January 16th, 2012
Sometimes I get caught up in our day to day lives and think for a few certain reasons my life is so hard, blah blah blah and start to feel sorry for myself. It is not for any one major reason, it’s just a culmination of many little things that happen mostly involving money and a few other small circumstances.
As I’m living my day to day life of the kids being crazy, fighting and misbehaving and having our various money issues I run into people and happenings that remind me just how lucky I am. Reminding me that I need to make the most of my life and spend less time working and more time with my kids and hubby.I was out of the loop with my google reader because of being so extremely busy from Halloween and Christmas, so I was catching up on what I missed- which was about 2500 items or so. Yuck. Anyway I happened to see a post on a blog I follow and noticed that the girl that runs it has cancer. I read a post where she had gone completely bald to home depot, the first time she had gone out with nothing covering it. As I read through her post I noticed how much courage she has and how positive she is about the whole situation. It made me so grateful that we are all so healthy at our house and realize how short our time is and that we cannot waste any time and must treasure every moment of our time with our families.

I also had my grandfather on my dads side pass away last week and we had his funeral on Saturday. After hearing many stories about him when he was a child, teen and young adult I realized that he was a completely different person than I knew. He lived a good life, but it just made me realize that I need to spend more time with family and don’t work so much. He worked a lot and I’m afraid without speaking to ill of the dead, I have to say that his kids probably didn’t have such great times with him.

I don’t want my kids to only remember that I couldn’t play with them because I had to work. I am also torn because we need the money we make from all my side jobs. Seems like every time I get a side job and get the money for it, it just goes to our groceries and gas and everyday living expenses and we never get ahead. So I have a hard time turning anything down.

I guess I need to stop rambling and wrap it up! Bottom line is to try to appreciate your families and be happy with what you have, because we don’t have forever here. Every time I look into the eyes of my children I am in awe at how beautiful and pure they are and it’s truly a miracle that they are mine!

Thanks for reading!

Shalin

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Tags: , , , | Posted in Children, Family |
September 13th, 2011

We attended a good friend of my hubby’s wedding about 3 months ago and I wanted to create something special for them. Since I have an Etsy shop with several household products on it I sent the bride an email and asked her what she would like. She chose some placemats, and I then decided to make them reversible. (you can purchase here)

 

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August 24th, 2011

2002

Ok, this was actually first done for the showing of Episode 2, when it came out in the theatres! Yes we are nerds- we dressed up for Star Wars! And I’m totally ok with it, it’s nice when you can share something special like that with your hubby and you both love it so much! In fact, it’s fate that we met because I was born the year Episode 4 came out and he was born the year Episode 5 came out! And we met just in time to witness some of the movies together in the theatres which is awesome! Anyway, I had not sewn anything for a long time and bought a sewing machine pretty much just to sew these costumes. They weren’t the best and they may have been pinned with some safety pins here & there but I was pretty proud of myself when finishes.

Matt is Anakin and I am Amidala, I did the costumes from that specific movie. Look close and you will see that Matt has the little braid, which is made from the hair I cut off in like 2001! Crazy. Needless to say it was pretty tough to sew on the pleather, but I got done just in time to go to the movie! We had such a great time and we went as the same thing for Halloween that year!

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August 10th, 2011

After some searching, I decided what I wanted to do to create my kiddos some hooded bath towels. So, armed with some Joanns coupons I purchased some terry cloth that has a little of a texture to it. They don’t really have a lot of selection in color so I ended up getting a baby blue for my son & a baby pink for my daughter. It isn’t really that difficult, but a little time consuming!

Here’s the tutorial: (these instructions are for age 2-4, if you need it smaller or bigger then just adjust the sizes to your kiddo)

Items needed:
1. Serger or a way to finish off edges.
2. 2 yards of Terry cloth (I need to say here that you could also use a towel if you wanted  and use the same technique and not have to finish off the outside edges- that’s just not what I decided to do)
3. Scissors, marker, a ruler and pins- of course

And here’s how!

(and if you don’t know how or want to sew, but want to purchase this item, click here!

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August 8th, 2011

I was searching for healthy snacks for the kids so I went to my google reader and my pinterest account and started looking for stuff I had saved in the past…  I ended up with homemade graham crackers, homemade animal crackers, homemade pop tarts and homemade popsicles! Here was what I found on the popsicles:

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August 5th, 2011

Well, I have been sick all week, and my kids are now getting sick from me! Boo, so it should be a fantastic weekend! NOT!!!

So, this is just a quick note as my son is standing right by my desk screaming and crying his eyes out cuz he’s sick. See you next week with more awesome posts!

Shalin
Clever Mama

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Posted in Uncategorized |
July 27th, 2011

So, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do for my kids’ annual birthday party this year! They have birthdays 2 weeks apart, so we will probably do them combined until they reach school age. For a while, I have been saving awesome images, tutorials and sites of things I liked for parties on my google reader and Pinterest.com. (Pinterest is new and I completely LOVE it! You just “pin” photos from sites that you like and they are linked to the site they are posted on)

After looking at all the items I liked, I decided on a Vintage-y type party! There was a very cute site who had kind-of re-done a party idea from someone else and I really liked both of them. I used the theme name “Growing up in a flash“. (they used “one year old in a flash”- and she had seen the blog that did it first- in another way) Since my kids were turning 2 & 4 it didn’t really make sense to use that, I had to change it up! I will get more into the decor later on. For now- here’s some of the photos I saved from random blogs that I really liked and used as inspiration:

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July 26th, 2011

 

 

I wanted to do some type of homemade party hat for my kids combined birthday party but I didn’t have a clue yet what I wanted to do. My mom and I went out to the Goodwill half off day to shop for a bunch of other party items when I noticed a brand new package of these dinosaur party hats that someone probably just bought too many of & then donated. Thanks to whoever donated them because I picked them up for .20 for the whole package of 12:

I bought some wrapping paper at Cost Plus for $4.99 each package. I got one of these paisleys & then one of matching polka dots: (I had a coupon for $25 off $50 at cost plus and when I bought them I was buying other stuff for other occasions so they ended up to be basically $4.99 for both. I also used the paper to make almost all of the projects for my kids birthday party)

This is what my hat looked like afterwards (minus the ties I added to them before the party)

Want to either cover some current party hats or make your own from scratch?

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July 25th, 2011

I have been needing a mail organizer for a while but really didn’t feel like spending the money on an expensive one like this- yes they look really nice but for now I just need something that’s functional and low cost. (plus, this way, I’m not stuck to having a certain amount of slots- I can do as many as I want) I have been saving items that we use everyday around our house in the garage for several months now, (items like toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, cereal boxes, strawberry containers, etc…) with the idea I will use them for something. And I have been using them for a lot of other projects, the kids birthday party for one!

Our old house didn’t really have that much wall space close to where you would bring in the mail and easily be able to just slip it into a holder when you come into the house, but since we moved into a larger house, we have plenty of wall space. I found the perfect wall that would just work perfect for one so I started looking through the items I had saved in the garage & found 3 cereal boxes that I decided to use for this.

Here is my finished product:

Want to make one for yourself?

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July 20th, 2011

Recently, I have gotten really into thrify shopping and I LOVE it! It’s seriously a high for me to go around hunting at different stores and garage sales to find unique items I wouldn’t find in any other place! It could be in some grandma’s house for the last 50 years and her family decides they don’t want it after he passing so they just go drop off a big load of goodies to  their local thrift store! (or having a garage sale) Here are some of my favorite places to go:

-Deseret Industries thrift store- if you live in Arizona, I think we only have one location and it’s on Broadway and Alma School in Mesa. Their prices are better than Goodwill stores. Also, if you are not the type of person that likes to dig then you will not like thrifting! I kinda like to dig but I have to go when I’m in the mood to do it.
-Mesa thrift store- this is near Deseret Industries
-Goodwill thrift stores- these are pretty much almost on every corner! They have half off day every other Saturday and I pretty much don’t go unless it’s that day because they are pretty pricey otherwise!
-Garage sales! This is a great source for finding great items and for sometimes a great price! You can also haggle the price with them usually. Honestly, we went one Saturday & didn’t find much good stuff. So garage sale shopping takes a bit of patience, you have to stick with it if you want to find treasures!
-Craigslist- if you watch craigslist every day when you are looking for certain items you are bound to get a good price on items you want and sometimes didn’t even know you were looking for! Watch out it can be very addicting!
-Free from friends/family- we have acquired a few things  this way & of course love it! Just talk to friends/family who are moving soon and see if they have stuff you want, offer then a little for it or maybe they just want to get rid of it so bad they will just give it away!

Here are my latest findings:

A case from the 50′s or 60′s I believe, has storage inside and also a pocket. I LOVE this, almost had a heart attack when I saw it! It’s such an awesome color- one of my favorites “turquoise”.

Garage sale

Price: .50
Ebay price for something similar: $22.50 and up (bids starting at)
Total savings: $22.00 (minimum)

Indie style wine bar- I really like the style of this bar- and it goes perfect in our bedroom until our kids are old enough not to touch which could never happen!

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