Chipboard Mirror | this heart of mine

When I brainstormed how to makeover this mirror, I knew I wanted to add a sculptural element to it. I considered so many things from skewers, MDF, polymer clay and air-dry clay but I passed on all of them because I wanted this to be quick and easy and cheap. Then I remembered chipboard.

Chipboard is a very inexpensive art medium but it has all sorts of sculptural capabilities. Without cutting through the chipboard all the way, the board can bend and become dimensional. It can also be painted any color you want. I really did think about adding color to the mirror but I am a big fan natural tones.

Chipboard Mirror | this heart of mine

Here’s how it’s done.

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Learn to Work in the Rain

Learn to Work in the Rain | this heart of mine

We’ve had some big changes this year thus far. A new family member, a move. And those changes have brought about lots of lesser though nonetheless altering adjustments to our way of living. The location of our residence is new which has affected how we run errands, where we run errands and how we handle things like dropping off a car for maintenance. We could walk to the garage we use from our old house but now it takes a tag team effort and car swapping to get it done. We now have three children and a different distribution of supervision. There isn’t a lot of alone time happening for either MJ or me. We know it won’t always be like this but it is something we miss. And wow, there are a lot of needs to meet.

It’s been frustrating making so many changes all at once. Some days it feels like I’m going against the current all day, like I’m wading through wet, sticky mud, just slogging along. I’ve had thoughts like “if I just wait for ______, it will be easier” or “when _______ happens, it won’t be such a bother”. But I know if I wait for things to be just right, I’m going to spend a lot of my life in a holding pattern. And I’m not one for waiting.

I suffer from the condition of having an endless list of things I want to do and see and make and learn. I never lack for things to do. If I wait for the perfect time to do anything, I’ll never get started. Running with three children in tow? Not ideal. Not the vision of the focused but peaceful runner in the commercials. But it’s what I have to do if I want to get back into it. Build a business from home? It’s not the gorgeous studio I dream of and there are a lot more toys and children noises than are ever shown in magazines, Pinterest and Instagram. But it’s what I want to do so I’m going for it.

Life is a mess. It’s dirty, loud, chaotic and filled with surprises, both good and not so good. We can’t wait for everything to line up perfectly. The waters will never be perfectly calm. So just do it, go for it, begin. Work in the rain. It’s refreshing.

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Birthday Cake Flag | this heart of mine

We had ourselves a birthday this weekend – our Sweet J is now four. He was the sweetest celebrated guy, assisting in the kitchen with the cake and frosting and wearing the crown his sister made him all day. My favorite part was singing happy birthday to him with the candles lit and the lights out. He beamed, his smile had no end. Oh to be four and find birthdays so magical. I will forever remember his sparkling eyes.

I love making cake toppers. I’ve done garlands, sprinkles, just chocolate frosting among other things. Cake is just such a happy thing so invariably, making something to top it is happy too. J was enthusiastic about having dinosaurs on his cake, which we did, and I made a birthday flag for extra pizzazz. It was kind of a make-it-up-as-I-go kinda thing but I explained how I did it after the jump.

Birthday Cake Flag | this heart of mine

Now a little bit on real-life birthdays. They don’t look like these pictures. They don’t have perfect light or a seamless white background. There isn’t time to place the perfect props in just the right place. It’s easy to get overly focused on the details, trying to make things look like they appear in magazines and on beautiful sites. The secret is: no one really cares about that. Real birthdays happen around imperfect tables with imperfect chairs. They have homemade crowns and delicious but imperfect cakes. They are filled with true joy and lots of love. Because real birthdays are for real people. And real is the best.

Birthday Cake Flag | this heart of mine

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How to Make Party Hats for Plastic Animals | this heart of mine

We have birthdays on our minds here and since we love our animals, we want to include them in the festivities so mini party hats for everyone! And everything. Love Bug and J are ecstatic about the mini party wear and I think they are darling. If you’ve ever wanted to dress up your inanimate furry friends, I’ve got you covered.

We are going to try something new today: a VIDEO tutorial. I made my first one and I’m thrilled!! But first, a disclaimer.

This is my first video and I literally know next to nothing about video making or editing, aside from filming my children. Because this video stuff is serious business, I decided to tackle a serious topic: how to make paper party hats for plastic animals.

How to Make Party Hats for Plastic Animals | this heart of mine

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The Clean Kitchen

Clorox in the Kitchen | this heart of mine

This post is sponsored by Clorox—helping you clean on the go for a happier home.

The kitchen is the heart of our home. It was in the last house, it’s that way in this rental and I’m sure it will continue in the home we buy (hopefully soon!). So much happens in the kitchen and it seems to be the place people congregate. In my childhood home, the kitchen was that place. It was a rectangle, kind of closed off from the rest of the house with a table that was a pull-out-from-the-wall deal and folding chairs that got tucked away in cupboards. Invariably, when people visited, a group would end up in the kitchen, sitting on the floor chatting with each other. I think my mom always wished for more space and maybe a comfy chair or two, but over and over it was proven it didn’t matter that the space wasn’t perfect. Being together and enjoying one another trumped perfect furniture.

My children often join me when I work in the kitchen. Most days I like it, although let’s be honest, there are days when all I want to be is alone. Nevertheless, most days the togetherness is comforting. While I cook and bake, the children play and create and live out imagined scenarios. Life happens here. And when life happens, so does the need to clean. I think at the end of my life, the column for time spent cleaning in the kitchen will be the highest. It’s not so bad; good food is worth it.

Keeping the kitchen clean is my sanity saver. The rest of the house could be in chaos but if the kitchen is clean and neat, I feel good. I think this is because I spend a lot of time in there and my time is spent cooking and baking and if it’s messy and dirty and disorganized, my work is that much harder. I know I’m not the only one who likes a clean kitchen and since I like to think of myself as a skillful cleaner and organizer— experience I’ve gained from being a bit of a cleaning fanatic—here are a few ideas to help keep your kitchen cleaner.

Clorox in the Kitchen | this heart of mine

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