Family, Favorite Things, Gabbing Girls, Maternity/ Pregnancy, pregnant

Self Care

I am so excited to be collaborating with my friend Meg again for this post on self care! We have been instafriends and have collaborated on a “red head” post in the past.  This time we are both bringing you our take on self care. After you read below make sure to head over to her post and tell her I sent you!

Self Care.  You hear it talked about especially in the mom world. I think that is because self care techniques are constantly changing and evolving based on our life situations. You add a kid or two (or three or four), you move, you get a new job, or your schedule changes…. All of those things cause a seismic shift and you have to reevaluation how you execute your self care. A perfect balance is always the goal but I think a HAPPY balance is what is important.

Personally, lately I have had to scale down working out because of my pregnancy and so to replace it every few weeks I am heading in for a mani or a pedi.  It helps keep me relaxed and it is something that is a treat. I also have enjoyed some time reading and watching a few netflix shows. I am doing this all knowing that in a few short months a new baby will be here and my self care routine will have to change.  Taking a little extra self care time during these months is hopefully setting me up for a positive mental health level as we shift into a new normal.

There are so many different ways to fulfill your self care needs.  It can be hard to get the ball rolling [especially if you are a newer mom #momguilt].  But I promise it is so worth it not only for you but for your family. Self care can be done in as little as 10-15 minutes but that time can do so much for your mental and physical health.

I think the very first piece of self care advice I have is once your child is on a good schedule getting up before them is so imperative.  Even if it is to just lay in bed and check social media. It is so nice not to feel rushed into getting up and getting the ball rolling.  Some other Ideas on self care include:

Read a book

Workout (even small at home workouts get those good endorphins going)

Take a Bath

Pamper yourself… get a mani, your hair down, something that makes YOU feel beautiful

Have a glass of your favorite drink

Enjoy a cup of coffee HOT before the kiddos wake up

Enjoy time with friends WITHOUT the kid (s).

Taking care of yourself will help make sure you are functioning as your best self.  Whether you are a mom or not taking time for yourself in our “go, go, go” world is important for your mental and physical wellness. I love that people are finally talking about it because I know that I need to constant reminder to take care of myself and not just those around me!

What are you favorite strategies for self care?

PS Make sure to head over to Instagram and follow Meg and don’t forget to head on over to her blog post on self care!

Crafts, Gabbing Girls, Things I Love

DIY Magnetic Calendar OR Menu Planner

Please note this post may contain affiliate links!

 

I am so thrilled to be bringing back one of my all time favorite Gabbing Girl’s Jennifer. If you missed it before Jennifer shared an amazing DIY for gifts for girlfriends of neighbors! I love my self a great DIY so I am excited to try what she chats about below myself ASAP!

Getting Organized:  DIY magnetic calendar and menu planner

by guest blogger Jennifer Wise

In my line of work, I talk to a lot of people about their pictures.  When we talk about preserving them, there are usually two big obstacles to get over first:  organizing them and setting aside time for them.  So although I’m really in the memory-keeping business, these days I find I spend a fair amount of time reading about, developing, and sharing time management tips!  (In fact, I’ve started a great little collection of them at this link!)

Besides, I am kind of an organization freak myself, so I always have new ideas and tricks swimming around in the back of my mind about how to be more productive and use my time more wisely.  I’m really excited to share one of my favorites with you today.

I’m absolutely thrilled to be a guest blogger with Gabbing Ginger once again so that I can share with you a really fun, creative DIY project that will help you manage either your calendar or your menu a little better—or both!  Couldn’t we all use a little extra help there??

I’m going to show you how to make a 12×18 “car magnet” into a family calendar and/or a menu planner for your fridge!  Yep, really!  The surface of these particular car magnets makes them writable with a dry erase marker.  So that means that we can get clever with them—we can turn them into calendars and planners (and more)!

“A man who dares waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”  – Charles Darwin

I don’t know about you, but we are always running every which way, so coordination within our family is an absolute must.  Who is driving him to basketball practice, and what time do we all need to be at her awards ceremony?  I keep my own calendar, of course, but having one for the whole family in one central place is a huge help!

One thing that can really help with time management is meal planning.  Planning meals out ahead of time has several benefits!  First, you usually eat healthier rather than just stopping for fast food or chowing down on whatever’s convenient.  Second, you can save huge amounts of time by consolidating your shopping trips.  If you have things planned out for the week, you can get by with just going to the store once (or maybe twice) a week instead of several small trips here and there that always add up to more time than we really think.  Meal planning and shopping trip consolidation are a HUGE time-saver!  I love this magnetic meal planner.

“Those who prepare create their own luck.”  -anonymous

I’m going to show you how to make a family calendar today, but the same technique can be used for a menu planner.  It could be used for a personal daily planner, too!

Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten about time is that if something takes longer than 15 minutes, it should be on your calendar.  So even little things like sitting down to pay bills should be an agenda item.  For me, when I don’t include those “little” things on my daily to-do list, I feel like I’m overscheduled and overrun because I’m filling my day with all these “little” things that I didn’t make time for, but I only feel like I’ve truly accomplished the ones I can cross off.  I really like this daily agenda magnet for that very purpose.

I’ve even used these car magnets for a vision board!  Then I don’t have to make a new one every year—I can just erase.  So lovely on my file cabinet!

NOTE:  I’ve found that the surface of the car magnets are best cleaned with a spray cleaner specifically for a dry-erase board, especially if you’ve left the dry-erase marker on the magnet for longer than a day or two.  

So you’re probably thinking, “How on earth do I make a magnet?”  The good news is that you don’t have to have access to magnets of any kind!  This project only requires a computer!  You actually just create the design digitally online (or use a template), then the magnet is printed up for you and shipped to your door in about 7-10 days.

Magnets like this are obviously great for both personal and family organization and planning, but they do make great gifts as well.  They are 12”x18”, as I mentioned, and run about $30 (plus shipping).

And guess what!  I’ve made a special video just for Gabbing Ginger readers that walks you through the DIY portion of these magnets (the digitally creating part)!  Once you hit the “publish” button all you do is wait for the UPS guy.  It’s DIY without shopping trips or a mess– only your computer!

One other thing I love is that each magnet is going to be your own personal style.  If you like flowers, you can add (digital) flowers to it.  If your kitchen is red, make your magnet red.  If you like a clean & classic look, go for it.  If you want it to look like a scrapbook page, go for it.  You can even add a family picture like I did on our family calendar!  (The surface of the car magnet won’t give you a crisp photo, but they’re pretty cute nonetheless.)  You’ll have tons of available creative tools, so your magnet will be exactly what you’re looking for.

I’ll show you how!  Let’s go:

Organizing your goals, your day, your family’s week, or your meals right there in plain view puts them in the forefront of your mind.  In some cases, it makes them more of a team effort, too.  And with these completely personal magnets, it makes them more fun, more beautiful, and more YOU!

“…As if we could kill time without injuring eternity.”  -Henry David Thoreau

Today’s guest blogger, Jennifer Wise, is a married mom of three who thrives on creativity.  Her greatest desire is to make a difference.  She is fluent in American Sign Language, loves great Mexican food, and enjoys both teaching and learning.  Her favorite place is the beach, and her favorite thing to do is laugh.  If you gave her a million dollars, she would spend it on her addiction, traveling.  She holds a B.A. in Humanities-English literature from Brigham Young University.  Jennifer blogs each week at www.lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com and is the #familyhistoryfriday contributor at www.livegrowgive.org.   Her website is www.heritagemakers.com/jenniferwise

Gabbing Girls

Tangled Up With Endometriosis

*Please note this post may contain affiliate links.

Tangled Endo Featured Image

I am so excited to bring you another feature on Gabbing Girls.  Tifanee is a fellow mom blogger over at Coins & Babble. She is bringing light to women who have Endometriosis and what is means to live with a chronic disease.  She also has great tips for Autism and parenting in general! With out further ado…

Endometriosis. When I first came across this word I had to google it for a definition. The dictionary in Google reads “a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain.”  

Worst definition ever. It’s so much more than that.

Symptoms:

Besides pelvic pain, there is a huge list of symptoms that go along with Endometriosis. Here are some of the most common symptoms, and what they feel like to me!

Painful Periods: Not like the cramping that makes you want to eat a banana (that never worked for me anyway) and put a heat pack on with a movie. The kind of cramping that totally occupies your brain. The kind that makes you want to heat that heat pack up so damn hot that it burns your skin because maybe that will take away from the twisting, pressured, inflamed feeling. This pain starts a week before your period, and ramps up to its worst during your period, then lasts for the week after too. Oops, only one week left in the month.

Pain with/after sex: This is one of the most annoying symptoms for me. I am not one of those women who can just shop away my desire for sex, do those women actually exist?! My body and mind crave that release and closeness with my husband. If we are in just the right position, the pain during is fairly minimal, but as soon as that stupid muscle contracts for my wonderful euphoria, pain comes with it. The kind of pain that makes me curl up in a ball in our bed after with tears streaming down my face. The kind of pain my husband feels the need to apologize for and ends up feeling bad over. Not healthy for any relationship.

Pain when you go to the bathroom: I sat down 5 minutes ago to pee, yet despite me trying to relax my body, pee won’t come out. When I try to relax a little more, it feels like something inside is clenching me. Like there’s some rope tied around something and it’s just getting tighter rather than looser. If that’s what urination is like, lets not even get into the other.

Excessive bleeding: “Oh no, I went through 121 tampons in three months.” No joke, one of my friends with Endo actually kept track once.

Other symptoms: Chronic fatigue, nausea, infertility, excessive bloating…I think you’re getting the idea.

Actual Feelings

“What does it feel like?” It’s the most common question women ask. If you suspect you have Endo, you’re probably wondering this. I know it feels different for every woman because it depends on WHERE the endometriosis is growing. But, the feeling I think is the most common, is the feeling of blisters. It feels like hundreds of blisters inside your pelvis. Some of them feel like they’ve burst, and others are just rubbing against your pelvic wall and internal organs. Your pelvic wall being the ill-fitting shoe you have to wear ALL THE TIME. The best description is in the book “Stop Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain” by Dr. Andrew S Cook, he describes the full effect here “For endometriosis sufferers, it’s as if the entire pelvis is covered with hundreds of incredibly painful blisters. At best, this leads to intense short-term discomfort and frustration, at worst to years of agony and despair. Endometriosis can ruin quality of life—harming family relationships, impacting friendships, damaging careers, and straining marriages.”. You can read the forward by Dr. Robert Franklin here. If you have just been diagnosed with Endo, or think you might have it, I highly suggest this book!

Managing through life

Thankfully, I am not one of the 1/3 of women who endometriosis caused infertility too early in life. I have three beautiful children, it was a struggle to have our third and following her, I can’t have anymore. I feel extremely grateful that I could have children, but that also means that I have to care for them while I am in extreme amounts of pain and mentally and physically drained. I honestly feel dead most days. I have mom guilt to the max because sometimes, my little just lays in bed with me for the day. My husband comes home and helps around the house, otherwise, it would be insanely messy. I consider myself one of the lucky few out of the 1 in 10 (176 Million) girls and women worldwide diagnosed with Endo because I was able to have kids and my husband understands. Getting through day to day life with an invisible illness is not easy and people really don’t understand. I should be a cheery 20 something….ok, 30 something woman, who has energy and loves to go to neighbourhood potlucks and kids parties. Let’s be real, I would still hate kids parties. But, instead, I spend way too many of my days in bed and way to much time carefully planning out my errands and responsibilities. The fatigue a woman experiences with Endo is similar to that of a cancer patient going through treatment. I think that really puts things in perspective for people who don’t understand.

The worst part, there is no cure. A hysterectomy doesn’t cut it because your body still needs hormones and hormones are what cause the lesions to bleed and increase. In cases like mine, where pain cannot be controlled, a hysterectomy is what you end up with as the last hope for some relief. I feel like this is a sad end to this story, but also, a fitting one. With so many women and girls suffering from this life sucking disease, an actual solution is what we need!

T, xx

About Tifanee:

tifanee

I am a mom of two special needs kids and one diva of a daughter who happens to be the perfect sister for her siblings. I also have been diagnosed with Endometriosis/Chronic Pelvic Pain. I started Coins & Babble as a place of escape for me. I love writing about our life, chaos and all. You’ll find raw honesty with bits of humour in my writing, because that’s who I am. How could I not have humour with THREE kids around me?!

Find her on: FacebookInstagram,& Twitter

Everyone go check out Tifanee and give her some love!
XOXO Gabbing Ginger

 

Crafts, Favorite Things, Gabbing Girls

DIY girlfriend or neighbor gifts: Quick Cakes Recipe Cards by guest blogger Jennifer Wise

*Please note this post may contain affiliate links!

I am so thrilled to be bringing you another wonderful Gabbing Girls Guest blogger! Jennifer is a magnificent crafter and wonderful blogger I met through my #momblogtribe.  I am so excited to share with you her wonderful DIY gift that is perfect for the holiday season! Without further ado….

How about a little DIY today?  If you are looking for a fun, unique gift, you have come to the right place!  Today’s gift idea is created part digitally, part hands-on, completely adorable, and comes out around $4 per set.

These are Quick Cakes Recipe Cards.

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There are 10 recipes included in each little set.  The recipes are for individual cakes made in less than 2 minutes in the microwave.  Perfect for well-deserving moms, college students, older folks living alone, or even to set up as a Quick Cakes BAR for a party or group!  I think the recipe cards make a really cute gift for just about anyone.

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These recipe card sets are actually made from a playing card deck!  That’s right.  Just a creative, darling use for a playing card deck.  As such, one deck makes 5 of these little sets, each one with 10 different recipes.

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And, yes, since they’re made from a deck of playing cards, they are playing card size.

In case you’re wondering, I’m Jennifer and I’m thrilled to be guest blogging today at Gabbing Ginger!  

I just made these Quick Cakes Recipe Card gifts last week, and I have to admit I fell in love just a little.  You are going to love them!  

As a special bonus just for Gabbing Ginger readers, the first part of this DIY tutorial will be a video!  I show you step-by-step how to digitally create the Quick Cakes playing card deck.  Then we’ll finish up with some step-by-step photos on how to put these little gifts together once you get the playing card decks back in the mail.  

Ready?  Here we go!

Okay, now that you have followed the steps in the video to get your playing cards, you can do a few things while you wait the 7-10 days for your order to arrive at your door.

  1. Decide who your 5 favorite friends are.  I’m kidding, but you will need to decide who gets the 5 cute sets of Quick Cakes recipe cards.  Of course, ordering more than just one deck of Quick Cakes recipe cards is a great solution if you like more than 5 people.
  2. Buy book rings at an office supply store or big box store.
  3. Buy ribbon.  I like the thin kind I used here, but it would be cute with wider ribbon, too.
  4. Get out your hole punch.image6

I wish I could see your face when you get the box in the mail and open your playing cards.  That’s the honest truth.  It’s the first big fun part of this DIY project.

After you get your deck of cards, you’ll kind of deal them out.  This is how you divide them up so that each set gets one of each recipe.  You’ll have 5 piles.

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Assembling them is ridiculously easy.  For each set of cards:

  1. Find the “helpful hints” card.  Punch a hole in the upper left of the side that says Quick Cakes.  This will become your front cover.                                       image5
  2. For the remainder of the cards, punch a hole in the upper left corner of the cards on the recipe side.
  3. Place a book ring through all the holes.
  4. Tie with a ribbon.
  5. Impress and delight your friends with this fun gift.  Give with a box of cake mix if you like!

I love that this is such a one-of-a-kind gift, not to mention being cheaper and more fun than a gift card.  It’s easy to make and exciting to give.  And who doesn’t want to be the best gift-giver ever?!

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Today’s guest blogger, Jennifer Wise, is a married mom of three who thrives on creativity.  She is fluent in American Sign Language, loves great Mexican food, and enjoys both teaching and learning.  Her favorite place is the beach, and her favorite thing to do is laugh.  If you gave her a million dollars, she would spend it on her addiction, traveling.  Jennifer blogs each week at www.lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com and is the #familyhistoryfriday contributor at www.livegrowgive.org.  

baby, Gabbing Girls, Maternity/ Pregnancy

BABY GIRL’S PERFECT NURSERY

Please note this post may contain affiliate links.

Hi everyone! I would like to introduce you to a new series I am starting called Gabbing Girls.  These are some of my favorite bloggers that will be writing special pieces just for this blog space! I love participating in guest blogs and I am so excited to be featuring these women on here!

I want to welcome Shawna from MishMash Mommy.  Shawna is a true Southern girl with a love for writing, photography, and Sweet Tea.  She is married to the love of her life, Stepmom to the sweetest 9 year old boy, Mom to an adorable 2 year girl, and Fur Mommy to 2 little Shih-tzu pups.  In addition to blogging at MISHMASH MOMMY, she is a part-time photographer and photo editor, and loves traveling and camping in what very little spare time she gets.

Her post will bring something new to the table because she is introducing her baby girls nursery! Which reminded me that I never posted about Baby Tripp’s nursery….

NURSERY

When I found out I was pregnant, I began scouring Pinterest and dreaming of what my sweet baby’s nursery would look like.  I couldn’t wait to find out the gender, so I could really go crazy!  I was so anxious that I scheduled an appointment with Peek A Boo Baby for the day I hit 16 weeks.  You can’t imagine my excitement when they told me it was a GIRL!  I would have been thrilled either way, but I’d secretly always wanted a little girl.

I’d never been much of a pink girl, so I wanted to do the nursery in purple…and loved the combination of purple and teal.  If you’ve ever tried looking for that in nursery bedding, you know it’s practically impossible without spending a million bucks on custom made.  Heck, I had a hard enough time just finding purple.  Lavender was a little easier, but I wanted a true, vibrant purple.  I swear I searched for months, until I finally found one I liked.  Ironically, it had quite a bit of pink in it too.  The great part is I could get it at my favorite store, Target, online (Thank you, Red Card)!  The Target option came in a bundle, which included a few things I wouldn’t use, but it was still cheaper than buying certain pieces separately.  Now that I had decided on bedding, the rest was much easier (and so much fun) to shop for!

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I wanted to keep things bright and fun, so I opted for a white crib from Graco. I also chose a white dresser and white cube storage unit (both from Target).  I loved the idea of using the dresser top as my changing table, so I got a changing pad and wrapped it in a super soft light purple cover.  I will say it did slide around a bit., so we eventually used the buckle and just looped it through the drawer and out the back.  I wanted to bring out a little bit of the green from the bedding so I got storage bins and drawer knobs to match.

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After searching forever and reading a million reviews, I settled on this glider, and I love it!  It is so comfy, and I think the gray works great with everything else.  I picked up the table and lamp on clearance at Target. Double score!  I had a really hard time finding curtains.  There wasn’t anything that would work in the stores, so I went online.  Shockingly, I got these blackout curtains at Walmart online!  I knew it was meant to be, when I noticed that the style name was Kendall.  🙂

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Speaking of my daughter’s name, I got big white letters at Michaels and painted polka dots to match the crib skirt.

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One of my favorite accents was the paper lanterns!  I was going to order separately, but I found this pack on Amazon that had the exact colors I needed!  I initially wanted (and ordered) some giant tissue paper pom poms, but when I got them, it was just too confusing for my prego brain to figure out how to assemble them!  Thankfully, I absolutely love how the lanterns turned out!

I had been stockpiling books pretty much since I found out I was pregnant, and definitely needed a place to put them.  I saw this super cute book shelf idea on Pinterest, and it turned out great.  The bookshelves are actually IKEA spice racks that I painted white.  The only problem is that they don’t hold very many books, so I quickly ran out of room.

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I had a hard time narrowing down which decor I was going to put on the walls…there is so much cute stuff out there!  I got some adorable decorative signs and shelves, and this amazing shag rug (again, from Target).

Once the nursery was complete, I’d just go and sit in there imagining what it would be like when she arrived.  It’s like it didn’t really hit home until this room was finished.  I felt like NOW I was ready for her to be here.  NOW I was ready to be a Mom.

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What was your favorite part of decorating your nursery?  How did you feel when it was finally complete?

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XOXO Gabbing Ginger