful...it IS America.  

Me and the Mister
Honestly, this was the MOST current photo I had of him. 

Me...the mom aka nanny to strangers
(I don't tell people I am there nanny, people just assume it)

The Princess 
(only because she is so oOh-La-LA)

The Crazy One
(Not crazy as in psyco but as in fun)

Boo Boo
(The baby of the house)

I wish I had a family picture, but I do not...I certainly did plan on it in the summer and early fall, but mother nature had other plans...so I am still crossing my fingers...hopefully before the year is over. 

Facebook...face NOT... I was asked a couple of months ago by my aunt...why I don't have a faceboook...basically....I have NEVER cared for it...I feel like it was invented for nosey people. lol. Sometimes I can be nosey, but shhhhshshh who isn't?....but honestly, I first created back in 2003, never used it in college but had the account anyways...never logged in while in college...I did not see the point. It was not until 2008 that I actually started using it...I guess I figure, I had so many distant but close family and I was a new mom and I wanted to share my world with them. I was not a facebook junkie, I did not post stuff just to get someone to "like it or comment it or to say look at me"--that is not me! Anyways, during that time I pondered alot about deleting my facebook account the only things holding me back were my cousins, aunts, uncles, my sister, my mom, etc...Now that I am older and wiser...I could honestly care less about the dang thing. I have deactivated my account...I tried to delete it but could not figure it out and while in that process I deleted a handful of people. So now my account is deactivated...the ONLY time I go on to facebook is to check up on my cousins, new births in the family, and to wish my relative and GOOD friends a happy birthday or even just to write them a short email saying, "hello, I miss you, how are you?"...that is it. nothing more. Lets just say facebook may be for some people, but it is not for this chick.

Hello All! I know I have been AWOL...honestly, I have been on strike and the mister has been hogging the laptop....I know I know it has been a long time. Anyways...we originally started this blog to be a "lifestyle our journey blog"...I don't know right now what direction it is going on...but let me bring it back home....since I have been gone let me update y'all on what's going on...

Well, well, well....hmmm...we are a pretty busy family. I have been spending a lot of time decorating and Diy-ing trying to get some necessary things done before it gets cold. My oldest started school....my middle gives me a run for my money...my youngest follows me everywhere.....hmmmm what can I say....I have been busy...if ya know what I mean...

Here are some photos of our most recent outings....family dinner at our favorite...Mimi's Cafe...I know I know pretty authentic, huh (sarcastically said)...we have yet to find that diamond in the rough restaurant...so sad....but nonetheless we love mimi's for being so family oriented and kid friendly

It is that time again....start digging through your closets and get rid of what you are not using....Don't hoard it, consign it! A fast way to make easy cash is to consign children clothes, your clothes, your spouses clothes, shoes, household goods, etc...

Now-a-day consignment stores are a big deal, but living in the NC they are a HUGE deal...I have never lived somewhere where women/mothers set up spring and fall consignment sales for X amount of time (a couple of weeks) then shut down shop and don't return til next season. Basically the consigner profits..the people throwing the sale from what I know will take about $15 from your check to pay for building rent...but that is it...NOT BAD! I know people who have sold things and made mucho dinero. eh...yup...

This time around I decided to consign my children's clothes, my clothes, and some household stuff...my husband has not gave me the go to sell his stuff...but we will see. I signed up to sell for this consignment sale....I am so syked that I can finally "spring" clean and get rid of stuff and make money from it...I know I could throw a yard sale...but not all that stuff goes on one one sale. Here, they do and if my item does not sale the first time, they mark it down, then down again...then off to charity...so no matter what I not bringing it back in my house. I like that! 

Lets Consign and redesign, baby...oh yeah! 

Topic #16 from the Baby Making Machine playlist

1. First...My lovely children...sometimes they may stress me out, sometimes they can make me mad, but everyday I love them...more and more and more...

2. Second...Graduating college in 4 years...some people take a whole life time to graduate...I am just happy my mind was set and I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

3.  Third...Graduating college Magna Cum Laude with Honors (may I add...)...I really don't want to brag, but yes I did...I know I may come off at times like a ding dong or empty headed...but I am not. I work hard, always have...and let me just say I am damn (excuse me) proud. I know I may seem ditzy, but I am SMARTER than what most may think.... I am. 

4. Fourth...I have not fully submerged myself in my career...sacrifices, sacrifices, sacrifices....but I am content with where it has led me. I have one COOL career...well both of them are pretty awesome....

5. Fifth...Having the ability to love...Love is broad...when you open your heart...you open your mind. 

Great, great gift idea. 

Braided Rag Rug Tutorial. Made from old t-shirts. 

Make your own

how to make curtains using burlap no sewhttp://www.fourgenerationsoneroof.com/2013/03/how-to-make-curtains-using-burlap.html

These are some pretty rockin' DIY's.  I hope that y'all feel inspired!  L-O-V-E the french bee stencil pattern and the burlap curtains.  What are some of your favs?

Hello again Urbanites.  Here is a Saturday "sneak peek" at what I have been working on recently (now that my Janome MC1100 is FINALLY out of the shop- YAY!  LOVE my machine.).

 This dress is for my soon to be four year old and is meant to be a dress with "room to grow".  Unfortunately, I don't have any before and after pics, but the bottom half is easy to visualize as it was EXACTLY as you see it now.  It was an old skirt of mine, I think from high school or college, and as I never throw a useful scrap of cloth away...this has been just sitting in my craft closet, waiting for it's debut..

 It has a very full skirt, which meets the requirements of the four year old :)  and I am not too keen on the route 66 pattern on the skirt, it is a cute and appropriately colorful one for my daughter.

So what is the top made of?  The top is an egg shell off-white cotton sleeveless top that once belonged to an older woman who decided to clean out her closet.  So not only do I NOT throw fabric away, I also collect it in whatever form it comes.

  So I pinned the two pieces together and sized them to my daughter.  Whenever I do this, I am really a "just get in there and do it person" rather than a "lets measure and make a pattern" person.  My daughter was brave enough to allow me to do all this while she was wearing the dress, and that was the discerning factor in whether or not I could get away with no measuring this time. 

But after fitting and then sewing together, there was a new problem.  I wanted this to be a dress that had "room to grow", but it was already a little on the tight side- not when it was on, but when it was being pulled on.  So because the arm hole on one side was already aligned with the skirts side zipper, I could just open up the sleeve and re-sew it on each side of the zipper.  So now the zipper will close up the under arm after dressing and then a bow will be tied at the top.

 So, I said that I fitted it to my daughter.  How did I do that?  Well, I think that one of the perks of sewing adult clothes into children's clothing is that I can cheat and use existing seams and basic shapes.  It is kinda like starting out with a short-cut.  For this dress I put in a pleat that goes down the back of the top and is continued down through the skirt.  Once again, I eyeballed this.  First I just pleated it so that it looked appropriate with the shape of the neck line in the back, then when I put it on my daughter I fitted it more to her and to the waist of the skirt.  It actually did not require much adjustment.

Here is a close-up of the pleat in the back.

 This is how the neck line looks in the front at the moment.  That embroidery is part of the original top.  I have a piece pinned across to raise up the neck line and afterwards I think that I plan to put in some ruffles down the front from the neck line to the waist band...not decided yet.  The embroidery is not so bad, but a small part of it was sewn over resulting in a crooked look that I am not sure that I can live with and taking out the stitching is not an option.

Here is a look at how full the skirt is.

SO, I will have to see how the front on the dress turns out.  As soon as that is done, the dress will be complete.  :)

Powered by Blogger.