Mermaid Themed Birthday

With Harlow’s birthday coming up in less than a month, I’ve turned my attention to birthday party ideas. Harlow has always been very decisive about what theme she wants for her birthday party. Seriously, she’s been picking the theme since her second birthday. (Jake and the Neverland Pirates, if you were curious.)

This year, the theme is “generic mermaid”. We are going the easy route again this year, having the party at our local gymnastics center. Not having to clean my house twice (once before guests, once cleaning up after guests) is SO worth the less personal environment for me!

So far we only have the piñata picked out:

Party City

However, while I have not yet started on presents, cupcake ideas, decorations of any kind, or what Harlow will wear, I did the very important task of making myself a shirt to wear. Priorities, you know? Besides, this day is for me, too, right? I did all the work!

I’m pretty excited to wear it, actually. Although I can’t wear it with leggings which does pose a problem because I pretty much detest anything with a waistband these days. Ah, well. That’s a problem for another day.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Delicious Dump-n-Go Crock Pot Vegan Chili

I haven’t been shy about my disdain for 2019 so far, but while January was pretty terrible, February has been… not much better. I’ve been sick for almost two weeks now, and all last week, Harlow was home with me due to school closings because of the whole Polar Vortex thing. It was rough. It would have been fine, if not a little cabin-feverish, had I not been so sick, but even resting was completely impossible, let alone taking a nap.

The last thing I wanted to do was think about dinner, which is why this recipe is one of my favorites. Vegan Crock Pot Chili.

Forgive the shoddy photos… I was dying.

This recipe could not be easier, because I literally cheat on everything. I buy precooked quinoa, precut veggies, and every other shortcut I can think of. The absolute most tedious thing about this is opening the cans and rinsing the beans.


  • 2 cans black beans (15oz)
  • 1 can red kidney beans (15oz)
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes (15oz)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 containers pre-cooked quinoa in a cup
  • 1 small container chopped peppers
  • 1/2 small container onion
  • 1 can summer corn (no liquid)
  • chili powder to taste (I use around 2-3 tsp)
  • cumin to taste (I use 1-2 tsp)

Open all the cans/containers and dump everything into the Crock Pot, rinsing the beans first. Stir it up. Set on low for 3-5 hours. Eat. Enjoy!

The actual recipe is vegan, but we always add cheddar cheese and sour cream on top because it is delicious.

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January Has Been The Longest Year Ever.

January. Ugh.

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January Still Sucks

Well, this is not the next post I had planned, but since things are still hectic around here, and I have several new gray hairs, courtesy of Abbey, I thought I’d just pop in for a sec.

So I have this little granny dog that suddenly started limping… badly. She had a tiny limp off and on for a few weeks. It was barely noticeable, but since I’m obsessed with my family, furry members obviously included, I noticed it. Then a few days ago, she got up from the couch she was snoozing on, and just stood there, holding one paw up. She tried to jump down, and almost fell in the process. January… you suck.

A long vet visit the next day ruled out cancer (thank God!), Lyme disease, and heartworms. Some x-rays showed some massive inflammation, so $300 later, we have her on some anti-inflammatory meds, no answers, and have to recheck in 2 weeks. As if she hasn’t given me enough to worry about in the past year!

I swear… January is going to do me in.

Stay strong, peeps. I’m out.

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Catching Up

The biggest lie I tell myself is that I’ll have time to do something while Harlow’s home. “I can do it this weekend!” “We have TWO FULL weeks off from school! I’ll have PLENTY of time!” “I’ll just do it while she watches a movie!”

Insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over again and expecting different results… or something like that. That, my friends, is me. I am completely insane. Harlow is not an easy-going kid. She’s fairly mommy-needy. I should really know by now that when Harlow isn’t watching a movie, she wants me to play with her. When she IS watching a movie, she wants to sit on me to ensure I watch it with her. I can’t say no, 99% of the time, because this isn’t going to last forever. The first (almost) 6 years have flown by, so I’ll just keep on keeping on. And never accomplish anything. Ever. Insanity.

Then, when she went back to school, I was all set to do ALL THE THINGS that I hadn’t accomplished over break. That first Monday I set about cleaning up everything that had piled up – garbage from Christmas presents, laundry, etc., so that on Tuesday I could hit the ground running on all “my” stuff! Then, Monday night… shit hit the fan. I’ll post about that another day, but it took 100% of my time and attention for over a full week. Not to mention, I’m literally a thousand years older. Everyone’s fine, everything is fine, no worries, but holy forking shirt…

Even now, I only am posting this because I’ve been unable to be at my house due to a water main break in my neighborhood, so I’m sitting at the library typing this up, drinking some iced mocha Starbucks, and taking my first breath in… over a month. I am planning some new posts soon, including ideas for Christmas classroom parties, holiday crafts, an easy and delicious Crock Pot recipe, and what I am planning for 2019. So far, 2019 has been… uncooperative, but I’m really hoping after January, things look up. Please, God, let things look up.

I sincerely hope you all had a better few weeks that we’ve had! Talk to you soon!

Even Abbey is underwhelmed with life lately.

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Christmas Card Display DIY

I’ve been immersing myself in all things Christmas lately!  I’ve been guzzling Peppermint Mocha Lattes, Subarudolph has made a reappearance, I’ve been exclusively wearing Christmas leggings, our house is decorated to the nines (well, as “to the nines” as I get), and I’ve been making lists, and yes, checking them twice, in my pursuit of the perfect Christmas gifts for everyone!  

Photos from 2015-ish.

One of my favorite holiday traditions, though, is sending and receiving Christmas cards!  For the past several years we’ve lived here, I’ve literally just been taping them to an empty space on my kitchen wall.  This year, I stumbled across a project to make my cards look a little nicer!  I was visiting the parents’ house two weekends ago for Thanksgiving, and while I was visiting with my dad out in his workshop, I noticed a broken window frame covered in cobwebs and sawdust.  I asked him if I could take it, not knowing exactly what I’d do with it.  I took out the broken center pieces, scrubbed it down, and threw it in my hatchback.  

When I got home, I started formulating a plan.  After looking at chicken wire prices at the local farming store, I put a request out on Facebook asking if anyone had any extra chicken wire they’d be willing to get rid of.  My cousin came through for me, and when I got it home, I set off to my workspace.  I had seen card holders on Pinterest (of course… always Pinterest) so I thought I’d try my hand at making one.  

What I used:

  • Old broken window frame (free)
  • Chicken wire (free)
  • Very old wreath centerpiece I had laying around (had on hand)
  • Staple gun and staples (had on hand)
  • Masking tape (had on hand) to cover sharp ends of chicken wire.
  • Ribbon (free – kept from a gift)
  • Tiny clothespins (had on hand)

I stuck it up on the wall with some of those reusable, damage free hooks that I had laying around, and ta-da!

Now I just can’t wait for the cards to start coming in!

Hope everyone has a great week!

**Updated to add a photo of the card holder with cards! (Plus, I ended up swapping out the wreath for a cute ball wreath I found on super-clearance after the holiday!

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Snowman Porch Sign

Winter has officially hit SWMI.

A while back, I finished my Halloween/Fall Two-Faced sign for my front porch.  Yesterday, I finished one side of my Christmas/Winter sign.  The back side was originally going to be Santa, but I kept putting it off, because I’m just not sure I wanted it to be Santa.  I’m still not sure what (if anything) I’m going to do with the back side, but the snowman looks really cute!

Stay tuned… my next project is a wall-mounted Christmas card holder!

Have a great weekend,  everyone!
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