Wife, Mummy, Nurse: January 2016

28 January 2016

Crafters & Co. #Review #Giveaway #lovehallmark

This is a sponsored review.

Since we live in a small, one bedroom apartment, I am not able to decorate it as I would like-most days, I'm trying to survive. One of the few luxuries I purchase for our apartment is scented soaps and candles. I love walking around smelling the burning candle in our entry way. These small things help make our apartment feel more like a home. 

In 2015, I found that Hallmark was carrying Crafters & Co. products-teas, soaps, candles, confections, and more. If you love to be pampered, then check out this line that Hallmark started carrying. The collection is exclusively available at Hallmark Gold Crown® stores and online at Hallmark.com. If you're looking for a Valentine's Day gift, look at Crafters & Co.

I was sent an assortment of Crafters & Co. products:

Eucalyptus spa candle: This was my favorite product that was sent to me. Once opened, I immediately placed it on the bookshelf and lit it. This candle has a slightly woodsy scent. When my husband arrives home from work, he enjoys the eucalyptus spa scent greeting him at the door.

Jasmine luxury liquid soap: The floral jasmine scent is lovely. My daughter likes it too; she often tries to pump the soap 2-3 times when washing her hands.

Two tins of organic green tea-tea sachets and loose-leaf tea: This tea may have made me a little more vain, because when I opened it, I saw these words "Hello, Gorgeous." Plus, it's enjoyable to drink this tea and relax, especially at the end of the day after homeschooling my daughter and chasing buddy around.

Jasmine luxury bar soap: I have not used this yet. I'm waiting until the jasmine luxury liquid soap is finished. But, I can still smell it through the paper. My daughter is not a fan of bar soap, so I'm hoping it will last longer than the liquid soap.

Great news! Do you want to receive some Crafters & Co. products for yourself? Then click enter below via Rafflecopter.

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27 January 2016

FO: Little Valerie #YarnAlong

I have already completed two test knits this year: Little Valerie and Madilyn Slouch hat. Last night, I sewed on the buttons on the Little Valerie dress.

I choose to knit a newborn size because the pattern does not come in Charis's size, plus it's always nice to have a newborn hand knit gift ready to give someone. Let's just say, it will be given to the next baby girl born at my church. (To my knowledge, there are three pregnant women at church.)

If Drew and I have another baby girl, I will be knitting this dress for her. (I should add: No. I'm not pregnant.)

Linking up at Ginny's Yarn Along.

25 January 2016

Currently {January 25, 2016}

Finished knitting Little Valerie on 24 January 2016
All I need to do is block the dress and sew on two buttons. The only way the buttons could have been better for the dress is if they had 6 petals (instead of five).

Under 18+ inches of snow
From Friday afternoon to Saturday night, we had about 20 inches of snow dumped on our city in Maryland.

On Friday, those with government jobs were only at work until 12 PM (and I don't believe they have to go to work today). Our library closed at 2 PM (and is closed today). Panera Bread closed at 3 PM. Drew did not work on Friday or Saturday. Mail was not delivered on Saturday. We did not have church on Sunday. Everything shut down. People are only out of the roads if they have to be out.

I am thankful that I'm not working as a nurse. I hated driving to work in 2009/2010 when we had THREE snow storms. It's nice to stay at home with my children-reading, singing, watching movies, making bread, and drinking hot chocolate together.

One worry I have is wondering how long Drew's work will be canceled. I've written before that he does not get paid time off, so when the tutoring center closes, he does not get paid. When a family already lives from paycheck to paycheck, it makes it hard.

How was your weekend? Did you get snow?
Linking up at Choose Happy.

18 January 2016

Currently {January 18, 2016}

Homeschool problems
Oh dear... So, Charis has been learning a bit about Pearl Harbor in school, and the last two nights (Saturday and Sunday), she's come out of the bedroom saying she was scared. Last night, Drew went into the bedroom to talk to her some more and ask what scares her. She told him, "I'm afraid of airplanes bringing bombs and dropping them out of the sky."

I said, "Great! Part of that is my fault. She's afraid of it because of what I'm teaching her."

Drew, "She has to learn about it eventually. We can't shield her indefinitely from true things that happened. Plus, it's better now when we can talk about it." Next thing I see, Charis comes out of the bedroom and goes over to Drew. Together, they walked over to the world map and have more lessons about where Hawaii is, where Maryland is, what year Pearl Harbor happened (1941), what year it is now (2016), etc. He also has been singing and praying with her. At one point, Drew came out of the bedroom and within a minute, we could hear Charis singing the last verses of Psalm 4.

Current Projects: Knitting and Crossstitch
Little Valerie (newborn test knit dress). I'll probably give this dress to the next person who has a girl. To my knowledge, there are 3 women who are pregnant at church, so it will be the first person who has a girl.
My Favourite Things Infinity Scarf. Knitting this for me. I want to practice colorwork and fair isle knitting before starting a sweater. I'm planning on knitting it throughout the year with important (or memorable things that happened each month).
Pumpkin Passport. Well technically, I need to finish Christmas Eve Delivery, then start Pumpkin Passport.

How was your weekend? What are you up to currently? 
Linking up at Choose Happy.

13 January 2016

Christmas Knits Part 1 #YarnAlong

This post contains affiliate links. This year for Christmas gifts, I decided to keep it simpler than previous years:
1. I started knitting in August.
2. I decided all the adults would get a neck warmer-scarf or cowl.

This has been the only year where I completed all hand knit gifts for my family (with the exception of my SIL's husband).

07 January 2016

3 Books about Patterns

About 6 weeks ago, Charis's math unit was about patterns. But no matter how Drew and I explained it or tried to show her with various items around the apartment, it was like hitting a brick wall. The girl was not understanding the concept. I was getting frustrated, decided to cancel the rest of the school day, and walked to the library. As I waited patiently (or not so patiently) for my daughter to choose her books, I found 3 books on patterns! I grabbed them quickly off the shelf and checked them out. At home for the next week, Charis and I read the books together, talked about the pictures, drew patterns on paper, and made patterns out of Duplos and Legos. It worked. I think she just needed more time to grasp the unit. (This post contains affiliate links.)

05 January 2016

8 Deals to Help Make THM More Budget Friendly

In November, I reviewed the Trim Healthy Mama Plan and Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. Unfortunately during the holidays, I ate way too much sugar. I'm planning on starting the THM plan again. I have too much of a sweet tooth, so at this point in my life, I need to stay away from sugar, and it's harmful effects. One of the biggest complaints I have seen regarding THM is that "it costs too much." My response is, "No it does not cost too much." Check out some of these deals this week on products to help make the plan more affordable.

At ALDI (starting January 6) you can buy, SimplyNature Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (16.9 oz., 5% acidity with the "Mother") for $1.99. This would be perfect for good girl moonshine (one of THM's all-day sippers, found on page 397 of the new cookbook),

I have just started getting into Ibotta (and am still getting used to it). You download the app onto your smartphone or tablet, unlock rebates to different stores (Wal-Mart, Target, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, etc.), go shopping, and verify purchases. Some deals on Ibotta are:

The Laughing Cow Cheese. Any variety - 6 oz. package - $0.75 - Expires 1/10/16 at 3:00 AM. I enjoy using this for sandwiches I make on Ezekiel or rye bread.
Jif Peanut Powder. Any variety - 6.5 oz. size only - $2.00 -  Expires 1/15/16 at 3:00 AM. Can be used in many of the desserts in the new cookbook. Just look up "pressed peanut flour" in the index.
Wasa. Any variety - Any size - $0.75 - Expires 1/15/16 at 3:00 AM. Purchase the "light rye" crackers.
Deer Park Brand Sparkling Mountain Spring Water - Any variety - 1L bottle - $0.50 - Expires 1/15/16 at 3:00 AM. If you miss the bubbles from "pop", you would be interested in mixing iced herbal tea with sparkling water and your favorite sweetener.
Organic Valley Unsalted Butter - 1 lb. box - $2.00 - Expires 1/15/16 at 3:00 AM. Can be used with any yummy S meal.

On Target's cartwheel app, a few deals I found include:

30% off Celestial Seasonings Tea Bags - Tea Bags Only - Expires 1/9/2016. Check out the many good girl moonshine recipes on Pinterest using herbal teas. Let's just say, I have 5 unopened boxes of herbal teas in the pantry. When I was in Pennsylvania over Thanksgiving, my dad noticed me making this drink and tried it (and enjoyed it). He then stated, "This would be a good beverage to make in a large quantity for those who don't drink alcohol and take it to a party." I laughed and told him that it's a variation of "good girl moonshine".
20% off Progresso Soup - 18.5-19 oz. cans - Expires 1/23/2016. Some soups you can have include light beef pot roast, light Santa Fe Style Chicken, light zesty Southwestern vegetable. plus more, but these are my favorite.

Thoughts and Reflections about the New Year #Currently

December flew by quickly. It was one of both stress and enjoyment. Stress over:

Whether Drew would finish his revisions for his dissertation (He did!!But has to finish compiling his data and make more revisions before the defense).

Drew's computer dying. It crashed December 23. We took it to Pennsylvania, and his BIL was able to retrieve ALL of his data-Praise God! A new computer was purchased on December 26, and he's back at work on his data and revisions.

Our brakes needed to be replaced. On December 26 as Drew pulled in the driveway at his aunt's house, the brakes were grinding. We planned to drive back to Maryland on Sunday, December 27, but decided that would not be wise. The new plan was for Drew to take the van first thing Monday morning to see about getting the brakes repaired. He and my dad arrived at the car repair shop at 7:30, Monday morning, and our van was able to be seen right away. It was fixed that day, and we drove back that Monday-arriving back home around 9:30 PM.

I had enjoyment:

Knitting Christmas gifts for my family. This was the first year that I had gifts completed in time for almost everyone. (I need to finish the scarf I'm knitting for my SIL's husband. My goal is to finish it by January 8, which I should be able to do since it's just a ribbed stitch with bulky yarn.)

Watching Charis play. We took 3 weeks off (officially) homeschooling. I still read with Charis, borrowed books from the library on things she's interested in, and worked with her unofficially on phonics (answering her questions and having her try to sound out words). We started school again on January 4 and eased into it. I'm hoping today we'll do get more accomplished.

Do I have resolutions? No. I usually try not to make resolutions, especially since they can be forgotten by the middle of January. I have goals that I'd like, but I also realize that just because I'd like them to be accomplished, God might have other plans.

Some goals I have are to:

Move!! This is the biggest one. I've been wanting this for at least the last 2 1/2-3 years, but God keeps putting road blocks in our way. I don't care where. I'm fine with remaining in Maryland (or moving to another state). Our place is much too small, and I often have cabin fever, especially in the winter (we only have one vehicle). Plus, we live in a tiny, one bedroom apartment. I'd love to show hospitality to people, but when I already feel like I'm stepping on top of my children multiple times a day, plus we don't have room for more people, inviting anyone over is often troubling. Those that I would invite have husbands and young children too, so we would love a bigger place.

Get a full time job (with benefits and paid time off)-for either Drew or me. Drew and I would both love for him to work full time and for me to stay at home. We also realize that God may have other plans, and we need to be open to those plans. The job Drew has not is part time, with no paid time off. Anytime he's sick and takes off, we don't get any money from him taking off. When the company does not open on holidays, the tutors don't get holiday pay. When Justin was born on May 11, Drew was back at work on May 12 for 4 hours. So our desire is for one of us to have a full time job.

Get out and walk at least 4 days every week with my children. In the summer this is easy. We were easily motivated to go to the library and pool, but in the winter, it's harder. Yesterday, I was pushing my son in the stroller uphill, with the frigid wind pushing on us. Nice workout, but it was COLD.

Knit something in bright red for every new baby on my list. I hoped to do this last year, but let's just say, it did not happen (and I'm fine about that). 

What goals (or resolutions) do you have for the new year?
Linking up at Choose Happy.

04 January 2016

Celebrity Baby Knits and Yarn Giveaway

The post contains affiliate links. Recently I bought Knit Celebrity Baby Fashion. I knit two Christmas gifts from patterns in the booklet-the hat with flower and the poncho/skirt. One of my goals for this year is to knit the remaining seven patterns in this book.

Review: Contains 9 easy to understand, hand knit baby and toddler projects. Unfortunately, most of the projects would be better suited for girls (so my child will not be wearing most of the projects that are in this book). The recommended yarn for the projects is readily available at most Jo-Ann Fabrics and Michaels stores (plus if you have a coupon you can usually get up to 40% off).
In order to help you celebrate the new year, The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It organized a Happy New Year giveaway hop!

Enter to win the Knit Celebrity Baby Fashion booklet for yourself, along with Vanna's Choice Glamour Red Stone Yarn (which can be used to knit the fingerless mitts). Enter below via Rafflecopter.

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