Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Valentine Banners

This week I have been working on banners. I can't figure out which is my favorite though to hang up. I might just have to print them all. They are now in my Printables shop:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Today was a big day. We did something we've been waiting over a year and a half to do...but yet, I'm speechless. I'm still processing it all in my head so I will just have to let you know all about it later...hopefully soon. :)

In other news....CONGRATS to Manuela Kasch for winning this months giveaway!!! Check your email for your $50 gift code to my shop. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Monday--Literally

I went on a 3 hour date with the hubby on Saturday. It was soooo nice. We have never left all 3 kids that long...and maybe not the others that long before either. We actually went to an arcade. It was a blast. (I totally whooped him! hehe). Then we drove by the house we are trying to buy and went out to a restaurant we fell in love with! It was sooo needed.

I am almost finished with "The Happiness Project" book by Gretchen Rubin last. Her project and mine are very different but I feel so motivated, uplifted, and empowered. I am so excited to share the plans for February's goal of "Be Positive." I might have to post early so you can do it with me if you like. :)

The hubby and I also read the Christmas Box last night. We've had several miscarriages and it took several years before we were able to have kids so it was a very tender read.

I read Gretchen's resolution to laugh more last night and I decided to do it! A few minutes later I was put to the test. My husband walked in while I was getting ready for bed and rattled off a bunch of stuff in Chinese. He then asked, "Who do I sound like?" I replied with "A Mandarin speaking Sean Connery." It was pretty funny and I would have decided to just chuckle a little and be done but I decided to enjoy it. I laughed a little harder and told him to do some more. He did and I laughed even more. It was great. Laughing really does help to boost happiness! 

Let yourself laugh a little more today and every day. You have to make a conscious effort but it is so worth it. Here's to more laughter!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Live Craft Eat Giveaway

Today is the last day to enter a giveaway for a  $35 gift code to my shop over at Live Craft Eat.
Go check them out. 
Today we are running errands, playing with the girls, had some alone time and we are waiting patiently for news about the house....
I hope you all have a great weekend.
I'll be back Monday. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dressing Up

So this may seem like a weird way to feel rejuvenated but just trust me. It helps.

Yesterday I did my hair the way I do for Sundays only--putting in some leave in conditioner, extra mousse, and drying it longer. 

I miraculously got earrings in. I never wear them because I can hardly ever get them in. My husband told me a little while ago to put some Vaseline on the ends and the earrings would go right through (strange coming from him). It works but I always FORGET.

I put on some perfume.

I wore one of my favorite cardigans--the kind I usually only wear when I go out (I LOVE cardigans).

And....I stayed home. There was nothing special about yesterday but I felt special because I was all dolled up. 

I had more energy because I felt great about how I felt.

Try it and you'll like it.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Taking the plunge

So we finally "took the plunge" quite literally yesterday and bought a monthly pass to the local rec center. I figured we can spend time there as a family and the hubby and I can go there for dates. If it improves our happiness than it is a price definitely worth paying.

We took the kids swimming and it was a blast--other than the whole changing out of wet clothes part. We tried the big girls and I getting dressed first and then going back for the baby (who was with Daddy of course) and getting her dressed. However there is nowhere to lay her down except my lap. I realized after she was dressed that my whole lap was drenched. Luckily it was drenched so much that it looked pretty unrealistic that I could have wet myself that much. :) Ha ha. Good times. Good times.

I felt exhilarated from our hour in the pool. I love being in the water. My legs are a little sore from jumping up and down with 2 girls in my arms who were giggling with glee. So worth it!  And best yet, I slept much better!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Last night my 3 year old was changing into her pajamas when I noticed her armpit on one arm was brown--really brown (we are super light peachy colored). I was alarmed. Mommy panic button hit and sirens blaring. Are her clothes on too tight--wouldn't that make her skin purple or blue or something? Well, I decided to smell it. It was chocolate. How on earth did she get chocolate in her armpit!?!?!?  I asked her how it got there and she said "I don't know," with that sly little smile of hers. This kid is hilarious. She always does silly stuff.My guess is she stored a chocolate chip in there for later. I wish I could have seen her try and lick it off! I was a mean mommy and made her wash it with a washcloth.

What things have your kids done that have made you wonder--"what on earth!?!?!?"

Happy Wednesday. January is almost gone...


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Isn't sleep required to rejuvenate?

I'm still trying to work on my January goal to Rejuvenate. Problem is that I just can't fall asleep fast. I've done all sorts of things to help it and nothing consistently works. I usually lay in bed for 30 minutes to 2 hours every night before falling asleep. Anything you've found that helps???

Woke up to find the clothes I dried last night had a naughty magenta crayon for a companion. Pinkish splotches all over everything. Ugh. I'm doing a hot water/vinegar trick someone suggested. It's getting better. I've got it in for the 2nd attempt. I handled it really well this morning when I discovered the problem. I'm not sure why it was so easy. I wish I could react so calmly whenever everything else bad happens. Maybe all of my efforts are paying off??? I hope so but there's bound to be relapse. I'm human but here's hoping for change.

My baby had pigtails today in her hair and is therefore no longer a baby. :( She's a cutie petutie but good thing she is #3 and not the first or else she would never have any siblings! I should cut her some slack though--she is teething like crazy. That's my Tuesday. I hope yours is filled with energy and creativity!

Monday, January 21, 2013


I have to admit that I'm a pretty stubborn person. I've had some pretty serious skin problems on my fingers and they had gotten to the point where I can't do much with my right hand anymore. I couldn't sew or craft and designing on the computer has even started to become difficult. I went to the doctor a few years ago about it and I got a prescription but it didn't help. My hubby finally told me he was going to make me go to the doctor when I remembered I got a new prescription for some other skin stuff and I told him I was going to try that and if that didn't work I would finally go to the doctor. Lucky for me it is working. It is crazy. I didn't really realize how bad it was. My fingers started to really hurt after I started using it because my feeling was finally coming back into the tips.

I don't have a phobia about doctors...I just hate giving them my money when they only seem to be able to diagnose and/or treat my problems 20% of the time. I'd rather not spend my date budget to get told to simply do yoga for my back--which I've done but that was a lot of money to get told that. I'd rather take the kiddos swimming than be told, "hmmm. I really have no idea. Good luck with that. Next." I would also rather spend 2 hours making cookies F.O.R.E.V.E.R!

So now that I've completely turned you off to going to the doctors.....I am now going to convince you to go. ha ha. I do know that doctors can help with a lot of things so if there is something really bothering you that could possibly be fixed, go see a doctor or spend some time finding a natural solution that works for you this month.

I don't know if I technically feel "rejuvenated" by my fingers feeling better but I have more ability to put my energy to better use so for me it has been totally worth spending some time fixing a health concern.

Did any of this make sense today? My dictionary in my head is off more than normal and I'm having a hard time forming complete sentences. :) I hope you all had a great Monday.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dedra's "Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"

Not to be confused with "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," By Judith Viorst. :)

Yesterday was awful and I now realize it didn't have to be. If you've been following you know that we were waiting to make some big progress on the house we've been trying to buy for the last year and a half. We were supposed to meet with both sides of realtors on Wednesday. Didn't happen. Then we were supposed to go see the house with some contractors on Friday. Again didn't happen. I found out that the realtor on the seller's side doesn't even have a key so the BPO that was supposed to have been done since July hasn't been done and therefore no progress is being made on the loan. Short sales are of the devil! Whoops. Did I just say that? 

I went through a nosedive yesterday. I've been at the breaking point with this house for so long. I started to look for other housing for our family yesterday and that just got me feeling crankier and crankier. I'm just so frustrated that this housing dilemma we've been in for 2 1/2 years has taken up so much of my time and my thoughts that it is hard for me to focus on the most important things--my kids and hubby. I have to tell myself that I'm really not the worst mommy ever but I know I can be soooo much better. I just want to be done looking for a place to live. It takes so much time and energy. I want to put that time and energy into researching fun things to do each day with the kids on pinterest or taking them swimming or to the library, etc. I mean I Do do those things but not enough. 

I went to bed last night with ideas to do with the kids and I'm not worrying about the house today. For some reason (call it fate or stupidity) we are still waiting on that house and our life just has to go on while we wait. My decisions are no longer going to take into effect whether or not we are going to move in a month or two or if I buy this now it might not work in the next house. I need to just take care of today because I'm tired of my days being wasted waiting. So someday my realtor might call and let me know the tenant is done with his vendetta and we can finally go see it. Hopefully it won't be too destroyed. Hopefully we will still be able to buy it when that day gets here. Today--I'm going to enjoy my kids and so far today, I already have.

Friday, January 18, 2013

What a difference support makes!

Wow. People are commenting like crazy lately and I have to say THANK YOU! It is really hard writing a blog when you feel like you are talking to no one. I really needed the sweet comments I got today. Thank you to those who are accepting my challenges too. It motivates me knowing people are depending on me. Today's challenge is really fun and great for a Friday. I can't tell you how much this is helping and maybe you already do it.

While reading Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project, I wanted to take on her first challenge of getting more energy and named my challenge Rejuvenate. I have 3 kids 5 and under so I'm not worried that my blood never gets pumping. It is nice to feel a little more fit though and I definitely like feeling like I have more energy.

So whenever I'm feeling like I'm slumping a little bit I've been turning on Pandora's 80's Cardio Channel. I always thought I hated everything 80's. I grew up in the 80's but I always remember hating the clothes, the hair, the music, everything. But this channel does something for me. I turn it on and the kids and I start dancing. The baby shuffles around on her feet and wiggles her little bummy and the other two try to break dance. We break up and do chores but whenever we meet we just kind of get our groove on. It is really nice. Right between my shoulders was actually sore yesterday from grooving a little bit too much maybe? Nah. It felt good to be sore from something so fun as dancing with the kids.

So your challenge today and forever--find some music that makes you move. Turn it on and dance like no ones watching or pretend like you're on a rock video or something if that helps. :) I find we're getting our chores done faster and they are sooo much more enjoyable. I don't feel exhausted after and I really do feel Rejuvenated.  When we are ready to settle down I turn on my favorite channel on Pandora--Film Scores. Anyone else weird like me and love film scores?

Happy Friday,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Waiting & waiting

Waiting is all I ever do these days it seems. We were supposed to meet with the realtors yesterday but it got rescheduled for Friday--at the house! But, we still haven't had a confirmation or a time so I'm guessing it won't happen again. How can we buy a house we haven't even seen for over a year and a half! Crazy. Each day of waiting seems like an eternity. Our life has been on hold for so long. We need to schedule contractors to go with us to get bids because it is currently deemed "unsafe" and we have to fix it before getting a real loan. Here is hoping it will miraculously happen tomorrow.

I asked my mother in law to come help me with some colors today.  I've been designing in my head for so long. I've got fabrics picked for a master bedroom redesign (see below). I think it will be beautiful--if I ever get to do it. :)  I can't wait to see that house! I didn't even get to see what was behind all the doors in the basement. I'm so curious!

I'm doing better on getting to bed at a decent time--I just can't fall asleep. I can't breath for the life of me and I'm not a mouth breather. Anybody else committed to getting more sleep??? I AM feeling more rejuvenated--even if it takes me forever to fall asleep. I'll share another tip I've been working on tomorrow.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rejuvenate: 1st Step

The first step of my Happiness Project is to Rejuvenate myself. The first part of my agenda is to get to sleep at a better time. That means I need to leave the basement by 11:00 p.m. to get ready and read before 11:45ish. It is really hard to get out of the basement at night. Going to bed each night feels kind of like failure because nothing has changed during the day and often times it seems like things are getting worse but to help correct my problem of going to sleep too late I am going to invest in a cheap alarm clock that will ring annoyingly at 11:00 and tell me to go up to bed. Here's hoping it works.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dedra's Happiness Project.

When I first started this blog I was looking for a place to express myself. It then turned into a place to showcase my products but I didn't discover its true purpose until I wrote this article: 7 Ways in 7 Days to Knock the Socks Off Your Spouse. 

I tried combining my desire to help improve marriages with my designing/business aspirations and the random  tips and ideas that just pop out of my head. With so much variation and without a clear focus I have lost a lot of interest in blogging. Plus, our life is pretty crazy and I've had the D word. *GASP* Yes folks, I've had severe depression for a little over 5 years (started after the birth of our first). I have had a hard time blogging because I wasn't telling people about my depression. Really only my husband knew and one of my visiting teachers knew. I tried to hide it from everyone else--which made me look like who knows what but I know a lot of people avoided me because they thought I was angry all the time. I was really honestly just trying to put one foot in front of the other and to do so came with a huge grimace on my face.

I recently announced my depression to the world by announcing my plight on the world's largest complaint board: Facebook. It actually was really good to get that burden off my chest--to stop pretending that everything was fine because nothing has been fine.

I know I've mentioned before that I would blog about our circumstances but I always hesitated because everyone always seems to read me wrong but at least now you know about my depression and maybe it will be clearer. I've been learning lately that writing things about my struggles and my feelings helps me to let go of them a little so here goes:

3 years ago this month my husband started to get only half paychecks. Half paychecks were enough to cover   the mortgage, utilities, insurance and our student loans. Nothing more. We had been smart I thought and had a really good food storage and savings. We had just paid cash for a 10 year old (at the time) Ford Expedition, which we named Steve. Looking back we were all set to embark on this rocky journey--not that we wanted it.

We made a plan and figured we could last through June. So I learned how to make everything from scratch from laundry soap to chocolate syrup to bread and granola-- you name it. I scrimped and sewed and made do with what we had. We spent between 10-20 dollars a week on groceries for what was then 4 of us. I bought milk and yogurt, which we learned were 2 things that really helped us survive. We went almost a year without any fresh fruit or vegetables. I learned to shop at yard sales for the things we needed. For our oldest daughters birthday present I took a piece of fabric someone gave to me and sewed tiny pieces together until it turned into a "pillow pet." it was a pink pig and it was ugly but she loved it. I even sold my wedding ring to buy CS3 so I could help bring some money in. It took over a year and a half before anything came of that.

About 6 months into our dilemma I was walking with my daughters to the park when the feeling hit me that we needed to move. I called my husband when we got home (no such luxuries as a cell phone) and he agreed that it felt right. We looked around for a few months to find that we loved a small town south of us and we could actually afford the home prices in our predicament. We assumed we would be receiving full paychecks again soon anyways.

We made it longer than we thought to September and got a full paycheck. Then another in October and November but none in December. In November we put up our house for sale by owner. Realtors became my living nightmare.I was told we couldn't sell it ourselves and we needed their expertise and 6% commission. (What I wouldn't give to see their expression when we actually did sell our house by ourselves!) I figured we would be moving soon so I started packing. I am one of those people who likes to plan and not wait till the last minute.

February we got a tax return that helped us get through some more months.In June or so of 2011 I felt like we needed to go look at houses again. I asked a realtor friend and she wouldn't take us until our house sold. Another realtor acquaintance's name popped into my mind and he immediately set up some appointments. The first house we almost couldn't get into. The key wouldn't work but we managed to get into the garage. I'm pretty sure any other realtor would have stopped trying after the key incident but our realtor was such a good sport and even explored some dangerous areas with the hubby.  That house was such a wreck and don't even get me started about the yard. I walked out of that house thinking "no way!" On the drive home though my husband and I started to talk. Beneath all the filth and clutter and unfinished areas and broken things there was an amazing floorplan that really had everything we wanted. A few things weren't perfect but what house is? He felt it was the right house for us and at that point I was 5 months pregnant and was ready to be done with the whole housing issue. We tried to put in an offer but there were problems on the sellers side so we waited.

I was 8 1/2 months pregnant in the fall of 2011 when we finally sold our house to some awesome investors who let us rent the home from them as I was ready to have the baby any time. Once the house sold we put in an offer for the house we saw during the summer. The baby was born healthy and in January of 2012 the bank accepted our offer. I was so excited and started packing more....not a good idea because it is now January of 2013. I have packed and unpacked various times over the last year. Each time I have gotten rid of more stuff so that is good right? We are still waiting on that house and still renting the home we previously owned at a really high rate. We got 1 full paycheck in 2012. My digital designing  (all thanks to my wedding ring) has finally been generating income and we are still surviving. I now buy fruit and vegetables as a mandatory part of our diet but we are still waiting. The tenants in that house were supposed to be out by the 1st. Then they were given more time (I guess 2 years wasn't enough) and they had till Saturday. Saturday we drove by and they are still there. We are supposed to meet with the realtors tomorrow but who knows. It has been one thing after another.

If just one thing had been eliminated this "trial" would have been so much easier to endure. If my husband had been getting paychecks or if we had been able to move or if my depression hadn't been there or so severe or if our daughter wasn't having psychological problems and phobias.

I'm trying to be good and figure out what I need to learn from all this. #1. don't sell a house by yourself for a year while being pregnant and having 2 little ones messing up the house right before every showing. #2 don't pack your house until you have an official moving date. #3. Don't  expect anything to change in order to be happy. #4. Remember to enjoy the little moments because sometimes that is all you have.

What is the moral of this story? I'm not sure yet. I hope it is something like, "Good things come to those who wait," but its still not over. We have hung on this long. Maybe good things will come. That is obviously why we have held on because we have hope.

I've been reading a lot to try and help with my depression. I have been simply inspired by "The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun" by Gretchen Rubin. I am only 3 chapters in but I am creating my own Happiness Project. I love getting books from the library or borrowing from friends but this is one book you will want to own! 

I hope you will stop by and check out my journey this year as I embark on my own Happiness Project. 

My year is now divided into these sections:

January: Rejuvenate

February: Think Positive
March: Loosen Up
April: Take Time to Love
May: Guiltless Parenting
June: Take it Outside
July: Let the Music Lead
August: Let bygones be bygones
September: Speak nice or better yet don't say anything at all!
October: Be serious about play (I took this title from Gretchen. I haven't read the chapter yet but I know I need it)
November: Uplift Others
December: Wrap it up.

I'm hoping to post more as I learn to advance in these areas over the next year. Go get that book and join me in your own happiness project.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

January Freebie - Valentine Frames

One of my goals for 2013 is to give all of you a monthly freebie so starting off this January I have FREE Valentine Frames. Click on the picture for the link. Happy Valentine Designing!

These coordinate with Prettiful Design's Be My Valentine Products. Click here to see. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

January Giveaway!!!!

Enter to win a $50 gift code to my shop at the right. Winner will be announced at the end of January. :)