The Thankful Mama

Clean and Organized

Happy New Year! I hope it was a great holiday for all of you. It was a wonderful Christmas for me and my family. My little girl got her first real taste of the excitement of Santa and opening presents. It was glorious watching her and my three year old nephew come into the living room and see what Santa had left and then tear into everything!

The month of December was so jam packed with good things that we all wore ourselves completely down and of course got the Christmas cold followed by the Christmas flu…yuck! There is a good part to all of that though. Having the entire family covered in cooties means a forced rest and time off. Hubby and I had almost a whole week of just being together, slowing down and playing. It was incredibly rejuvenating for mind and body! I learned a valuable lesson to start the new year off right…take it slow and focus.

I have been trying to be mindful of noticing the little things and practicing gratitude. I have been a little lax in these areas recently and want to make them habit. Hubby gave me a Kindle for Christmas, which I am finding is a great little gadget. It has given me access to many books and many of them for free. The public domain e-books section on is quite extensive. I found the book, The Heart of Abundance by Candy Paull, that reminded me to see abundance everywhere and to be in the moment.

I prefer to make goals instead of resolutions in January. I find that setting and achieving reachable goals creates the desire to build upon that success. I definitely want to clean and organize. That includes everything from my home to my vision board to my personal goals. I’m ready to make a clear plan for success! Organizing my ideas and thoughts are the first step towards making my dreams come true and I’m definitely planning on being more active in sharing on the blog!

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The Eyes Have it

I recently received an eye injury from my 14 month old. Holding a tired baby and looking down at the computer does not make a good or safe combination. One well placed finger and I was seeing stars! Of course this was an accident but it didn’t stop my poked eye from becoming angry red and weepy the next evening. My thoughtful hubby quickly made me an appointment to see the eye doc and it turned out the wound ulcerated and then became infected. Yikes! Thank goodness for quick acting antibiotics and thoughtful hubbies! My eye is looking much better and I realized that I learned a few lessons from this experience that I would like to share.

1. Always expect the unexpected, especially with little ones!

2. You’re never too young for wraparound sunglasses.

3. Your eyes are incredible and do so much for you everyday that goes virtually unnoticed until they hurt like heck. Appreciate your body for all it does!

4. You have to be tough to be a mommy!

5. For maybe the first time I realized I needed to do whatever it took to get myself back to 100 percent because I have someone who depends on me.

I’m so thankful for all of the great care I have received and for a doting hubby that makes sure I am well taken care of. I’m also thankful for my little girl who is constantly helping me to “see” things differently!

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Artful Window Panes

I recently completed a craft project for my little girl’s room windows. This idea came from the creative site The Artful Parent. It is a great resource for fun and crafty things to do with your children. There are many projects I have been inspired by on this site and I love reading about all the fun and crafty things this mom does with her darling little girls.

I used her tutorial for Flower Petal Stained Glass Door and was so pleased with the results! There is a small, oddly shaped window in my baby’s room that I have struggled with decorating. It’s a great source of natural light in the room, but it would be nice to have some privacy, since it looks out onto the front porch. The “stained glass” solved the problem perfectly.

The finished project


The supplies needed couldn’t be simpler; clear contact paper, fresh flower petals and/or leaves from the garden and a pair of scissors. I measured out the spaces between the panes and cut my contact paper into easy to handle panels. I cut an assortment of flat leaves and flower petals from my yard and laid them out in a pattern I liked. Once the backing is removed, the contact paper lays flat, making the surface easy to arrange the flowers on. Then, up on the windows they go! It made a beautiful sight to look at while we played and changed diapers. My little girl noticed them right away! The flowers lasted about 5-7 days before getting wilted and brownish.

I am looking forward to do more ideas with the contact paper windows. It lends itself to so many artistic uses. I already have a project in mind for my 3 year old nephew to create that we can use in the room. Hopefully I’ll have something to share about that in another post! Thank you to Jean at the Artful Parent for sharing so many fun and easy ideas that get the creativity flowing!

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Father’s Day and a Pair of Socks


It’s been a great Father’s Day especially since it’s my hubby’s 1st. His first year of fatherhood has been wonderful. He has risen to the challenge on many different fronts. He successfully helped me get through pregnancy and labor…our first, everything was new and exciting/scary. He also goes out everyday and cheerfully slays dragons so I can stay home with our little one. I am one lucky girl, but I have known that since the day we met!

For Father’s Day we kept it low key with a lunch for our dads. We made the entire meal low carb, since Hubby and I and my dad have given up the carbs. Grilled salmon and a breadless deep dish pizza that seems more like lasagna or quiche to me. Whatever it is, it’s delicious and I can’t make it enough for my hubbby!

Father in law 3x3 rib socks

Of course I had to craft for Father’s Day…it’s a holiday right? I decided two pairs of hand knit socks, one for each dad, was in order. My dad is a regular customer already, but I haven’t made anything yet for my dad in law. Thank goodness he and Hubby have pretty much the same size 14 feet. That’s a pretty big sock and I somehow figured I was going to make two pair of big men’s socks. I ordered Knit Picks Stroll Sport, figuring the heavier weight would help me crank them out. I’m pleased to say I completed one pair in time to give to dad in law on Father’s Day. I wrapped up the yarn for my dad’s socks and presented him with that. He was slightly confused until I reassured him I wasn’t trying to teach him knitting, but those were soon-to-be-socks. Overall, I have to say I enjoyed working with the Stroll yarn. I usually knit with fingering weight, so it was a nice change and it made a difference in the completion time. The yarn itself is stretchy and soft. My dad in law kept squeezing them and commenting on how comfy they felt. I’m looking forward to starting my next pair!


Project Details:

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Sport

Colorway: Fedora

Needle Size 2 (3mm)

More info and photos on my Ravelry page


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LCHF…Have You Heard?

Have you heard of a new trend in healthy eating called Low Carb High Fat (LCHF)? I recently came across this mind blowing way of eating via the movie Fathead. My mom suggested I watch it on Netflix. She was describing this movie to me in glowing details. My interest was piqued. That night Hubby and I sat down and watched this Fathead movie. All I can say is…WOW! I was floored by what I was seeing and hearing. The information was very interesting, compelling and presented in a humorous and engaging way. After the movie finished all we could do was look at each other…astonished.

I’m sure the ideas presented aren’t new to some, but I am one of the many brainwashed, wool-pulled-firmly-over-the-eyes, sugar and starch eaters out there. I have completely bought into the idea of “fat is bad” and “grains are good.” Although it is disappointing to me to realize I may have been duped, knowledge is power and I consider this an opportunity to expand my understanding. In reading a little more about this, I kept coming across the same stories, over and over…improved health, weight loss, real food, overall improved health. The idea behind LCHF is incredibly simple: eat low in carbohydrates with a higher proportion of fat and avoid sugar and starches. Of course, this is a thumbnail sketch and there is much more expertly presented and researched information to be had out there in Internetland. I’ll include a list of blogs about this subject, that I enjoy reading, at the end of this post.

I am currently trying to lose weight gained during pregnancy, about 40lbs in all. My hubby, sister and I had just started Weight Watchers. I did successfully lose weight by watching caloric intake, but I admit I was constantly hungry. My sister has similarly complained. I also couldn’t get through the day without eating something sugary…forget it, just couldn’t and didn’t want to do it

Ok, so Hubby and I decided, what the heck, let’s give this LCHF thing a try for one week. If we get similar results to our current weight loss we’ll be happy. We didn’t really need to buy any new food, since eating this way is so basic. It was more a matter of getting rid of food. My pantry and fridge were stocked with pastas, cereal and a myriad of low fat versions of things. But I didn’t go nuts throwing away everything in one day. No need to dive of the deep end, we’re taking things gradual. Our results for week one were surprising. We both lost about two pounds (equal to WW), but we noted a few other facts. The food tastes great (how could it not?), definite increase in energy, no cravings in between meals at all and a decrease in cravings for breads and sweets. Hubby and I talked about what we liked eating this way and decided to continue, since we really couldn’t find anything not to like. We are only one week in and I get more inspired the more I read about eating this way. I’ll be posting often about our results and observations with LCHF.

For More Info on LCHF:

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Challenges Updates

I’ve made some progress on my self imposed challenges, gratitude and crochet. I just haven’t made anytime to blog about it., Maybe I need a blogging challenge too?
On the gratitude challenge I set myself the goal to list ten things, morning and evening for a week, that I am grateful for. I did successfully do this and remembered each day to complete the task. It turned out to be a pretty neat exercise. I found that it helped me purposefully focus on great and positive things that happened during the day, instead of all the things I didn’t get done or could have done better. I realized each day that I had many things to be happy about and that I was successful at. Pretty nice!
On to crochet. I have started my second amigurumi doll from the book Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts!: Amigurumi. I’m working on the Cotton Puppies. I had a tension breakthrough on this doll. I finished the head portion and started the body. After a few rows, it started looking quite different than the head, in a good way. All of my stitches were lining up and uniform. I guess your bound to improve something repeating it about a million times! After about half the body was complete, I compared it to the already finished head…oops! Yeah, that head was gigantic. I’ve already started ripping it out and ready to start it again with my new and improved tension! I have high expectations for this little cotton puppy!

Giant head...little body!

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Gratitude Challenge

I guess I’m into challenging myself lately. This is the second challenge I have come up with to blog about. This time I want to focus on gratitude and how it can help my positivity during the week. My idea is to start each day with writing a list of ten things I am grateful for. Then, in the evening make another list of ten things I’m grateful for that happened during the day. At the end of the week I hope to notice some definite improvements in my mental attitude. I guess this is a little learning experiment. I already set monthly goals and I try to meditate every morning for a little bit on being thankful. This way I can actually get them written down and therefore stimulate my subconscious. This is my idea, anyway. Please share your results if you make gratitude lists and how they have helped you. I am going to post as much as I can during the week about my results. And for starters, I’m thankful for you my dear readers. Thank you for taking the time to read my musings! 🙂


Ace Of Cupcakes

My sister is a self proclaimed “cupcake artist”. She has been diligently practicing her hobby and I think she is really enjoying it. We have all been more than happy to be her cupcake guinea pigs! With each new batch she wows us with her improvements. We have been treated to strawberry, lemon, yellow cake and good ol’ chocolate as well as a delicious array of butter cream frosting.

Yellow cake and chocolate frosting cupcake tower

She is even teaching her little boy how to bake and decorate the cupcakes. He has so much fun helping mommy. It has become a regular activity at their house.


Adding ingredients

Carefully cracking the eggs

Her latest was a whole tray of decorated cupcakes that looked like a box of fancy chocolates. Each one was even filled. I love how she made some to resemble a Hostess Cupcake. Of course those cupcakes wish they could taste this good!

Her next big project is going to be a birthday tower for her little boy’s 3rd birthday party. She is going to make the Big Birthday Cake from the book Hello Cupcake. I’ll be sure to post the results!

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A Day With the Ducks

Feeding the Ducks

We spent a Sunday afternoon at a local park in town known as the Duck Pond. It was  a lot of fun to take our little girl to see some real animals. She loves watching animals on Baby Einstein movies so I knew she would enjoy the ducks. The weather was cool and perfect for a walk around the pond. Our nephew went along too, He is almost three and able to feed the ducks ( and eat the stale bread) himself. After the ducks had their lunch it was time for ours. We ate at Pat & Oscar’s, which is conveniently located right in the same parking lot. We enjoyed pizza, bread sticks and Caesar salad. What a great way to spend the afternoon! I’m glad we have a nice place close by that we can frequent and that’s also fun for a 7 month old!


What You Can Accomplish in Six Months

My little girl just turned six months old. It’s amazing how many things she has learned just this month. She’s gone from rolling over to inchworming to a full fledged crawl. She’s pulling up to stand on whatever she can. We’re learning to eat solid foods and off a spoon! She’s got new wispy hair growing and to top it all off…a tooth is poking out! Is it obvious I’m a proud mommy? I’m so thankful that I can experience all of these special accomplishments with her!

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