April 23, 2014

Sunny with a Chance of Sprinkles Kids Craft

Pardon the vintage photos of my sweet little Alea in this post! This is a little craft that Alea and I did last summer and I just never got around to share it with you all until today. And now that it's summer and all kinds of sunny again, I have a sweet little girl begging me to do this fun little craft with her again! I mean seriously? What kid doesn't want to dump out a container of sprinkles with their parent's permission and smear white glue all over the place?

Might I suggest you do this craft outside? If not, you may be cleaning out sprinkles from under rugs, behind table legs and in various nooks and crannies forever and ever amen. Just thought I'd warn ya ;) Do the sprinkles outside + the ants will thank you!


The best part of this little kid's craft is that it requires very few materials to complete and the materials it does require can be found really cheap! Just take a quick trip to the dollar store or use supplies you already have at home. I believe that all kid's crafts and activities should be this inexpensive and easy! (It's more fun for everyone that way!)


Supplies:

1. Paper

2. White Glue

3. Sprinkles


Instructions:

1. Make a big goopy circle of white glue on your piece of paper.


2. Draw out lines of glue for the rays of the sun.


3. Sprinkle your sprinkles all over the glue.


4. Sprinkle the sprinkles until the sun and the sun rays are fully covered.


5. Show off your sprinkled sun for the world to see!

I'm pretty clever, aren't I? Sunny with a Chance of Sprinkles officially has it's own kid's craft ;) Now get to work and start crafting some pretty little sprinkled sunshines with your little ones! They will absolutely love it, I'm sure of it!

Get it?

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April 22, 2014

"Now Mommy Will Have Time For Me!"




My eyes still sting now as I type those words. Those heartbreaking words that my three and a half year old daughter spoke to me the night I found out I passed my NCLEX nursing boards. It hurts no less re-writing them today than it did hearing them that night as Cory and I tucked Alea into bed.

Me: "What is mommy now, baby?"
Alea: "A nurse!"
Me: "And what doesn't mommy have to do anymore?"
Alea: "Study!"

And we all giggled... Until she followed up with this: "Now mommy will have more time for me!"

Those words completely released a flood of hurt and sadness from my eyes. I couldn't even compose myself right then, so I put story-time on hold and hopped up to go to the bathroom to give myself a second to break down and wipe my tears. I was in shock. Something that was always my worst nightmare, something I always tried my hardest to avoid was a possible reality for my little girl?

Let me tell you, nursing school is no joke. It's quite the grueling experience that requires lots and lots of studying, practicing of skills, and for me I spent many nights away at clinicals. All of that stress and hard work was done to better our life as a family and also so I could accomplish my dreams of becoming a nurse. After having Alea unexpectedly at a young age, this was a very big goal for me to accomplish, but it was also a big push for me to pull through all the struggles that come with nursing school.

Despite all the studying, reading, clinicals and everything that nursing school required of me, I tried to make a very conscious effort to be present in Alea's life. Crafts, frozen yogurt dates, trips to the park, picnics, library story time and even the McDonalds play place. You name it, we did it!

But still, there were times where I had to sit Alea down in front of a movie so I could get my chapters read for the week or studying done for an upcoming test or a research paper written. No mother wants to tell their child they can't play with them, but I had no choice but to do that time and time again.

I know that Alea is only three. She likely didn't mean those words the way they came out and they way I took them. She will be the first to tell you that her mommy is a nurse-- and the way she says it is enough to make me beam with pride. But, those words she muttered to me that night made me stop and question whether or not all the sacrifices I made to complete nursing school were completely worth it.

Did I make the right decision to go back to school when Alea was 9 months old? Will she look back and even remember the days when her mommy was in nursing school and sometimes had to study rather than play with her?

My hopes is that she does not. I hope that when she's old enough to understand that I worked my butt off to accomplish my dreams, make a better life for her, and give her everything that she wanted (and more), that she's simply just proud of me.

While those words made me sad that night and still make me sad today, I know that is why I wanted to complete nursing school. As a nurse, I don't have to bring my work home with me. When I clock out at the end of the day I don't have to come home with a pile of books and a test to study for. I can be there and be fully present in my little girl's life while still working as the nurse I've always wanted to become.

It may have taken sacrifices to get here, but after all of that hard work, I'm so happy to finally be a nurse.
And yes, now I'll have plenty more time for my little girl!

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April 17, 2014

How to Care for Succulents

It's that time of the year again... right? I'm hoping not to jinx the gorgeous weather we've been having lately here in Wisconsin with a post completely centered around gardening, but you'll forgive me if I do, right? Okay, thank you! Anyways, last summer I became intrigued by the beauty that radiates from the pretty green looking succulents you see all over the blog-o-sphere, Instagram, Pinterest and you name it. I immediately wanted in on this "fad" because you know, when the hipsters start doing it, everyone better jump on board.

After purchasing my first succulent plants from Home Depot, I was actually a little surprised with how fragile and delicate these plants can be and became a little nervous about taking care of them. From what I had heard prior to purchasing them, they were impossible to kill and incredibly easy to take care of. But trust me, with my black thumb, anything is possible!

Now that I've kept my succulents alive for an entire summer (last summer) and have done plenty of research in between, I'd love to share with you what a learned about these pretty little plants. They're not as easy to care for and indestructible as you may have thought, but with the proper care and knowledge they're really not all that bad!


one: Don't over water. This is where I almost went wrong. A plant is a living breathing thing right? Therefore it needs to be watered everyday. Wrong! Whatever you do, do not water succulents every day. You will kill them. Succulents belong to the cactus family of plants and therefore don't need as much water as your other plants may need. However, you must keep in mind that these plants have a growing period in which they'll need more water than they normally would. From late fall to early spring they lay dormant and don't grow as much so they don't need as much water, but during the summer, while they're actively growing, they'll need more water. Makes sense, right? A good rule of thumb, is to only water your succulents when you feel the soil around them is dry. Don't continue to water if the soil stays moist-- they don't need it at that time!

two: Keep out of direct sunlight. This seems silly, doesn't it? Don't all plants love that nice bright direct sun, especially those in the cactus family? Well, succulents love their sunlight, but since they're a more delicate variety they can burn and shrivel if left in direct sunlight for too long. Keep your succulents in a well-lit room, but I wouldn't recommend keeping them in the windowsill exposed to the extreme heat of the afternoon sun.

three: Proper drainage. When choosing a pot to place your succulents in them, you're not just going to want to look at the aesthetics of the pot, you're also going to want to check out the functionality of the pot as well. Make sure that there's a way for the water to drain out of the pot or your plant will be headed for the compost pile quicker than you thought! If your pot is similar to the metal one I used for my succulents, you can easily use a drill to drill a couple holes in to ensure proper drainage. Easy as that!





I hope that helps you out if you're thinking about planting some pretty succulents in pots around your house this summer. They're so pretty and simple and easy to keep alive during the winter, but just keep these little lessons in mind!

What's your favorite gardening tip you've ever received?
Are you planning to grow succulents this year?


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