I saw that the folks over at Mollie Makes have a peek inside the new issue and thought I'd share it with you. You can see the full peek here. It's such a gorgeous magazine. I really love the mix of topics they cover - it's not just a craft magazine! They feature travel spots, home interiors, fashion and more. I'm especially excited to check out this little circus elephant pattern below by designer Jill Hamor. How beautifully made is this little guy?!
I've also been thinking about some resolutions I've mentally made that have to do with my children, Cooper and Campbell. There are some things that I've been wanting to do for a few years now, but can never get organized. As you all know, especially those with children, life is just BUSY. But you know what? We (i.e. *I*) can't use that excuse anymore. It's all about MAKING time. And yes, we all hear that "groan" in our heads when we hear the word "resolution"... but the beginning of the year really is such a great time to reaccess and really try to follow through with goals you've been putting off.
So I thought I'd list out these goals here, partly so that you guys can hold me accountable (wink), but also in hopes that these ideas might spark some inspiration in you.
- The 52 Week Challenge (thanks Liz for mentioning this!) We've all seen the 365 photo-a-day challenge. That so wouldn't work for me. Too overwhelming and stressful. But a photo (one per child) a week? I can manage that. And even through we're well into January, it's still doable. And the beautiful photo book you're left with at the end of those 52 weeks? Totally a carrot worth chasing.
I've seen tons of people doing the Project Life thing, and while I don't rule that out in the future, I think that would just be too overwhelming for me, at this point in my life. But taking photos, I can do. I used to do the scrapbooking thing, and a lot of it I was getting paid to create for books and magazines, and I totally burned out on it. The past 5-6 years of NOT doing that, has been wonderful, I must admit. I like that I'm not always in my kids faces trying so hard to document what's going on, but instead, I'm in the moment, LIVING it with them. I also have to think my kids appreciate me not always taking their picture. In fact, I rarely take their photo and leave it only for specific occasions.
But I want to get back into the art of portrait photography - to push myself a little more. And to capture those everyday moments, but hopefully in a beautiful way. We'll see how it goes.
(ok, while I realize this image is kind of inappropriate for the following topic, because A) it doesn't show children and B) because children can't even give blood, I thought "Buddy the Blood Drop" - not to mention that dude's copious amount of hair - was too funny and at least we adults can give back and give blood, right? ; )
- Volunteer with our kids once a month. I'm sure to some of you, that might not even seem like enough! Some families out there are so good at demonstrating to their kids how to "give back" on a weekly, if not daily basis. I admire those families. I would like to find ways to pull my kids out of their very sheltered and abundant lives to see how others live, and to find ways that we can help them out in big and small ways. I'm hoping that we'll see how easy it is to volunteer, and we can make it a more regular part of our lives, not just once a month.
Do you do this with your children? I would LOVE to hear some ideas that have been successful for you in the comments section if you don't mind sharing. Here are some websites I found that might be helpful to you:
(image and printable source)
- Create a Chore Chart for the kids. Wow. We've needed this for a very long time. You'd think it wouldn't be a big deal to create one of these. Well, for me it's just been a mental block. There's not a whole lot of helping out around our house. That's got to change. I want to show them that they have to earn those fun things they get to do. I think for me, I just feel overwhelmed about how to organize this chart. Do you have any recommendations? Approaches that have worked for you? How do you organize your chore chart? Or do you use a different rewards system maybe? Maybe I should call it something other than "chore" chart. That might be a good way to start (ha)... maybe a name that doesn't have such a negative connotation. There are some great printables including charts and rewards systems on Etsy and Pinterest.
So those are my three things I'd like to pull off this year with our kids.
(photo source: Pioneer Woman)
One personal resolution that I've actually already successfully followed through with for this year (this is making up for the fact that I'm failing AWFULLY at my resolution to stop eating out so much... working on it...) is to stop hitting the Starbucks drive-thru every. single. day.
You do it too right? I know some of you are out there! Stand up! Admit it. ; ) I was doing that every day towards the end of last year. SO NOT GOOD. I personally only drink iced coffee. I might be in the minority here, but I find the too-hot-now-it's-too-cold-better-go-warm-it-up-forgot-its-in-the-microwave dance exhausting. So I keep it cold. It's easier. I was tired of burning my mouth.
SO, I found this recipe from Pioneer Woman (not so much a recipe, but the steps to do iced coffee RIGHT instead of just putting ice in a cup of hot coffee). And guess what? It's incredibly easy. I made a gallon of coffee and it's lasted me about two weeks. No dealing with coffee grinds every day. I just pour the already refridgerated coffee in my cup, add my skim milk, my pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup (I use the Starbucks brand, but I had to find a pump on ebay - couldn't find a pump to fit at any local restaurant supply stores) and I'm done! Super easy and I honestly like it better than Starbucks coffee. I use coffee I buy at our local farmers market. I thought I'd share this since it's already been so successful for me! It's kind of fun being my own Barista. And I get to use fancy straws at home. I'm also going to try the Sugar Free Torani syrup that I've heard good things about.
What about you? Following through with those resolutions you made a few weeks ago?