Momma Told Me

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Monday, September 19, 2016

D.I.Y. Minions Wreath Tutorial

D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!
Momma Told Me: Be a little different.


It's no secret we're a little 'off color' here at Momma Told Me- while we appreciate tradition, there are some things we prefer to break free and stand out from the crowd on. Unique seasonal door decor is one of them. Yes, we're talking wreaths. For year I have wanted to make my own Fall wreath, but lacked the patience, or budget, for the more elaborate 'professional' style D.I.Y. wreath. Don't get me wrong, Martha Stewart is great for most people- but when I sit down to create something I'm going to display in (or on) my home, I want it to be immediately obvious that is' home made. A lot of the gorgeous wreath tutorials out there cost just as much as the store bought one's to make, and look slick enough to be store bought when done. My friends, you will not find a Minion wreath in any store, and it is crazy easy to make.
D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!
Start with a medium foam ring from your typical craft store. This will be the bulk of your materials cost, as these can run $6-$8- but I'll let you in on a little secret. If you head online to Micheals/JoAnns/Hobby Lobby you can often print a coupon to save 40-50% on a single item and knock that price to just a few dollars. The second most expensive supply, the boas, are about $3-$4 a piece- you'll need 2. Again, bring the hubby, or the kids and use multiple coupons in your trip (it's usually 1 per person.) The rest of the supplies you likely have hanging around; a hot glue gun, some ribbon (for hanging,) black acrylic paint, a paper plate, a paint brush (I use disposable foam brushes) and some newspapers to cover your work space.
D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!
Are you ready? It just might have taken you longer to gather your supplies and protect your work space than to assemble this wreath, because this bad boy goes together with no skill level and faster than I can say 'banana' 3 times. Start by taking the end of one boa and hot gluing it to the back of your wreath foam ring. Next, loosely wrap the boa around the foam ring so that the feathers cover the ring, but there is enough give to move the boa to the side as needed for the later steps. Tack the loose end of the boa onto the foam ring and repeat with the 2nd boa, end to end.
D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!
You should have what looks like the beginnings of a fabulous Carnivale hat, or at least a wreath that resembles an abstract Tweety Bird. Go ahead and shake it back and forth like a 3rd crader fascinated by the movement of the feathers (I won't judge,) it's impossible not to feel happy when playing with feathers!
Next, grab your paper plate and cut the ridged rim off of the inner circle. Take your foam paint brush and dip it in your black paint. Place it in the center of your round (flat) plate piece so that the tip and wooden end are vertical- give it one smooth spin while applying pressure. If you want to be less fancy- "Take a paint brush and paint a black circle in the center of your round plate cut out." Cut 5-6" strips from the ridged plate rim and paint those black as well. Allow you pieces to dry, or pull out the blow dryer if you're impatient (like me.)
If you want to get a little fancy pants you can add some detailing to the eye. Using your black paint go ahead and draw a black rim along the outside of your round (flat) eye and make one of the border's edges a little thicker to indicate the traditional Minions goggle frame. Take a daub of white paint/white paint pen/white out and draw a little circle of reflective light in the iris of your eye. Glue your dried black painted plate strips to the inner eye circle evenly.

Attach your goggles/eye to the wreath by gently separating the wrapped boa and gluing the paper plate portion directly to the foam ring. Repeat on the opposite end and even out the feather distribution to hide your handy work. Next, loop a few inches of ribbon and glue it to the top (back) portion of your wreath- paying attention to glue directly to the foam ring again, or the ribbon will not adhere.
D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!
Congratulations- you've just made a Minion! Wouldn't these be cute in purple as well for the 'monster' minions from the Despicable Me 2 movie? How about doing this with 2 small foam tubes and chaining them all together to make Bobe, Stuart, and Kevin? The possibilities are endless and the work is truly minimal; just my type of D.I.Y. craft. And you better believe the compliments from delivery workers, neighbors, and friends are plenty! Best of all, this is a fun wreath for the Halloween season that isn't spooky or scary at all! What type of seasonal decorations do you like to make?

What Daughter Says: Fall leaves, ribbons, and acorns are nice, but this wreath truly makes me smile every time I come home!






Thursday, September 15, 2016

What I'm Streaming- #BetterThings On FX Networks + #BetterThingsGiveaway 9/29

#BetterThings airs on Thursdays this Fall on FX Networks (AD) https://ooh.li/edae6a8
Momma Told Me: No mother is an island.

My mother never wanted children. And, while we live in a very modern society, that statement is still a bit shocking to this day. It certainly wasn't something she advertised when she was 'on the market' and even her family had no idea as the doting newlyweds (my parents) negotiated children like it was a peace treaty.

Whenever I tell anyone that my mother, in my adult years, has casually referred to me existence as a "contractual obligation to her marriage" I find jaws drop and an uncomfortable silence wash over the atmosphere. But does the fact that my mother never aspired to be a mother make her a bad one? No. Her circumstances, or the origin of my life really has little to do with the kind of mom she was- just like so many other mothers, she made it work. And, at the end of the day, my happiness and health was really the only honest measure of her success as one anyone should have needed.

Such is modern motherhood. Mothers work full time careers while the husband stays home, other mothers are single and 'making it work' the best they know how, while some love staying at home playing 'Betty Homemaker.' Every mother is different, yet every mother faces the same universal challenges while aspiring to do something so simple and organic, love their children and provide them with better things.
#BetterThings airs on Thursdays this Fall on FX Networks (AD) https://ooh.li/edae6a8
This brings me back to my into. There are so many things mothers have had to tackle and juggle throughout time, yet,even single, a mother is never alone.

Think about it, how many years has it been since you last were able to close the bathroom door for a solid section of time without having to 'trick' a child to distraction? Those with children long out of the home will also relate to the juxtaposition of the love/hate relationship between a mother and child through the awkward tween years. So dependent, yet so independent.

The truth is, if you have ever been told "I hate you, you're the worst mother ever" you were doing your job right.
#BetterThings airs on Thursdays this Fall on FX Networks (AD) https://ooh.li/edae6a8
It's ironic insights just like that which make Louis C.K.'s new FX Network dark comedy Better Things an instant hit in my book. While the pilot, which aired last Thursday (September 8, 2016) was almost painful to watch at times it was also exceptionally raw. Motherhood unadorned one might say. At last a strong female role, raw in her own flaws, yet so modernly practical in her solutions. If the main character, Sam, mother to 3, doesn't inspire you with her careful navigation of modern parenting battles, then you'll surely identify with at least one of the stages of parenting exemplified in her daughters of varying ages.
#BetterThings airs on Thursdays this Fall on FX Networks (AD) https://ooh.li/edae6a8
With each character having a rich, well built, identity, it's obvious after just one episode the challenges will be many, and the solutions not always so obvious. After all, Sam is the kind of mother we don't see in modern television- even Gilmore Girls' Loralei didn't dare step as boldly in her parenting as this motherly figure. And sometimes the battles chosen to forego are equally shocking.

We all have a perception of what the 'perfect' mother is- she makes cookies for every class party, reads her kids stories before bed every night, makes sure everyone is brushing their teeth, and never allows sugar after nightfall on a school night. But this is for the mom's who know that's not practical- that the real world does exist and will try your wits and resources no matter how cool, calm, and collected you are. That sometimes ice cream is breakfast, you lie to your daughter's teacher about completed homework, and 'crazy hair day' is the highlight of your month because you don't have to fight tears and tangles for a half an hour before school that day.
In fact, there's a scene in the Better Things pilot that could have been ripped from my own childhood as the lead character, Sam, exasperatedly calls out for an employee amidst the aisles of an office supply store, mortifying her teenage daughter. That's precisely the behavior Momma would have, and did, do when she felt her parenting obligations were overwhelming her among the less than ideal circumstances of society. And, let's face it, parent or not, haven't you ever felt as though finding something you needed in a seemingly empty, employee-less, store was near impossible? Try adding a last minute school shopping list and a sarcastic teenager into the mix, as motherhood.
I can't say Better Things, on FX networks, will delight everyone. It is extremely raw, under produced, and plain un-apologetic. However, in a world where Parenthood is no longer on the air, this dark look at motherhood, and parenting, is a welcome addition to my fall line up. A guilty pleasure, if you will. The next episode actually airs tonight and I've already put a reminder in my phone to catch it on-demand.
#BetterThings airs on Thursdays this Fall on FX Networks (AD) https://ooh.li/edae6a8
Motherhood can be downright exhausting, yet, clearly, constantly fulfilling. It's okay to feel both, exhausted and fulfilled. After all, they say it's the hardest job you'll ever have to do. Make sure to take a time out after the last child has gone to bed, but before the first child decides to wake up and crawl into yours, and check out Better Things by Louis C.K. on FX networks, airing Thursdays this Fall. In the mean time, enter to win yourself some better things in the special promotional bundle pictured above. One lucky blog post comment will be chosen to receive a lush prize pack including; CHIPOLO Bluetooth Tracker, genuine leather BAGGU clutch, Ray Baan sunglasses, a silk hypoallergenic plush travel pillow, essential oils, mints, and more!

To enter to win the Better Things promotional prize bundle, valued at over $125, check out the Better Things trailer and leave a comment below telling me if you've watched the first episode of Better Things (if so, what you thought) OR what interests you most about Better Things on FX networks. Winner will be drawn at random from comment numbers on September 29, 2016.


What Daughter Says: For better or for worse, no mom is ever truly alone.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Nourish What's Next With Kellogg's® Special K® And Our DIY Pour Paint Zen Garden

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NourishWhatsNext #CollectiveBias
#NourishWhatsNext with this colorful and cheap DIY table top zen garden project. You'll love the pour paint rocks! (AD)
Momma Told Me: Take a step back to re-center yourself.

This year has been nothing short of a whirlwind so far. 

A string of bad luck in the first quarter of the year had me overwhelmed and ready to thrown in the towel on 2016- Do you ever have those times when you feel like just calling out of work for the week and sinking into the couch with a quart of ice cream? It doesn't sound good, but that's what defeated feels like, and I was good and there. Then, as it turned out, a string of unfortunate events began occurring to those around me, and I switched gears almost overnight- where as I had felt overwhelmed by my burdens and obstacles, I was not immediately empowered by the desire and need to help others overcome theirs. I no longer had time to wallow in pity for myself, and was instantly inspired to pull myself up, so that I could also be of strength and support to others.
#NourishWhatsNext with delicious, on the go, solutions from Kellog's Special K at Ralphs. (AD)
You see I'm a 'yes' woman- I thrive on setting goals, tackling obstacles, and, especially, helping others. When I saw my friends and family were struggling with problems of their own I immediately 'snapped' out of my own funk and found myself once again.

But giving so much of one's energy and resources can be emotionally and physically draining. Where I was instantly energized by the immediate need for problem solving and support giving, I was also, unintentionally, putting some of my own welfare and needs on the back burner unknowingly. Much like a mother often finds herself juggling the needs of many within her family, only to realize she hasn't even fed herself, or had time to shower that day- I was consistently letting my own routines and standards fall by the wayside.
Drip and Pour Paint Rocks are a fun way to create one of a kind art, and zen out! #NourishWhatsNext (AD)
This is where many might say- the new year is around the corner, you've worked so hard, let yourself slide a little. But life is more than a jumble of calendar years, and every day is a precious one we'll never get back. Luckily it didn't take long for me to realize the error of my wholehearted enthusiasm, and I've since realized I need to balance the time and resources I give to others with time and resources I focus on me. For me, when I get over-zealous like this, a simple act of meditation can help me prioritize my immediate goals and needs.

There are many activities one can turn to for meditation at home or on the go- and it doesn't have to include a yoga mat and heavy breathing. Some great ways to empty and re-focus your thoughts include simple repetitive or systematic tasks such as tackling a cleaning or organization task, pulling out an adult coloring book, or raking sand in a tabletop zen garden.
Which brings us to today's project, a D.I.Y Zen Garden- a simple 2 day project you can make primarily from objects found in or around your home. A real zen garden would require a large patch of land and some architecture skills but I've condensed the meditative experience to your average baking pan. Here's what you'll need:

Materials:

An old 9" round cake pan, or similar size high walled tray/pan
2-3 Cups of Sand (Craft Sand, Aquarium Sand, or Beach Sand works fine)
5-6 Medium Sized River (Rounded) Stones
4-5 Colors of Acrylic Paint
Cookie Rack or Mesh/Wire Bin
Old/Dollar Store Cookie Sheet
Spray Paint In Your Color Of Choosing
Drop Cloth
Tabletop Zen Rake (Cheap on Amazon) or Small Appetizer Fork
#NourishWhatsNext with delicious, on the go, solutions from Kellogg's Special K at Ralphs. (AD)
You're going to want to start by painting your cake pan/tray- I prefer to use spray paint for even coats that apply and dry quick to a variety of surfaces, but a brush applied acrylic color could be used as well. Keep in mind, if using spray paint you'll want to put down a large drop cloth, work in a well ventilated area, and wear a basic paper face mask if windy. While your tray/base dries you'll want to source some pebbles of medium size. For this I took a trip to our local creek.
As part of re-fortifying myself for the coming season I've also been paying a lot of attention to when I choose to fuel my body and mind, and what with. This year I've skipped many meals and simply forgotten to refuel throughout many of the trials and challenges I faced. It was easy to notice the toll as I'd slump into my bed exhausted each night, and fight through the hangry outbursts in the afternoons. I've since stocked up on some of my favorite Kellogg's® Special K® products for their delicious varieties that are equally convenient on the go. As I fit pebble hunting in between an afternoon conference call and my evening bowling league I reached for a Kellogg's® Special K® Strawberry Protein Meal Bar to ensure I wasn't skipping a meal.
Drip and Pour Paint Rocks are a fun way to create one of a kind art, and zen out! #NourishWhatsNext (AD)
Once you have the perfect pebbles (and I say pebbles because the often offer the most surface space for this project) you'll want to get down to decorating them. As someone who is energized by vibrant colors, and mesmerized by the flow and movement of liquids- this activity was 'zen' all on it's own. Using simple acrylic paints there are 2 easy techniques you can use to make 'far out' one of a kind rocks for your zen garden; pour painting and drip stamping.
Drip and Pour Paint Rocks are a fun way to create one of a kind art, and zen out! #NourishWhatsNext (AD)
Drip and Pour Paint Rocks are a fun way to create one of a kind art, and zen out! #NourishWhatsNext (AD)
Pour painting is actually a necessity to achieve the second technique, so feel free to grab a few extra pebbles and try both out to see what you like most.

Start by placing one of your pebbles atop the mesh bin (turned upside down) or cookie sheet. Your mesh bin/cookie sheet should be positioned firmly in the center of your cookie sheet to not only act as a mobile workstation (for drying and storage while drying) but also to catch all of the, still very useful, poured paint drips collecting below.
Drip and Pour Paint Rocks are a fun way to create one of a kind art, and zen out! #NourishWhatsNext (AD)
This part of the project is literally so easy anyone can do it- and if you love the sight of contained messes and color mixing, like I do, you'll find this very cathartic. Begin by taking one paint bottle and slowly pouring a stream of color onto the center of your pebble, from about a foot above. Continue to do this with varied colors and amounts of paint until the entire rock is one fluid pool of swirling paint. Play with adding drops of color here and there, or zig zagging paint back and forth across your 'canvas'. Layer colors until you're happy with the ever evolving work of art, and repeat with another pebble.
Drip and Pour Paint Rocks are a fun way to create one of a kind art, and zen out! #NourishWhatsNext (AD)Drip and Pour Paint Rocks are a fun way to create one of a kind art, and zen out! #NourishWhatsNext (AD)
Once you've done a few pebbles you're going to have a pretty psychedelic pool of paint beneath your mesh bin/cookie sheet. Now it's time to remove the bin/sheet and drip stamp. Holding the edges of a pebble lightly dip the broad side of the pebble into the drip paint puddle, and remove. The sharpest swirls and stamping will occur when the pebble does not touch the bottom of the baking sheet/paint pool, so stamp lightly as to just grab the color sitting on top. The result is simply magical, and the colors can be layered endlessly to make truly one of a kind decor for your mini zen garden.
#NourishWhatsNext with delicious, on the go, solutions from Kellogg's Special K at Ralphs. (AD)
It's going to take a few days for the thick coating of paint to dry on your pebbles, so you'll want to store them somewhere dry and safe (away from pets and small hands) until they're set.

While my zen garden was on hold I decided to take stock of my cabinets and shelves and continue my re-focusing by working on a new meal schedule for my busywork week, and planning out some snack solutions to ensure I was never left hungry or grumpy on an especially important day. Thankfully my local Ralphs has a large selection of my favorite Kellogg's® Special K® products, from Kellogg's® Special K® Granola, Cereal, and Bars to munchy snack time solutions like Kellogg's® Special K® crackers and pastry crisps. I always have something delicious on hand to help fuel me through the day's schedule to achieve my goals.
#NourishWhatsNext with delicious, on the go, solutions from Kellogg's Special K at Ralphs. (AD)
In fact, one of my favorite Kellogg's® Special K® snacks, the new Sea Salt Original Multigrain Crackers are made with Quinoa for an elevated snacking experience that gets away from the typical sweet treat to a savory delight that fuels and satisfies. We usually toss a box in the dog stroller, yes dog stroller, whenever we go walk the beach parks hunting for characters on a certain popular mobile game app.
In fact, you'll find Kellogg's® Special K® products across the aisles at Ralphs; and the brand is always innovating new products to help fuel their customer's active lifestyles- I've even heard there's a new Kellogg's® Special K® Crustless Quiche that'll really help elevate my zen time! But, for now, I'm stashing delicious, individually wrapped, Kellogg's® Special K® Berry Struesel Pastry Crisps in my purse for my on the go instant moment of zen.
Once your 'far out' pebbles are dry you simply need to pour your sand of choice about 3/4 full into your painted cake pan and arrange your favorite 2-3 scattered across the top. An appetizer fork will suffice as a zen 'rake' but I also like to keep a variety of tools and stamps on hand to play with patterns and shapes as well as movement. The process of 'raking' sand in your tiny zen garden is as equally rewarding as updating and rearranging it. Feel free to swap out pebbles with your mood, change the color of the sand to match the season, and even add an air plant or two!
#NourishWhatsNext with this colorful and cheap DIY table top zen garden project. You'll love the pour paint rocks! (AD)
It's never easy to get 'back on track' when you've lost motivation or focus- but every life has a rhythm, and it's important to fortify the core of that rhythm order to set one's self up for success. If you're not quite ready to make a zen garden, or don't find any of our other suggestions quite suit you make sure you are at least setting time out for yourself each day. Whether it's just a few minutes here or there, 'me' time is the surest way to re-focus and recollect ourselves so that we can achieve our most immediate, and long term, goals. Now, share with me a goal you've drifted away from, but would like to work on re-focusing.

Did you love our zen garden tutorial? Check out some even more amazing inspiration and ideas to help fortify yourself on the Kellogg's® Special K® Social Hub!

What Daughter Says: Sometimes a quick time out can help refresh and ready the mind, body, and soul for the tasks and goals ahead.

#NourishWhatsNext Special K at Kroger