Thursday, October 8, 2015

How to Preserve your Roses

Hello loves, happy Thursday. I've been meaning to share this for a while now but I had no idea when I first started this that it really wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Yes I have seen many videos and tutorials but actually doing it is a whole other thing.

Thursday's Treat...Preserving your Roses!

-your favorite flowers
-silica gel
-box or case big enough to seal covered flowers in
-craft wire
-Krylon UV Resistant clear spray Glossy
-vase or display dish

I got these beautiful Roses over a month ago. The photo really doesn't do justice to the vibrant red tones in the flower, they were simply breathtaking. I decided immediately that I wanted to preserve them. I kept them in my office for a week changed the water twice. Then took them home to begin the saving process.

I bought 2 bags of Silica Gel at Michael's craft store for about $6.00 each along with a large plastic box to keep the flowers in as they dried. The plastic case was on sale for about $9.00. You need something deep and large enough to have space between the flowers and full coverage of the Silica beads. I cut the stems off and left about 1/2 an inch of stem on the flower (not good enough, and inch or 1 1/2 would be best I will explain later), I saved the stems and removed the leaves.

I set a layer of Silica Gel on the bottom of plastic case and began to arrange the flowers to be covered. I made sure they were healthy and in full bloom so the beads can go into the petals and remove the moisture. The little gel beads will be blue when you begin and turn pick when you are finished. I continued to gentle cover the roses completely until I was satisfied the moisture would be removed. Thinking back now I would have bought a smaller case just deeper and 3 bags instead of 2.

The drying out process can be done in 2 weeks but I went for 3 just to be safe. While they dried I went back to Michael's and bought the preserving spray. I chose Krylon brand because I have used it in the past and quality was great. I chose Glossy finish because I wanted a shimmer effect. As you can see once I removed them from the gel bath they still look bright, full and intact. The reality is they are very delicate and you have to use a soft touch not to damage the effect you are going for. I almost forgot to mention that as they dried I also had the stems drying in the kitchen window.

So here you will see how shiny and bright they still look, they are holding up well during the spray process which was...use gloves because the spray is sticky and lay down some newspapers because you don't want to mess up your table or any other work space. I live in an apartment so going out to my back yard is not an option and OPEN up all your windows the spray is a bit much. I sprayed 2 coats I also sprayed any petals that fell off in the process and laid them out close to a window for 2 days only because I got busy with something else. A day should work fine. Make sure you saturate every inch or it will not keep well.

After 2 days I went back to add my stems with craft wire and found that I hadn't left enough space to work comfortably attaching stem to flower and I was actually making some of my petals fall off so I gave up on that and decided to display them in another way.

This is my IKEA storage bench in my bedroom, it has a few goodies displayed on it as you can see. All things I love candles, pictures, etc...I used a vase I rec'd my birthday flowers in and laid the flowers in gently to the top. I love the colors and how it fits in well with the other surrounding goodies.

Was it fun? Sure. Am I happy with end result? Absolutely. Would I do it again? No, not unless the Roses were out of this world! Why? Well because the flowers retain some of those tiny gel beads inside and they are a bit messy. Then you see those 2 bags of Silica gel I used? Well they are reusable but in order to do so you have to bring them back to original state which is placing then in oven or microwave until the beads turn blue again and that is pain in the A**. So because I am all about stress free this is not something I would do too often.

Hope you enjoy this treat, I would love to hear and see pics on your preserving journey.
Always stress free xo

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Never Settle

Mari? I hear my name as I close my car door and press the lock, I turn around and smile as I begin to recognize the face. Hey! Girl omg so happy to see you, how long has it been I say as we hug each other tight.
Oh it's been a minute, what about five years? Yeah I think so I say. Wow you look about the same which is good, how's the family? Oh their doing great, kids getting bigger, taller than me. Two in college you know how that goes, yes I do I say. Mom and my siblings are good families expanding but we are still living in the same place. Oh that's great, glad to hear everyone is doing so well. I know family is everything to you guys.

Yeah that's true she says. So how about you? What have you been up to? You look great so different than when I saw you last, did you loose weight? You're actually looking younger. I laugh out loud and say well since we last saw each other I was in and got out of another relationship, started practicing Yoga and Meditation, grew and cut and now regrowing my hair, started a Blog and got back into my photography. Lil mama is in her third year of college and doing wonderfully, I'm blessed. Family is as they always have been and I'm more involved with my grandma's care now.

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Oh wow she says, that's a lot of changes. Yes they are and have been but that's life right, growth and development? We're getting older we can't stay the same forever not to mention it gets boring. Yeah I guess she says. So are you seeing anyone, dating? Well I've been dating on and off for a bit, took some reflection time after last relationship and doing it a little bit again now. Dealing with my grandma requires a lot of energy and time so investing in a deep social life at this time is just not possible, how about you?

Oh I'm still seeing that guy from before. Oh you mean so and so I say? Yeah that's the one. It's going on six years now on and off. It's ok, he's alright, we'll see. We'll see, he's alright, it's ok? I repeat and she just stares at me. I raise my eyebrows and in my Mari way say geez that doesn't sound great to me. That's a long time to invest for such low key excitement. Good luck with that yeah thanks she says and continues with Girl you know all men are the same I don't want to start all over again at least with him I know what I'm getting. They all start great in the beginning, then get comfy and show their true colors I'm just getting too old for the bulls**t.

Well mama that's not true all men aren't the same, they just do and behave as you allow them to and how you accept them. You set the tone, you put out what you want to get back, that's what I have learned and that's what I have proven. Life's to short to settle. Life's not meant to be shared in misery. If you aren't satisfied with what you have keep it moving there is nothing wrong with being single. Yeah I hear ya but hello we not twenty anymore yeah hello exactly I say. That's why we should know better, we have more experience. Yeah I'll see but anyway oh my God it's been great seeing you and catching up. Gonna meet up with kids in a bit was just grabbing some quick groceries for the weekend. Yeah same hear glad to see you, send my best to fam and kisses to the kids. We hug and walk our separate ways.

illustration by amazon

All along I'm thinking what a shame you think so little of your self worth that you would make up half of such a poor unit. How sad that you are in the same place where I left you and how unfortunate that life is just passing you by...Never Settle.

Have you come across someone in your past that seems to be in the same place you left them? Do you think she's just comfortable or did she settle? Am I being too judgmental?

Always stress free xo

Monday, October 5, 2015

Turn it Up Tuesday

Welcome dolls to another awesome week of great goodies. Getting closer to Halloween so these treats are getting sweeter and spookier in content. Come join the fun now I leave you with Natasha...

We had an amazing, no phenomenal, week last week, and it's because of all of you. We love having you stop by, enjoying the party, and joining us in the Turn It Up Tuesday 2-year Anniversary Giveaway! We're still celebrating this week, and we hope that you take advantage of the opportunity to win $200 Paypal cash! Enter to win below!

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Turn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic...and having fun! Link up all of your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments -- anything at all. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time! Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this link party the best that it could be!


Our sponsor for October is Humbird.

HumBird is located at the base of the bavarian mountains in Germany and is a mother-daughter creation which began in 2010. We currently make 3 different types of wool covers; boiled wool, merino wool interlock, and upcycled. Along with sewing I enjoy hiking, running, and gardening. Free shipping on all orders $25 or more.

All month, Turn It Up Tuesday partygoers will receive 10% off all orders using the code Epic10.

Are you looking to get your blog or website in front of numerous people per week? Do you enjoy Turn It Up Tuesdays? Interested in having your blog or website featured for an entire month? Then, sponsor Turn It Up Tuesday for a month by clicking here!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!1

(from the top - left to right)
Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma's Ramblings | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | April from April Noelle | Tina from The Happy Creations | Tiffany from MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter | Cindy from Mom Maven | Melissa from The Coupon Chronicles | Kelly from Making-More | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Tenns from Bliss & Faith | Kimberly from Being a Wordsmith | Nancy from Afro-Chic Mompreneur | Kimberly from Keystrokes by Kimberly | Kelly from Mum-bo-Jumbo | Elaine from Ramblings of a Bad Domestic Goddess | Zografia from Bisozozo | Ginger from Does Your Sister Have Normal Hair | Free from Couponin Diva | Kori from Just Another Mom | Minnie from The Country Cooking Queen's Weight loss and healthy eathing blog | Bev from Eclectic Red Barn | Dawn from Pretty Shabby UK | Anuja from All I Do | Tina from Kidz Activities

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for October!

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(from the top - left to right)
Kayla from Scatterbrained Mom | Lyn from Mid Michigan Mom | Donna from Two Chicks and a Mom | Nancy from NY Foodie Family | Glenda from Mommies Point of View

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly guest hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!


Kayla chose How To Can Apple Juice With An Electric Juicer from Lou Lou Girls. "I know you can, can many foods, but did not realize apple juice could be one of them!"


Kayla chose 21 Things You Need to Buy at The Dollar Store from Fun Money Mom. "I can really relate to this one! I buy many things at the dollar store, anything to save money is a big plus for me!"


Tina chose Tic Tac Halloween Wrappers from Caseperlatesta. "Another wonderful Halloween idea!!I love the flying bats decoration. With a template to download this project is fabulous.Thanks so much for sharing!"


Dawn chose Homemade Lego Costume from Crystal & Co. "OMG – this costume is seriously cute. I have to make my son this for Halloween."

2015 September Rusty Can Lantern profile pic

Dawn chose Project Challenge: Rusty Item from Little Brags. "I love this idea... making new cans look old..... I simply love the evening photo with the fairy lights, how gorgeously rustic."

Nancy chose 10 Handmade Days! from Busy Being Jennifer. "I applaud Jennifer for taking on a challenge like this! Plus I love the collection of crafts, many of which seem doable for a beginner crafter like myself!"


Nancy chose 10 DIY Projects Under $10 from No Small Life. "I am always trying to attempt DIY projects and I like that this collection of projects seem easy to do and are cheap!"


Anuja chose Paleo Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Fries from Sweet C's Designs. "Sounds Healthy and Yum! I doubt they will be as crispy as french fries.. but well.. will have to try to make sure :)"


Anuja chose Savory Baked Apples with Sausage Stuffing Recipe from Growing Up Gabel. "Looks amazing! I am going to experiment with a veggie version of this."


Donna chose Homemade Toddler Skeleton Costume from Living on Grace.


Donna chose Washi Tape Pumpkin from Made with Happy.


Tina from Kidz Activities chose Monster Cookies from Tornadough Alli. "It looks so easy to make (kids will love to decorate these!) and the decor really does the job at making it look like scary monster cookies."
Stacey also chose this post. "Monster cookies are so much fun to make and eat! I love the adorable little eyeball addition, making them a perfect Halloween treat! Thank you for sharing!"


Tina from Kidz Activities chose Pumpkins and Ghosts and Spiders! Oh My! Halloween Garland from Growing Up Gabel. "I love that this is a no sew project. She makes it looks so easy to make!"


Mari chose Oreo and Caramel Covered Apples from Busy Being Jennifer. "Apples covered in Oreos and Caramel! Jennifer stopped me on my tracks and can't wait to try these over the holidays."
Stacey also chose this post. "Caramel apples, are one of my favorite fall treats! With the addition of the oreo's, these sound amazing! Thanks for sharing!"


Mari chose Can People Really Change? from No Ordinary Days. "Angela's share was very personal to me because of all the changes I've gone through in the last few years. Anyone can change if you set your mind to it and have a healthy approach. We are all changing daily. We all have the potential for growth if we just are willing to learn and stay open to all of lives possibilities. Great share."


Bev chose Fence Board Pumpkins from Marty's Musings. "Love the rustic look of these wooden pumpkins. A simple and easy project with great results. I need a pumpkin patch of them."


Bev chose Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting from Spoonful of Flavor. "Love these little pumpkin chocolate chip cookie cups. I love desserts that are little so you don’t feel guilty eating one , if you can stop there."


Lyn chose Life Doesn't Stop for Renovations from Lemon Thistle. "Her pictures made me smile because it reminds me so much of MY home! Renovations are a huge part of a DIYer's life, but most of the time we are afraid to show off the "during". Her tips on how to minimize the chaos are spot on."


Lyn chose Chocolate Covered Banana Ghosts from One Little Project At A Time... "They were a Pinterest fail but love the story that goes along with it. BTW, they don't look THAT bad =)"


Ginger chose Pack Your Travel Makeup Bag Like a Pro from Fit Chick Nextdoor. "I love that this includes a little checklist. I am going on a trip this month and it will really come in handy!"


Ginger chose Six ways to use Peppermint from Alba Rosa Artisan Soap & More. "Peppermint is one of my favorite flavors and essential oils. These are some great tips on how to use it."


Tiffany chose Easy and Simple Fall Front Porch {And Our New Front Door!} from Worthing Court. "I love this because I am looking for a simple decor for my front porch that can carry not only through Halloween but perhaps Thanksgiving as well and this is perfect! Thanks Suzy!"


Tiffany chose Healthy Halloween Treat Recipes from Tidbits of Experience. "Most times Halloween treats are candy or something coated in candy. These are the perfect balance of healthy and spooky! Thanks so much for sharing Stephanie!"
Stop by and show some love to our featured bloggers this week! I'm sure they'd all appreciate it!
If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

Epic Mommy Adventures

And the Best of the Best goes to...


Monster Cookies from Tornadough Alli


Six ways to use Peppermint from Alba Rosa Artisan Soap & More
Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!
Best of the Best Bloggers - make sure to showcase the button below on your blog!

Epic Mommy Adventures

We are celebrating Turn It Up Tuesday's 2-Year Anniversary!!!!

Join us in celebrating this momentous occasion by participating in the giveaway! We have a great group of co-hosts for our 2nd year anniversary! Celebrate with us, and enter to win $200 Paypal Cash!

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Natasha at Epic Mommy Adventures | Angie at God's Growing Garden | Cindy at The Mom Maven | Ce Ce at A Chicago Mom | Mionna at Just Mi! | Bev at Eclectic Red Barn | Ginger at Does Your Sister Have Normal Hair? | Lexi at Thoughtful Lens | Heidi at Heidi's Wanderings
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So now that you've seen all that we have to offer in this week's Turn It Up Tuesday,

let's get started!

- Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back. - Link up as many posts as you'd like! The more, the merrier! - Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends! - Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!

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Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week! **Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to Epic Mommy Adventures, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Turn It Up Tuesday, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to the original source.**

Interested in reading all of our favorite posts on Turn It Up Tuesdays - past or present? Or do want to know if your post was featured before we go live next week? Follow Natasha Peter's board Featured on Turn It Up Tuesdays! on Pinterest.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Pay Attention to Life

Nothing surprises me more than when I'm in my quiet moments and I begin to smile thinking about "this is so not where I thought I would be by now"in my life types of moments.

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In my younger days it would cause me such panic and distress to have these thoughts but today I am grateful to have them and be able to smile. What has happened to me to change my reactions? Well a few things have happened and the deepest one was learning to change my perspective.

As parents we all know that our children can take us off our set plans in a matter of seconds and to those of us who tend to be control freaks, such as I have been it can really cause turmoil inside and outside of our bodies and our minds. It is by trial and error that as we mature we learn the skills to cope with such change in circumstances.

I had a wonderful conversation with my daughter on Friday night, she slips into my bedroom and lays on my chase lounge fluffs the pillows and begins to talk. I was on my IPad researching and web browsing not really anything important but I was sort of hoping the "talk" wouldn't be very long and then she said something..."I'm going to follow my own rules, I am going to build my own life, not what someone else has "designed" for me." At that moment I shut off my pad and looked at her and really listened.

That "talk" I was hoping to just rush through lasted until 2:30 in the morning. It touched on so many topics, history, race, relationships, politics, fashion, family, money the works. But of all the words that were exchanged and all the opinions the one thing I hold on to was having the opportunity.
The opportunity to sit with my daughter and just talk. The opportunity to be present in the moment and just listen.

illustration by kazoo

Everyday we are bombarded with the need to have more, do more, be more, get more... I recently signed up for The Mindfulness Summit its 31 days full of tools and talks on how to be more Mindful.
Several years ago when I first started to practice Yoga and Meditation I had to really take some time to grasp exactly what Mindfulness was. Prior to that my last relationship was full of lessons and talks on just that I just wasn't paying attention.

So to keep it as simple as possible and to share how I keep this tool in use on a daily basis this is how I remember what Mindfulness is:
-Mindfulness is remaining in the moment as if your life depended on it, as if this was all there was, without judgment, without looking for an outcome, just being, breathing and taking it all in.

As if your life depended on it, can you imagine that? Can you imagine living and interacting with others as if your Life depended on it? As if there was no other time but right now?
That is what I practiced as I listened to my daughter speak. I may not get that moment again. I may not get her strolling in my room to "talk" again. I must Pay Attention.

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I went to visit my grandmother and bring her groceries. I walked in the door she asked who I was then smiled, took my hand and said hello, I paid attention. I looked her in the eyes and saw the joy she had in that moment, even if it was gone shortly after. I put the groceries away, gathered her dirty laundry and was on my way out the door to the laundry room and she says, "where are you going?" I tell her I am going to wash her clothes and she seems sad as if she was loosing something so I stop. I put the bag down and sit with her. I hold her hands, kiss her cheek, hug her tight and then she smiles. I get up and walk to the door I tell her I will be right back and she says ok. She is content, she feels safe, she knows I am not leaving her. I paid attention.

Do we always know the "why" behind our actions? Oh I am sure we think of course we do, we aren't crazy. We work long hours to make money to provide our families with security. We go to school to get better educations to get better jobs to make more money to provide for our families. It's always a cycle of doing something "more". There is nothing wrong with more if you also know how to balance  it with less.

How can we do that? How can we find that balance? Well as a woman and a mother who always likes things in order and who in the past was sometimes just going from one task to another once I began to do the following Life became more pleasurable:

-Breathing, something we do without even thinking. Only when we are sick do we even acknowledge its true importance. Take a few minutes out of your day to just Breathe. Deep and long close your eyes and release all that stress of Life.
-Looking, really See what is in front of you. The trees, the grass, the cars, people. You will notice just how many of us are looking down. No one is making eye contact any more and you will begin to experience a sadness and a loss. This will bring you to...
-Appreciate, small things. The sound of kids laughter, finding that piece of gum lost in your bag, catching the bus just before it closed its doors. That last flower in your garden that doesn't want to give way to the next season.
-Tasting. When was the last time you really tasted that Ice Cream you bought and ate as you watched television? How about that great meal at that fancy restaurant it took you over a month to get reservations? How did it taste? Was it mouth watering and did the scents fill the air or where you too busy talking that you didn't notice? Were you rushing to the next drink or dessert to Pay Attention?
-Grateful for the chance. Any chance to live another day. To be able to try something new or to do better than the last time. To see and be with those I love and not be quick to move on the the next.
-Smile. I love to smile, I have the parentheses around my mouth to prove it. But to smile just because is such an amazing feeling. To smile because you can walk, talk and listen. Smile because you can hear, even what you are hearing is unpleasant. Smile because you can and should and because you Pay Attention to Life.

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Hope you guys go check out The Mindfulness Summit, there is something for everyone there and I hope you start Living your best life and Paying Attention. Please comment and tell me what tools and practices you use to Live a more purposeful life.

Always stress free xo