slow start…

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I have been really trying to get back into journaling on a daily basis on this blog, but I am doing terrible. I keep having it on my mind all day, but just have been feeling too lazy to get into wordpress and actually journal.

So, here I am at about midnight, trying to get something down in an effort to create a new pattern for myself. However, I would prefer to not leave typing until midnight! I will have to work on that.

Today I took my youngest to Target after hearing that they had Lego minifgure bling bags on clearance (which she collects). Unfortunately, my Target was a bit confused and had the old season on a display reading “I’m New!”, and at full price. I will be curious to see when they catch on. But, our trip was not wasted. They actually had a ton of toys clearanced for quite cheap. I had trouble trying to make sure we didn’t pile our cart too full!

I picked up a neat little Maccano Tech robot for my oldest daughter, she loves things like that. She gets to actually build it, and it is some sort of robot that will dance and move and respond. It will be neat to see how it all works, and I am kind of anxious to watch her figure it out all.
My youngest daughter ended up picking out a bunch of smaller items, collectible figure/toy type of things, including a Trolls figure, some Gift ‘Ems (mini girls from different countries that can swap hair and clothes), and a Lego keychain/flashlight. She has been fawning over her little Gift ‘Ems figures all night, completely amazed she got a limitted edition girl. 

For myself, I picked up a couple of dolls that were quite pretty (as I just couldn’t decide between the two, even though I really only wanted to purchase one). I found a Lalaloopsy doll with real hair, and a live action Belle doll on clearance. I haven’t decided what I am going to do with them yet, but I am super happy to own the Bell doll, she is really beautiful. I would like to come up with something creative to do with them for my instagram, or even on my blog. We will see what I can come up with!

Aside from that outing, in 100 degree weather, we have just been enjoying relaxing most of this week. I think we are finally starting to recover some of our energy after last week. It has been really nice to just take it easy. Tomorrow, will probably be the same! I still need to take the time to write up some posts about the fun that we had last week. I have photos I’d love to share, and experiences to record….maybe that will be my goal tomorrow.

thrift stores…

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My youngest daughter finds thrift stores fascinating, like a pirate sifting through the world to find wonderful treasures, only it is peoples’ unwanted junk, usually covered in grime. As you may have guessed, I have a strong dislike for thrift stores, and have oddly held this opinion since childhood.
I grew up with a mother who was all about thrifting, garage saling, and anythng else that falls into the realm of finding another person’s trash to be treasure. I remember walking into thrift stores and being so disgusted that I would avoid touching anything and everything, at all cost. It should be no surprise to learn this about me, as my OCD was there all along.

So, to appease my youngest daughter, I’ve been trying to take her to thrift stores this summer (as my OCD will generally allow for it more during the summer months, for reasons that I’m sure would sound ludicrous if I explained). It has been some mother-daughter fun, and I have been enjoying going out with her during these thrifting afternoons. We’ve mostly found some old Barbie dolls that I took home, cleaned up, and knitted some clothes for them…restoring them to a beautiful playable doll. 

Yesterday we had no luck in finding anything we were interested in, until I turned to browse through the nick-nacks, which I don’t normally bother with, and discovered a beautiful ceramic/clay statue. It was only $3.00, and since I instantly fell in love, I had to take it home with me.

It is apparently a Chinese mud man statue, made from the mud in Wanjiang, China (according to the bottom of the statue). I found reading about these statues so incredibly interesting, as apparently some of them can be extremely old and a great find. I am still not educated enough on these beauties, so I don’t know for sure what year this particular one was made, but I would take a guess it is more of a modern one. Either way, I adore it. I don’t much care for nick-nack type of things, but I do think I will make an effort to keep an eye out for more of these statues, I would really love to start collecting these. 

So now when my yougest drags me out to thrift stores, I will have something to scan the shelves for! I am curious to see if I will come across another one this summer!

vacation…

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We had plans this past week to head off to the Poconos, only to discover two days before leaving (through a bit of unprofessionalism that could have been avoided) that our time share canceled our reservations long ago. This was not only a disappointment of surroundings, as we were suppose to meet my husband’s sister and her husband there also, so everyone was quite upset.
We offered for my sister-in-law and her husband to come out here, and we would pack lots of fun into their week. They took us up on the offer, so that is what we did.

I feel like we crammed a summer of fun into one week, and my body was feeling it! This weekend I wanted to do nothing but sleep and lay on the couch watching Netflix, and when I did anything more, my body was screaming at me. But what did we do? A lot, but for this post I will share about our day trip to Washington DC.

We decided to go the the Museum of Natural History, one our family has been to several years ago. We mainly looked through the gemstone exhibit, dinnosaur exhibit, Egyptian exhibit, and I think one other one that I can’t seem to think of at the moment. I enjoyed walking through a gallery of photographs that were absolutely beautiful, where I discovered that I adore muskox. I have since been on the hunt for a beautiful book about these mammals.
Afterwards, we headed over to the Museum of Air and Space, which was also fun. We didn’t look around too much, but did enjoy a show in their planatarium (which was lovely to sit for a whole half hour).

After that we wanted to walk around and see some of the monuments up close, however, my daughters were just over exhausted from all the walking around (we had to park forever away), so that was cut short. My husband went to get the car for us while the rest of us hung out at a little eatery, sitting in some chairs and watching the overfriendly birds pouncing right up to us in search of goodies.

I am not going to lie, the day was brutal. The walk from the car was insane, the musuems were packed, and the heat and humidity was unbareable. With that said, it was still a blast. Once we got to the car and out of the busy city, we stopped to eat some dinner before driving back home. My favorite part of the day? Relaxing in the shade watching the birds while we waited for my husband to get the car. It was my kind of moment, having a bit of peace while making unexpected friends!

The Fairy of Death

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She crouched low
    to the ground,
        watching
me as black dripped from her lips.
She sneered
    as she danced her fingers
        over the dying tree,
ready to consume the last of it.
She twisted her head,
    her hair gracefully falling
        over her shoulders
as she sank her fangs into the bark,
devouring…
    until there was nothing left
        but a hollow shell.

by paperdollmom, copyright 2017

writing again…

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I feel like it has been so long since I have posted on this blog! It has been on my mind though, almost daily.

I have been struggling with what to post and share on here lately. To be honest, I have written up probably three or four blog posts, but just wasn’t feeling them, so they were quickly deleted. I’m sure some of this indecisiveness stems from stress, as our family is entering into new territory for this summer, financially, and we will be missing quite a large chunk of money that we usually have. It will be a bit of a challenge settling into a no spending phase just at the start of summer. It is a little disheartening, but we will be okay.

Aside from that, my mind has just been eratic in terms of just feeling a bit cluttered and void. I’m positively sure that makes no sense, but I don’t know how else to describe it. I have been wanting to start something new and fresh, something that is creative. I have really been missing having a creative outlet that actually feels fulfilling to complete. But, I woke up this morning and decided that I really need to allow myself to write again- not just journaling, but creatively as well.

I have always been a writer for as long as I can remember. I was taking college courses in creative writing when I was in sixth grade! So writing has always been a part of me. I started out mainly writing short stories, but gradually shifted away from that. This left me a bit confused on what format of writing best suites me, which to be honest, is probably a big part of why I gradually stepped away from it. I have decided to dip my toes back into the waters of writing again, no pressure though. No expectations, just writing. 

I do think that I may try to form my thoughts into poems, until I decide they don’t fit. I remember one day several years ago, I was putting away clean towels when a revelation popped into my head. It was so clear and astounding (as it had never occured to me) to discover this about myself… that I am a poet. It was a truth about myself that I never took into consideration, and it was a truth about myself that made me smile. I don’t honor that part of me in a way that I should. So, for this summer, the summer of no spending, I will try to be spending my time enjoying my family and getting back into touch with my writing, and hopefully find a place where I feel that what I have to say fits perfectly. 

Instead of starting a new blog, I will still be using this one. My journaling posts will continue, as I do love getting my thoughts out and purging what persistently dances through my mind. However, there will be extra added posts that will be my creative writings, which will be labeled as such. Hopefully this will lead me to something I will be pleased with!

birthday times…

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I’ve been wanting to write up a post since the weekend, but I just haven’t been motivated to do so. To be honest, I’m not even sure exactly what I want to write about today.

I had a birthday recently, which I spent eating out with my family and visiting a new local produce shop. I enjoyed my Bob Evans breakfast of pancakes and eggs, and absolutely loved finding so much produce at amazing prices. I will deffinitely be stopping in there more often.

I ended up picking up 4 lbs of strawberries, tons of kiwis, some nectarines, a giant bag of spinach leaves, giant bag of green beans, and a few other things that I’ve been snacking on and enjoying since. I have learned I love diced prunes and raw green breans. I am liking that I can reach in the fridge and grab a few green beans to snack on, over grabbing a bag of chips. 

Not only did this produce place have tons of enticing fruits and vegetables, but I also spotted huge cactus leaves and the largest alovera stems (or leaves?) that I have ever seen. I didn’t even know these things were sold in this manner!

Aside from my fun produce day, we also went to the movie theater to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales this week. I kind of adore these swashbuckling pirate tales, so when I heard there was a new one coming out, I couldn’t wait to see it! It was good, but not quite as good as the previous films in this saga. I now have the desire to marathon watch all the previous Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which may just happen sometime soon!

During this family outing to the movie theater, we found ourselves in the car getting ready to head to dinner as my husband surprised me by “just needing to kiss” me in that moment. This was followed by my oldest daugher’s excitement at the song that started playing on the radio, while my youngest daughter was peeking at me through the seat and headrest. I have to say, that very moment will dance around in my thoughts for some time. I couldn’t help but to smile at how blessed I am. Quite the inspiration to remember to live in the moment as much as possible. 

fabric and books…

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I took my daughters out to Joann Fabrics earlier this week. I had been endulging in YouTube sewing videos, and decided I wanted to start sewing myself some tote-like purses. I thought it would be an easy task (after watching many videos), and that having fun print bags to use would make my days more cheery. I was disappointed to realize that my Joann store no longer sells their really reduced fabrics, which is what I was planning to use. My budget for these fun purses would have to jump from $2-$4 to $10 and up, and most likely closer to at least $15. So that quickly squashed my idea. I did, however, decide having a sewing project for now might be fun. Generally speaking, I tend to despise sewing, so I don’t know what has gotten into me. 

My oldest daughter chose a Perry the Platypus fabric to make herself a new pillowcase. My youngest daughter scoured the fabrics endlessly, settling on a black polka-dot fabric to sew herself a stuffed snake. I ended up choosing this colorful floral bike pattern, with the lime green for the lining. My intention was to still sew up one tote bag, however, now I am reconsidering. I am not entirely sure what I am going to do with it yet. I did also purchase some fuseable interfacing (is that the correct terminology?), so I can still sew the bag if I want to. We will see!

Aside from that new (kind of) project, I decided I wanted to search for a new book that gives a lot of information on a vegetarian diet. Most books I was finding tended to be filled too much with recipes and barely any info, so that became a bit of a challenge in itself. I did, however, find one that seems like it will be helpful, and ordered it from bookoutlet. 

In the meantime, I did discover this book at a nearby used bookstore. It caught my eye, and I really love it. It is focusing on using foods for healing purposes, speaking a bit about ailments and how to treat them with foods, and there is also a large section of the book going through many fruits and veggies to teach what they each do for your body. This gets me really excited, as it is right up my alley. I am a firm believer in alternative healing methods, and have worked with (and sill do) with energy healing and crystals/gemstones. I have always felt a little bit like I haven’t quite found the method that I will excel most in though (even though I will tell you emphatically how much a quartz helped relieve so much of my OCD), so I am super excited to dig more deeply into the realm of using fruits and veggies as healing tools. I am anxious to use my abilities with these foods to see how this all works. I am also feeling like I have been continually been guided to this over and over, without me actually paying attention or acknowledging it. Even after ordering my vegetarian book and purchasing Foods that Heal, my dad randomly sent me a code to use on a website to take a free course in plant based cooking! Sometimes you just have to stop and appreciate how the universe works. I am curious to see where this path will lead if I choose to stay on it!

cooking?

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I tend to not cook very often in our house, the main reason stemming from our kitchen being an OCD trigger for me, which I have come to be a lot more comfortable in over the past couple of years. Even so, I rarely find myself in the kitchen preparing a meal for the family. I am not entirely sure why, but I can guess that it is because my food needs have shifted over this past year or so, leaving me in in a bit of a tough spot.

I began to realize last year that I cannot eat a lot of corn products. This was discovered through eating out one night with my family, and me devouring more than my share of the delicious cornbread. Later that night I felt awful. I have mentioned before that I work with energy, and food allergies is something that I can mentally pin down just by going through the food to discover what is causing problems, so I quickly knew the culprit was the cornbread, corn to be more precise. Since then I haven’t even been able to eat more that a couple of Dorritos without severely regretting it by bedtime. This tends to pose a bit of a problem when cooking for the family, as my oldest is gluten free, and we tend to steer towards corn based products, mainly because we all find the rice based products horrible. So any pasta we eat….corn. So, my dietary needs tend to be set aside for the time being. This doesn’t make me excited to get in the kitchen.

On top of that, I am wanting to eat meat less and less these days, which I am the only person in the family feeling this way. It is not that I desire to cut meat out of my diet all the time, but I just don’t want it most of the time. I can, of course, work around that a bit easier when it comes to family dinners, but it does add more work, more money, and a tad more frustration when it comes to entering the kitchen. I am feeling like a lot of the things I desire to consume, it either clashes with my oldest daughter’s medical needs, or everyone else’s tastes, leaving me to put myself secondary when it comes to food.

This weekend I was feeling a bit bummed. Just that come and go as you please depression, the kind that never makes sense. So I spent most of my weekend watching Netflix or YouTube, having zero inspiration or motivation to do anything else. I tend to turn to books a lot when I am in these moods, but I just couldn’t find anything on my shelves that I really wanted to read…which was upsetting in itself! Yesterday, however, I pulled The French Market Cookbook (by Clotilde Dusoulier) off my shelf and felt it was time for me to get to know these recipes a little better….maybe I can come up with a few dishes to suite my needs that my family will also enjoy?

I purchased this book quite a while ago from Bookoutlet. I thought it seemed perfect for me. I had never really taken the time to read through it properly, so that is my current goal that I actually feel happy about. I absolutely love how these dishes unique, and that they have the titles of each dish also in french. I didn’t get very far yesterday, but I am hoping to tackle this a bit more throughout the week, and hopefully come up with a grocery list to give a try. I am not in a hurry, but feel good to know that I am taking some initiative to bring more of what I want into the home.

the weekend…

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I am feeling sort of blah towards the end of this week. Not sure exactly why, but this is a common cycle in myself. I’m sure that it is some sort of depression that continues to latch onto me, plagueing me when it feels like doing so. I’ve been doing a lot of staring at my bookshelf, trying to find something to read lately. When these phases creep up on me, I tend to only be able to read parts of classic books, which is weird. So I’ve read the first chapter of The Three Muskateers this week, on and off. 

Aside from that, I have been trying to be crafty (which at times I have noticed tends to be followed by these blah moods…but I fail to understand the connection). I purchased some cardstock and a couple of sets of stamps so that I can make my own travelers notebook inserts (along with picking up a planner insert to give a try). Now that I am blogging more, I’ve decided that I would like to minimize my planner supplies to something more basic, as my planner is now only being used for to do lists and to keep appointments organized. I am trying to utilize the travelers notebook I recieved for Mother’s Day to include a planner insert, my french notes, and possibly an insert filled with stamped images to color, just for fun. So far I am liking having all my of most frequently used stationary type of things in one small notebook. It makes it super easy to grab, no matter what I am sitting down to accomplish.

Here is a photo of my travelers notebook insert I made to use as a mini coloring book.

I will be filling the pages with images similar to these, just to have basic images to color on a smaller scale. I’ve been wanting to color more, but just not wanting to color just detailed pictures on such a large scale. I figured I could put some of my stamp sets to good use.
As for the rest of this weekend, I am thinking of pulling my Rumi poetry book off my shelve to read a bit, and possibly just coloring. I am just not much in the mood to do anything else. I’m sure the family and I will be enjoying the new season of Unbreakable on Netflix, that show is pretty goofy.

no earwax…

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First thing yesterday I had a doctor appointmet to alleviate my clogged ear feeling, which I had assumed was from built up earwax (which I have never before dealt with). The past few weeks I have been using various things (such as olive oil, debrovox) in my ear to help loosen it all up, followed by flushing my ear (which is deffinitely a lot harder to do on yourself that on another person). I just ended up feeling more clogged, as if I had half a head cold.

After peering in my ears, the nurse shared that I had no earwax…leaving me to think “what the heck?”. After the doctor’s careful investigation and some nose plugging ear popping on my part, he declared my ear is not puffing when I am popping, meaning something is off deeper in my ear. None of it makes sense to me, but I was sent home with a decongestant (to which I am not really congested) and the advisory to return if it gets worse. So I will have to ride out this intense itching for a while longer. It is driving me absolutely insane. If I didn’t have a doctor or nurse peer in my ear, I would think I have some sort of creature crawling around in there, tickling its feet around in such a way as to purposely drive me insane (probably brought on by those disturbing videos we all catch online from time to time). 

Aside from trying to itch where I can’t reach, deep in my ear… we decided to go out to eat at Fridays last night. We tend to not go there anymore as they have terrible service in our area, making families wait for a table for over a half hour when the place is practically empty, with no explanation. So, it was nice to eat my much loved pot stickers again. We all enjoyed our meal, and I was happy to see that my oldest daughter didn’t get too upset when BBQ sauce from her ribs ended up all over her shirt.

I also managed to find a lot of nice books at out library for keeps. Most I passed onto my daughters, but I did find a series of 4 books that looked intruiging, and in perfect condition, for only $.50 each. I already started on the first one last night, and it has pulled me in! I am interested to see what this world is all about.

As for today, just a bit of school for my girls and then I will be taking them to the youth center for some fun. I am enjoying sitting outside in our backyard blogging and soaking up the good weather before it turns again!