Archives for August 2017

engineer prints: decorate on a budget

Engineer prints: decorate on a budgetI’ve lived in my home for six years and have already changed the living room decor SIX times! I’ve painted twice, changed the curtains twice, wall hangings four different times, furniture three times, and the area rugs twice.

Is this even normal?

According to “Staging for Dummies” people on average redecorate every 5 years. I guess I like change a little more than others but I think my reason for this is largely due to my impulsivity. I’ll find some amazing piece for the house at a ridiculous cheap price only to bring it home and realize it goes with nothing. Instead of placing the item in the closet or give it away, I redecorate the room to go with the great piece I found. Crazy, right?

 

I love to shop and decorate…..on the cheap!

So for all you crazy people that change your house decor on the regular, I found the best, most affordable way to change your wall art. It’s called engineer prints and you can get them at Staples. Engineer prints can print up to   36″x 48″, that’s huge and you can get them for less than $10! You can print in black and white or color. It’s recommended that you print in black and white if you are printing a photo. The resolution is not amazing but overall for the price, I am impressed.

Engineer Prints are great for a budget.

After the dogs decided to shred the foam from our couch and there was no way to salvage it, I decided it was time for new furniture. I shopped around and found some items that I liked but my tight purse strings would not budge. With the new edition of two young children, I new that a new piece of furniture would not last in my house. I decided to go on Craigslist. A young family from the city was expecting a baby and needed to sell their barely used furniture from their study to make a nursery. I got an amazing deal on a loveseat. $75 for a loveseat that costs over $500 in store. Awesome!

Engineer prints: decorate on a budget

I would just like to add here that I am thankful for buying used on Craigslist because my two year old smeared Hershey kisses on this loveseat…

THE VERY NEXT DAY!

Of course my wall art did not match the new couch so I went on the search for new wall art. I was Pinteresting for inspiration when I came across this free printable for feathers. I decided to make engineer prints of them and bought two large poster frames from Amazon. You can buy MCS Original Poster 24×36 Inch Frame(2pk), Black (65594) at an affordable price but I personally like thicker frames like this one, Craig Frames 1WB3BK 24 by 36-Inch Picture Frame, Smooth Wrap Finish, 1-Inch Wide, Black. I chose a frame in blue to go with my curtains.

Engineer prints: redecorate on a budget

The hardest part of this project was mounting the pictures. Engineer prints are printed on thin paper and if you don’t mount them, they will not lay flat in the frame. If you mount them incorrectly, then you face the chance of ripping the paper when you try to remount. Best advice, TAKE YOUR TIME! I used spray adhesive and a credit card to smooth out the bubbles.

Here is a picture of the end result.

Engineer prints: decorate on a budget

Sorry the picture is so dark but I had to cover the bay window because of all the shadows it was causing. Overall, I am happy about the project and look forward to switching it up in the future. I definitely see this as a cost efficient way to redecorate without breaking the bank.

Do you have any inexpensive ideas to redecorate? Please share and comment below.

Gender Equality Starts With Our Children

Raising boys. Gender equality. Gender rolesEven before our children are born we set into motion gender identity, pink for girls and blue for boys. When we bring our babies home from the hospital, we place them in their nursery that is themed for a little boy or girl. Sometimes we might decide not to know the sex of our baby and chose to decorate a gender neutral nursery, but how long does that neutrality last? How long before relatives and friends start giving you gifts identifying gender. Girls receive dresses, dolls, and frilly pink stuff while boy receive trucks, building blocks and an array of blue clothing. Why do we do this? Why do we feel the need to prove the gender of our children to society?

I recently read an article about how Megan Fox, the actress from Transformers received a bunch of backlash when she posted pictures of her 4 year old son wearing an Elsa dress from the movie Frozen. Some comments on her Instagram account included, “No values. No morals. Promoting gay perversion.” Another comment, “It is not okay for a boy to walk around in their mother’s heels. Just like it’s NOT ok to for a child to be disrespectful.”

Raising boys. Gender equality. Gender neutrality.
This is not the only incident of mom shaming I have seen regarding a son wearing girl attire. A local women recently wrote about her experience being accosted in the middle of the street by a stranger for her son wearing a tutu.

Raising boys. Gender equality. Gender neutrality

Can we stop for one minute and think about this?

“No values. No Morals.”

Value as defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary:

Value: something (such as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable

Valuable: having desirable or esteemed characteristics or qualities

Now that we know the definition of value, lets look back at the comment that refers to Megan Fox having “no values.” Does she not hold a principle, characteristic, or quality that is intrinsically valuable to her?  I think she does.

I think Megan and every other parent who does not enforce gender roles values individuality, creativity, and perseverance.

Individuality to be the person that they want to be.

Creativity to dream big without constraint.

Perseverance to pursue those dreams and break barriers.

Morals defined by Merriam Webster dictionary:

Morals: a person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do
Is it not acceptable for a mother to want their son to value individuality, creativity, and perseverance? These are traits that I value as a mother and want to instill in my own sons. However, these traits are stunted by traditional gender roles.
I know, it’s 2017 and I bet some of you are thinking there is equality between women and men, but is there equality?
Why do women still make 80 cents to ever dollar a man makes
Why does the glass ceiling still exist?
Why are we the only industrialized nation with unpaid maternity leave?
Have you heard of the pink tax? Manufacturers will make identical items and charge more for the product geared towards females.
I hate to say it but in 2017, gender equality still does not exist in America.

Why is there still a gender gap in 2017?

“Dress up is for girls.”
“Baby dolls are for girls.”
“Princesses are for girls.”
These comments are continuing to perpetuate the gender gap. Moms and dads alike tell their daughters that they can be anything they want to be. Even Disney tells your daughters to, “Dream Big Princess”. Yet boys, they continue to be told that they can’t have that “girl” toy or they can’t dress like that because it’s “girl” clothes. We can’t have it both ways; we can’t tell our girls that they can be anything that they want to be and our boys that they can only be masculine and expect there to be equality between the genders.
Let’s look at the comment that was made about Megan Fox, “It is not okay for a boy to walk around in their mother’s heels. Just like it’s NOT ok to for a child to be disrespectful.” Are you saying it’s  not ok for my son to want to be like me? Why? Because I’m a girl? Why wouldn’t I be a good role model for my son? I’m his mother.

Are you saying it’s disrespectful for my son to want to be like me?

Raising boys. Gender equality. Gender neutrality.
My son likes to put on my jewelry and shoes! Why? Because he wants to be like me. He also likes to color coordinate with me. Why? Because he looks up to me. I’m his mentor and that’s the way it should be. Why would I tell him otherwise?
Lastly, I would like to address the comment, “promoting gay persuasion.” If you do a little research, you will find that gender and sexual orientation are two separate ideas. Gender is a social construct that distinguishes between man and woman while sexual orientation refers to a persons sexual identity and who they are sexually attracted to. Having your four year old boy wear a dress is not going to influence his sexual identity because he doesn’t have a sexual identity and if he does, I would be more concerned about that than his dress.
Raising boys. Gender neutrality. Gender equality.
My son goes to daycare with two girls and plays dress up, house, dolls, and plays with glitter. He also goes to gymnastics because he is a ball of energy. He trots around the house in my heels and wears my jewelry. I would like to think I’m raising a boy who will treat the opposite sex with respect. I’m raising a boy who idolizes his mother and wants to be like her. I’m raising a boy to be an individual, to be creative, and to persevere to be whatever he wants to be.

Dream Big Boy!

Please share your thoughts on gender roles, gender inequality and mom shaming.

 

Parenting Fails: July Round up of the best parenting fails on the internet

parenting failsParenting is full of highs and lows; we laugh, we cry, and we grow. There was no manual sent home with our baby and with everything new, there is a learning curve. I’m sharing my journey with you and with every new adventure, there are epic fails along the way. Please share with us some of your parenting fails so we can laugh, cry, and grow together.

Parenting fails, we all have them. Here is some of the funniest parenting fails for the month of July.

 

 

Fellow Mommy Bloggers share their #parentingfails:

#1. Adultingmama: I was driving to the local fair with my two boys in tow when I started to feel overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed with using my GPS, watching out for pedestrians, searching for free parking, coordinating a meeting place with dad, and answering the 353rd “why?” question my toddler asked me on the way to the fair.

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I took a deep breath and quietly breathed the words, “oh crap”. My two year old instantly picked up on my frustrations and informed that I shouldn’t say “oh, crap” but to say “Jesus Christ”

“Mama, you want to say, Jesus Christ!”

#2. Jayne at thisconnecticutmom.comI recently taught my three year old his first joke. “Guess what?” …. “CHICKEN BUTT”. It was funny the first couple dozen times. Then he started saying it in public and to his grammie. And it became not so funny. My husband was like, good job there mom. … We’ve since got him answering the joke with PIZZA HUT! It’s not as funny but it’s also not something I’ll have to worry about when he goes to preschool in a month. Not my smartest moment

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#3. Becky from diapersanddogfood.com:  My daughter loves to paint, we do it all the time. She knows the rules and never makes a mess. So one day she was painting I decided to take a shower, she comes in and asks if she can do a handprint. We’ve done this before so I said ‘sure just be careful!’. Few minutes later she comes back, decided to paint not only her hand but her entire arm. Both of them. Legit fingertips to shoulders covered in paint. She’s like ‘I need to wash my hands!’. That’s an understatement. She looked like Crayola threw up on her. No more unsupervised painting…

#4. The wordy mom from thewordymom.com: A parenting fail so big that she wrote a post on it. Here’s an excerpt, ‘I greeted him with a smile and a kiss, instead of the tears he had come to expect. Right then, he knew something was up. He walked over to Lucy and said hello. She didn’t respond. He snapped his fingers in front of her eyes. Still no response. “There’s something wrong with her,” he said. “How long has she been like this?” Sheepishly, I said, “she’s been quiet all afternoon.” Five minutes later, we were on our way to emerg.’ read more at thewordymom.com

#5. Emma from meandbmaketea.com wrote a post this month about her adventures of eating out with a toddler,  Here’s an except, ‘So our food arrived and this is where it started to go downhill. B decided he wasn’t hungry at all. Instead he thought it would be hilarious to do the following, all within quick succession: Blow bubbles in his drink. Stick his fork in his drink. Eat ketchup and mayo from the little square packets. Squidge his fork in to his veggies. Flick them across the table…and the list goes on.’ Read more at Eating out with a toddler…Why do we bother??!

Best of Twitter: #parentingfail

Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom: I’ve done both!

Working mom vs. stay at home mom

It’s the ultimate debate in mommyhood

I’m not here to preach which one is best but wanted to share my experience with being both, a working mom and a stay at home mom. I can see the challenges and the perks of both positions and made a decision based on my experience and personal preference. But how many moms get to experience both? Not many. I wish every mom had the opportunity to experience both because it has opened my eyes to my parenting style and has changed the way I plan to parent in the future.

Working Mom

When I was a working mom, I had this mom guilt like you wouldn’t believe. I could never use a babysitter because all non-working hours were dedicated to my children. I would pick them up from daycare and make sure we were able to do something before going home for dinner and doing night routine. We went to the park, the beach, a hike, ride bikes,or the library.  The weekends were just another opportunity to up my game on the outings. We went to museums, farms, aquariums, amusement parks, longer hikes and bikes rides.

I was on a mission to make memories everyday with my children.

Why? Because I was a working mom and I needed to squeeze in these memories after 4pm on the weekdays and on the weekends. I was trying to overcompensate for the hours that I wasn’t home making memories with them. It was all about the children.

But at what cost?

Meanwhile, my marriage was suffering. I was exhausted and didn’t have time to squeeze in time for my husband. We would get a babysitter about every three months, once a season for a couple of hours to enjoy ourselves. That’s four times a year! How did we have a second child, I don’t know. We never had time for each other.

Then I lost the baby weight and then I lost more weight. I wasn’t trying to lose weight, I just didn’t have time to eat. In the morning I rushed around packing bags for daycare and in the evening I was making memories with the kids. Night time routine took forever with prepping three different meals for dinner because everyone wanted something different, two different baths, and two different bed times. I was exhausted. I didn’t stop until after my kids went to bed and my face hit the pillow. I went to sleep hungry.

I bit my nails to the quip with anxiety and I never indulged in self care. That would require time away from the children and that was just not acceptable when I already spent 40 hours away from them working.

Then I lost my job.

I am going on my second month as a stay at home mom. It was so hard the first two weeks adjusting to being a stay at home mom. The first week as a stay at home mom was awful! My toddler had tantrums all day, every day. Why? Because I no longer had mom guilt and was setting limits.  As a working mom, I was so concerned about spending time with my children that I set very few limits.

You want cookies before bed? Sure.

You don’t want to take a nap? Ok.

You want me to buy you that toy? You got it!

I was so stuck on my mom guilt and engulfed in creating these great  memories with my kids that I never stopped to see the bigger picture.

I was creating entitled, spoiled brats.

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Now, that I’m a stay at home mom, my guilt is gone. My kids nap everyday, they do chores, I say “no” without flinching, and I even tell them the dreaded phrase, “Because I said so!” I am the parent and I set the limits for my children. It was a challenge at first but now I love it. I use a babysitter, I go on dates with my husband, I eat, I shop, I even watch TV on my kindle when the kids are napping! It’s great! My kids are doing better, I’m doing better, the family is doing better.

All good things must come to an end

As much as I’ve enjoyed being a stay at home mom and regaining control of my household and life, it’s not for me. I enjoy working and I miss it. I miss having an identity other than “mom”. I miss excelling at something and being praised and compensated for what I do best.  I’ve decided to go back to work at a new school at the end of Summer. Being a working mom is not for everyone, same as being a stay at home mom is not for everyone. I honestly wished every mom had the opportunity to try both so they can see where they belong.

Let me Reflect

As I reflect on my experience of being a stay at home mom and returning back to work in the Fall, I know that the guilt I carried and the expectations I had for myself were unrealistic. My kids will be fine if I use a babysitter. They will be fine if I say “No”. Every day doesn’t have to be an adventure and it’s ok for my kids to be bored and wait for mommy. If there is one thing I learned from this, it’s a healthy mommy makes a healthy family.