Author Archives: mommyhasalife

Boosting The Interest In Your Home On A Budget

Boosting the interest in your home is instantly going to make it look more professionally put together. Some homes just seem to have never ending style, texture, and interest. Others don’t necessarily look bad…they just don’t have enough interest. There are a ton of ways you can add more interest to your home, from adding a new accessory like a textured rug, to mixing modern and new styles together. Don’t worry though. You don’t need to spend a fortune. Here’s how you can boost the interest of your home on a budget

Make A Plan First

Before you do anything at all to your house, make a plan. If you just guess as you go along, the end result could look pretty haphazard and unprofessional. You don’t need to make a detailed plan that takes hours and hours. You could simply sketch a rough idea of what you want and then write down your measurements to help you select the furniture. However, remember it isn’t just about the way it looks at the end of your project. It’s about your home being practical and functional for the whole family! There’s no point having a great looking home if it doesn’t suit your family’s lifestyle.  

Look For Discount Codes

When you know what you need for your room, look for discount codes to help you save money. You could use things like Shutterfly coupon codes to buy anything from fleece throws to artwork for your walls. You can do anything on a budget these days.

Shop In Vintage/Thrift Stores

To save even more money and potentially come home with something unique, shop in vintage and thrift stores. It can take some rummaging, but you might just return home with some hidden treasure that nobody else has. Your friends might just ask you where you buy your furniture!

Beautiful Room

author

Do Some DIY

Everybody is capable of doing a little DIY, especially when there are so many how-to guides out there for free. Consider painting an old piece of furniture yourself, for example. It’ll save you having to buy a brand new piece of furniture, and you’ll have some fun in the process. A bold piece of furniture might just become a statement piece, so don’t be afraid to use a bright wood stain on your oak headboard or paint your kitchen table.

Find Affordable Ways To Boost Architectural Interest

You don’t need to hire an architect to add interest to your home this way. Here are a just some of the ideas you could use to add architectural interest in an affordable way:

  • Use DIY ceiling medallions for your ceilings.
  • Add Wainscot paneling.
  • Use paint to mimic real crown moulding.

There are so many more creative ways too – check out these tutorials for some helpful advice!

You can add interest to your home whatever your budget will be, so there’s no need to take out a loan or worry that your home will be outdated forever. Use these tips and you can give your home a brand new look!

Fun Times In Your Garden: What To Do To Ensure Your Yard Is Safe For Your Little One

One of the best places where you can create memories with your child is the garden. After all, there are lots of fun opportunities for them in the yard. And with all the space, it offers a great way for them to burn off some energy. But like everywhere in the home, you need to think about safety. After all, so many children are taken to hospital every year from accidents in their backyard! Therefore, here are some things every mom needs to do to ensure their yard is safe for their little one so fun times can commence in the garden!

Make sure you invest in a sturdy fence

When your little one is running around the garden, they might easily knock into the fence. And if it’s not sturdy, it could end up falling over causing damage in your yard. And it could even hurt your little one if it lands on them. Therefore, you need to make sure you have a sturdy fence which will stay standing while your kid is around. And you need to ensure it’s a good height. After all, you don’t want your little one climbing over the top of the fence into the neighbor’s garden!

Get a lock for the water spigot and make sure it’s working correctly

It’s always handy to have an outdoor water faucet in the garden. After all, it saves you having to rush inside to get water. Therefore, it can be good when you and your child are having a day taking care of the plants. But you need to be careful that it doesn’t become a danger for your kid. After all, you don’t want your child to go up to it when you are not looking and switch it on. They might end up slipping over from the water if they push it on too quickly. Therefore, to keep it safe, you could consider making a lock for the faucet. This article will help you to easily make one to ensure it’s child-friendly. And remember to get it fixed quickly if there is a problem with your outdoor water spigot. After all, if it’s leaking, it could end up being a hazard for your kid. Therefore, look online to find a company who can do outdoor spigot repair.

Stick to plants which are family-friendly

You need to make sure you get clued up on plants for your garden. After all, you don’t want to get anything which will cause harm to your little one. Unlike adults, they won’t be aware that they should stay away from the plant so could end up getting hurt. For one thing, anything with nettles needs to be a no-no for your backyard. They might run into the plant and then end up with itchy skin. Here are some other plants which might look beautiful, but could pose a risk to your child. That way, you know to avoid them when you are next at the local nursery.

Baby in garden

Pixabay

And make sure that you keep tools and equipment locked in a shed. After all, your little one might end up getting hurt if they get their hands on one of these items!

Farewell To The City: Why Moving Away Is Best For Your Family

Buildings Clipart

(Image Source Here)

The home that you live in says certain things about you. It tells of your priorities and your preferences. It will often say at least something about your income and your lifestyle too. This is why, for so many of us, our first homes are either in or close to a town or city. We’re close to where the jobs are, and there are nightlife options.

As we get older, and especially when we have kids, we may look towards a less urban, more rural place to live. We might not, of course. There is a lot to be said for aspects of urban living – the convenience, the proximity to a place’s heartbeat. But there are, equally, a lot of reasons why it’s a good idea to get away from it all.

Pollution: A Problem That’s Only Getting Worse

Pollution

(Image Source Here)

There is an issue that perhaps can best be understood by people who have grown up somewhere remote and traveled into a city. If this describes you, do you remember returning home with a pulsing headache? This can happen very easily. The noise and fumes of a city, or even a larger town can be choking. They raise stress and can make you ill.

The fresh air of a more rural or mountain setting is good for you, period. It’s been shown to have a positive effect on life expectancy. Not only that, but you’ll breathe easier and have fewer issues with allergies.

Space: You Don’t Realize How Much You Miss It…

Pretty Farm Area

(Image Source Here)

It depends on where you live, of course, but in a more urban setting, you can find yourself feeling crowded. You’ll hear your neighbors through a wall, which is bad enough. Then you realize they can hear you, too. It can sometimes feel as though you’re a battery hen.

As you get out into less urbanized areas, although real estate is harder to come by, it is worth the extra searching. You’ll have the chance to stretch your legs, and you don’t need to worry too much about whether the neighbors can hear you. Unless you phone them up, you’ll need to be shouting really loud for them even to know you’re speaking.

Sustainable Living: Growing Your Own And Sourcing Locally

Fresh Strawberries

(Image Source Here)

Living in the city or town may mean you have more convenience. That’s fine, but convenience and quality don’t always go hand in hand. What’s the good in always being able to buy apples if they’re bland and colorless?

By moving a more natural setting, you have the chance to grow a lot of your own produce and reduce your food miles drastically. To add to that, there is nothing to beat the quality of fresher food. Grow your own corn, chilies and more besides, and you’ll be stunned by how much flavor there is – and that’s before you get to a farmer’s market!

And let’s hear a word for family pets, too. In the city, they really don’t have room to roam. After a few days of living away from it, see how much freer they feel and how well they take to it. Try not to think of the number of birds your cats start bringing back. It may not feel like a gift, but it is.

Why I decided to leave my 3rd son intact, after choosing circumcision for the first two.

I have been pretty vocal on my personal page about circumcision over the past year and I don’t think a lot of people truly understand WHY it is that I made this decision.  This also seems to be the biggest question I get when people are why I left my son intact, especially since his brothers are circumcised.

First… my response is this, you live and you learn.  Yes- I LEARNED what a circumcision actually is, I LEARNED the true functions of the foreskin (the “flap” of skin that is removed– Oh yes it serves very important functions for a man- all of which are taken away from him at birth or shortly after with Routine Infant Circumcision), and I LEARNED WHY we do it in the United States.

I only wish that someone would have given me all this information when I was 21 and my first born was brought into this world.  Unfortunately, I had no idea.  With my second son- I really started to question it.  I really didn’t feel right about it, but I felt pressure to make him “normal” so I had it done… and I regretted it pretty much instantly and I still do.

I knew when I found out I was expecting another boy that I would leave him intact.  I knew that I really regretted allowing that to happen to my son’s and that I would break the cycle now.  I also want to inform other parents-to-be that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHOOSE TO CIRCUMCISE your son.  It is not necessary, it is not normal, you ARE taking something away from him, and most of all- truly– it is not your body and not your decision to remove body parts from your child because in some way, you feel this is how a man’s penis is supposed to look.

I am not going to harp and preach on circumcision in this post.  I will leave you with a link to video that I feel every person should watch Elephant in the Hospital.  I hope you will take the time to watch the video because it does have really great information in it.

What made me change my stance?

Well first… I was not exactly “pro cut” I feel like I was a sheep- just doing what I thought I had to do.  And for that, my sons suffered.  After my second son was born, I feel like something immediately clicked and I knew what I did was wrong.  I also met a friend that was a huge intactivist and she shared some info with me to help solidify the feelings that I was already having.  Once I realized everything- did some of my own research… I knew where I stood.

1. It is NOT a sin NOT to circumcise your sons.  This is one thing that I hear- about how the bible says you should or you are “unclean” or you are sinning.  This is not true.  Not only this, but the circumcision that is performed today is not at all like the circumcision that was performed by Abraham in the Bible.
bible circum circumcision-biblical-vs-modern

2. The foreskin has functions!!  We are led to believe the forskin is just a flap of skin that has no purpose and will cause infection if we leave it attached.

This is NOT TRUE.  The foreskin has 16 functions, all of which are lost with circumcision, and most of which can not be regained with restoration.

16 functions of the foreskin

 

3. It is NOT my body.  I think this is the biggest one parents need to remember.  How do you know that your son wants to be circumcised?  You don’t!  An infant can not express if he wants to have this elective cosmetic surgery done, why should you be the one to decide this for him?

4.  It is cruel.  Think about what actually happens during circumcision… YOU ARE ALLOWING THIS HARM AND PAIN TO HAPPEN TO YOUR NEWBORN BABY!  We are so desensitized and are so concerned with what is “normal” that we don’t care that we are intentionally causing pain to our children.  Pain that can have life long negative effects!  (And a circumcised penis is not “normal”!!)

5.  It is not important for my sons to “match”… If you are choosing to circumcise because your husband is… Why?  Do you think they are going to “compare”… no and if they somehow notice… you can explain how you did better for your son because you had all the information.

dad match

I really hope this helps to answer the questions most people have asked me about my choice to leave my son intact (after choosing to circumcise the first two).  The one thing I can urge every parent to be is– do your research!  Don’t just do it because you think you have to… you don’t!  You can break the cycle and your son will thank you for it when he older.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments.  :-)

Incredible Sights In California That The Whole Family Will Love

Golden Gate Bridge at Sunset

Image Source

If you want a state that has it all, look no further than California. It has wide, open desert, snow capped mountains, fir forests, and green pastures. There are huge sprawling urban centers where dreams are made of, beautiful wine regions, and, of course, Disneyland. If you’re looking for an area to road trip around, it might as well be California, because it has literally everything a holiday could ever need, for parents and kids alike. If you want a family friendly holiday, look no further than California .

The Golden Gate Bridge

A true marvel of engineering, and an iconic structure of our nation, the Golden Gate Bridge is a must-visit for any American. San Francisco itself is basically the perfect city break destination, with beautiful streets, a harbor full of sea lions that the kids will go mad for, and plenty of amazing independent cafes, bars, and boutiques. A visit to the island of Alcatraz is a must too. Situated in the bay of San Francisco, the ex federal prison can now be reached by ferry, and tours of the prison are seriously interesting for parents and children.

Yosemite National Park

A national wonder, Yosemite National Park spans a large area of northern California, and offers some of the most stunning views of the United States. Stunning granite cliffs, giant sequoia groves, glaciers, and waterfalls leading to crystal clear streams make the Yosemite Valley look more like an oil painting than a real place. Kids love the diverse wildlife of the area – keep an eye out for a moose, or even a bear and its cubs! It’s just awe-inspiring, and has to be seen to be believed.

Desert

Image Source

Death Valley

Outside of Africa and the Middle East, Death Valley in eastern California is the hottest place on the entire planet and the lowest point below sea level in the whole United States. In fact, the highest air temperature ever recorded was in Furnace Creek, Death Valley, and hit a whopping 134 degrees. While you can’t spend too long down there, the scenery is utterly breathtaking, and it’s really educational too.

Los Angeles

The City of Angels is a city like no other. Full of famous stars and people full of dreams, it’s a city that’s grown up around Hollywood. With shopping, food, beaches, and beautiful hikes, it’s got everything you need for a great city break, and plenty of fun for the kids too. Be sure to take a Los Angeles taxi from your hotel to Beverly Hills for some star gazing, take a walk down the Walk of Fame, and shop til you drop on Melrose Avenue.

Garden

Image Source

Napa Valley

This is one maybe more for the parents than the kids. If you like wine, you’re going to want to visit the Napa Valley. Rich vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, and produce some of the best wine in the world. The scenery is utterly idyllic, and the sun beats down on scorched earth while you relax with amazing wine, great food, surrounded by really friendly local people. The children will love being outdoors, spending their days horse riding, boating on the lake, or lounging around the pool. You could close your eyes and almost pretend you were in Spain – it’s true bliss.

California is one of those states that you could spend years traveling around, and still not visit everything you’d like to see. With such a range of terrains, stunning cities, and beautiful scenery, it’s no wonder it’s one of the world’s favorite vacation states.

Get Your New Kitchen Cooking As Soon As Possible To Save Stress During Your Move

Moving house is fun, but it can be unsettling. For the first few days in your new home, you won’t know what to do with yourself. Living out of boxes isn’t fun, and being in a new place can be disorienting. The sooner you get settled, the better. That’s when you can start enjoying the home you dreamt of! The whole house will need your attention, but some rooms can’t wait. The kitchen is the one place you need functional from the go. None of us can go without food. When the kitchen is out of order, it causes immense amounts of disruption. That’s why you should set your sights on getting the kitchen sorted as soon as you can! Here are a few tips on how to get your kitchen functional in no time at all!

KEEP ESSENTIALS TO HAND

Consider keeping your kitchen up and running, even before you’ve moved in. Think, during the packing process, what you need to keep available. Pack a small box that you don’t tape up, and keep it on hand throughout your moving day. Put some snacks in there, and maybe some sandwiches! Remember, too, to include a kettle, mugs, and tea supplies. Your movers are sure to appreciate a cup of tea once you get to the other end! Having these pieces on hand will help you resume a running a kitchen as soon as you reach your destination. They’ll also ensure that you don’t go hungry.

Shopping Cart

Picture Credit

DO A FOOD SHOP

A food shop may be the last thing on your mind, but the sooner you do one, the better! Any food you brought with you will be in boxes and will be minimal anyway. It isn’t practical to transfer perishable food! With your cupboards empty, you’ll find life hard. Give yourself the first night off by treating yourself to a takeout. Then, go shopping first thing the next morning. Doing such a regular activity will help to make you feel normal again. Not to mention that you’ll feel much better once your cupboards are stocked again. Make a big event of the first meal you cook in your new home. It may take you awhile to get used to your new kitchen so the sooner you start using it, the better! It’s doing regular activities like this in your new house that will make it feel like home.

UNPACK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

Decluttering your house of all those boxes is important. Decluttering the kitchen even more so. Unpacking as soon as you can will free up space you need to cook. It’ll also ensure you know where everything is again! Make sure the kitchen is the first room you get to work on by marking what’s in each of the boxes you pack. Have the boxes marked ‘kitchen’ put straight into the room, so you don’t have to hunt for them when the time comes. You’ve already sorted the food, so focus on boxes containing cutlery and cooking equipment!

Feeling More Frumpy Mummy Than Yummy Mummy?

It’s easy to get into a rut with your appearance and end up being more of a frumpy mummy than a yummy mummy. The truth is that when you’ve got little ones to take care of, you have a tendency to put your appearance on the back burner, to concentrate on your little ones.

While there’s nothing wrong with dressing in clothing that’s comfortable and easy to pull on, like sweatpants and jumpers, for instance, you can end up feeling frumpy and lacking self-esteem because of it.

The key to feeling more like a yummy mummy is to put time and thought into what you wear, as well as into your hair and makeup. There’s nothing wrong with going bare-faced every so often, but if you want to feel good about yourself, you need to make time to style your hair and apply your makeup each day – you’ll feel better for it.

To become more yummy and less frumpy, here are the steps to take:

Treat yourself to some new clothes

mom and baby

Image credit

The first step to feeling more confident in your appearance and less frumpy is to treat yourself to new clothes. If the clothes that you usually wear are a little on the frumpy side, now is the time to update your wardrobe. Start off by having a look online to get an idea of what’s in fashion, and then do some shopping.

You can either shop online or head to your local shopping centre and shop there, depending on your personal preference, of course. If you are going to shop online, make sure to take advantage of deals and discount sites, such as www.plusvouchercode.co.uk. When you’re a parent, every penny counts.

As for what to buy, leggings can work well as they’re comfortable and when teamed with a dress, stylish jumper or tunic, can look stylish. Or, how about buying a nice pair of jeans, to team with tops and jumpers? Skirts and tops can also look lovely, teamed with a pair of thick woolen tights.

Get a new haircut

To prevent having to scrape your hair into a bun or ponytail each morning, have your hair cut into a new, easy-to-style do. That way you can ensure that doing your hair in the mornings doesn’t have to be time-consuming or stressful. Opting for an easy-to-do style means that you can wake up, brush it, and be ready to go, and feel good about how your hair looks.

Practice minimal makeup looks

Woman with lipstick

Picture link

To get your everyday makeup look right, minimal makeup is a must. You don’t want to look overdone up. You want to wear enough makeup so that you feel good about yourself. Spend a couple of evenings practicing applying your makeup quickly so that in the mornings you can get your face on before the kids wake up. It might only be a little bit of makeup, but it will give your self-esteem that boost it needs.

So there you have it, everything that you need to know to look and feel better. Take note of the tips above, and you can wave goodbye to being a frumpy mummy.

Beginner Sewing Projects: Ideas And Tips! #FamilyFun

If you’re a beginner sewer, there are a few things you should know first. This guide aims to give you some great ideas and tips for your future projects. Practise makes perfect, so use them and see what you can do.

Go Supply Shopping

Go supply shopping if you haven’t already. There are a number of things you’ll need depending on what you want to make. Here’s a list that could help you:

  • Three pairs of scissors. One for fabric, one for paper, and one for, threads and seam lines.
  • A seam ripper.
  • Pins.
  • Measuring tools.
  • Marking tools.
  • Painters tape.
  • Needles and thread.
  • A sewing machine.
  • Patterns.

Understand Your Sewing Machine

When you have everything you need, it’s time to find your way around your sewing machine. You must understand your sewing machine before you even think about starting a project. You can find all kinds of tutorials and reviews online to help you if you need them, on all kinds of machines including the Brother se400. Make sure you have the right machine for your needs and that you practise with it before starting a project. It shouldn’t take you that long, and there should be a ton of resources to help you online.

Crochet Blanket
Picture

Learn The Basics

When you’re confident with your machine, you can learn the basics. Don’t try to run before you can walk. It’s a good idea to learn how to do a perfect zigzag stitch, as well as sew a straight line. These two skills are used in many different projects and it’ll do you good to master them first. Although it’s a good idea to read plenty of books and watch videos, don’t be afraid to make up your own techniques either. Trust your instincts. You can always try it one way and re-do it if it doesn’t work. You might just come up with your own techniques that work better than the ones you’re reading about.

Understanding Which Fabric To Use

Choosing which fabric to use can boil down to many different factors. Sometimes, it’s best to use the type of fabric that the pattern you’re using calls for, as the designers will often know best. However, it can also depend on your skill level, and how you like the feel of a fabric against your skin. Consider the print, and make sure you read the care instructions first. Then you’ll know which fabric is best for you.

Projects

There are a few projects that are pretty easy to take on whatever your skill level may be. Here are a few ideas you might like:

Sewn Tote Bag

Tote Bag

Sewing a tote bag is probably one of the easiest things you can do as a beginner. This is usually a simple case of cutting equal rectangles, hemming them, and then sewing them together with a machine after deciding where your handles will go. You then create and sew your handles, as well as decorate the bag. It couldn’t be easier!

source

Baby Blanket

There are a number of different ways you can sew a baby blanket. It could be a simple case of gathering fabrics you like and sewing them together. You could even use fabrics that are special, such as your baby’s first outfits. It’s up to you as to whether you want to make it double sided or not.

Cushion Cover

When many people first start sewing they decide to make a cushion cover. This is another super simple thing to make that you can show off in your home afterwards. This is a case of choosing a nice fabric and the back stitching it so you have a fold in the back for the cushion to go in. It’s a lot easier than it sounds and you can show off your creation afterwards.

Pajamas

Maybe you could even sew your own pajama bottoms when you have a little more confidence. Pajama bottoms, or lounge pants, are really simple. This is something you can try when you feel a little more confident with patterns and the like. However, it’s a great item to practise with. Using linen material can be a great way to start out before you start using materials that are a little harder to work with.

Hopefully these beginner sewing projects and tips have inspired you to get started on your sewing journey right away. It can be so much fun and you’ll love developing your new skill. If you have anything you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Come back soon!

Thank you to Family Fun Magazine for these craft ideas!

 

NAME-STAMP BLOCK Tutorial #FamilyFunMag

Another fun Winter- time craft, make your own NAME-STAMP BLOCK!  Idea courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine!

Great for new spellers—or anyone who likes to make her mark!

stamp-block

What you’ll need
Paper
Craft foam
Craft glue
2-inch wooden block(s)
Stamp pad & notebooks (optional)

Instructions

  1. Write your recipient’s name in 1¼-inch-high block letters on a piece of paper (you can also use a stencil or print out the letters in a font you like at 100 points). Cut out each letter. You can get six characters onto a block, so if she has a short name, fill in any blank spaces with a fun design like a heart or a star; if she has a long name, use two blocks.
  2. Trace two of each letter onto craft foam; cut out.
  3. Stack the letters and glue them together. Then glue each letter to a side of the block backwards. Repeat for all letters.
  4. If desired, package your blocks with a stamp pad and notebooks.

Easy how-to Kid’s Craft: FISH FRIENDS

Are you looking for an easy craft kids can make while they are couped up inside this winter?  Check out this easy how-to tutorial for instructions on making stuffed Fish Friends.  

Your kids can make a whole school of these quirky stuffies for their crew!

fish

What you’ll need

Fish templates (find them at familyfunmag.com/printables)
Fabric (about ¼ yard per fish)
Chalky colored pencil
Kid-safe needle
Embroidery thread
Opaque white fabric-paint pen
Beans or fiberfill

Instructions:

  1. Cut out the templates and trace onto your fabric with colored pencil (feel free to let kids draw their own fish bodies too!), then fold the fabric in half and pin. Cut through both layers about ½ inch outside the marking.
  2. Starting at the bottom, stitch the fish together along the chalk line, leaving about 6 inches open along its belly.
  3. Add the fish’s features with the paint pen, letting each side dry in between. Help your child iron to set the paint per manufacturer instructions.
  4. Stuff the fish with beans or fiberfill, and then stitch it all the way closed.