Friday, February 28, 2014

10 Things I Learned In February

I love these posts. They provide an opportunity to walk on the lighter side of life as I share the stuff I've learned this month. 

The What We Learned posts are hosted by Emily over at Chatting at the Sky as a "monthly community link-up to share the fascinating, ridiculous, sacred, or small." 

Mine is mostly just ridiculous. 

Want to know more of what I'm talking about? Go here.

In no particular order, here are ten things I've learned in February.


1. If I don't unpack a duffel back within 48 hours of returning from a trip, it may sit there for two months. 

We went to Florida before Christmas. My unpacked bag is still in my closet. I've also learned that slackerness tends to beget slackerness. The unpacked bag has managed to spread its slothful contagion to the rest of the closet and the entire area is now a full-fledged epidemic of clothing chaos. Every day I write "clean the closet" on my to-do list and every day it mocks me in its still-unchecked state. At this point I'm contemplating just leaving the duffel bag packed for our beach trip in June. 

2. I can cut my food budget almost in half without clipping coupons. {or making everything from scratch}

3. A dusting of snow down south will get you out of school for almost a week. And provide many days of jokes about "milk sandwiches."

4. Papa John's makes heart-shaped pizzas for Valentine's Day. We may have started a tradition with this one.

5. How to fake a monogram. {for moms like me who don't know how to sew} 

My daughter is a fan of the monogram. We took this ho-hum navy gym bag and turned it into something preppy and cute.

Just print a monogram online. Trace it onto an iron-on transfer sheet. Cut it out and iron. 

A word of warning: If you are ironing the monogram onto a nylon gym bag, please place a towel flat inside the gym bag to prevent melting the front and back of the bag together. If you realize that you have in fact done this in error, quickly and carefully attempt to peel the layers apart and try not to let the molten nylon burn off your fingerprints in the process. 

6. My favorite Easter treats are the Cadbury mini-eggs. Anyone else? The mini-bags are just 99 cents and buy one get one free this week at CVS. The mini-bags are great because you don't have to worry about eating so many. Unless you keep going back to CVS to purchase additional mini bags, all the while rationalizing that they are essentially just samples. Well-played mini-bag. Well-played. 

7. When my 6-year-old confesses anything or hatches various plans to his best friend while standing in the front yard shrubs and I am working at my desk right next to the front windows, I can hear every. single. word. 

Yesterday's bit of surveillance revealed that he got in trouble at school and had to move his clip. {Who has super-powers? This mom, that's who.} When I brought it up at dinner, he looked at me as though I were telepathic. Please don't tell him. I will only be able to blow his mind in this way for another year or two and I am taking full advantage.

8. I don't feel ready to have a teenager. But like it or not, my girl turns 13 on Sunday. 

The embarrassing and ironic part is that on any given day, I feel we are complete equals regarding our emotional maturity level. I fear that I may never outgrow being easily overwhelmed, ridiculously irrational, and paralyzed by everyday decisions. As you might imagine, having two of our kind in the same house is all sorts of fun and not at all overwhelming for anyone, especially not my long-suffering husband.

9. How to watercolor without being a real artist. You've probably heard of Waterlogue by now. If not, it's an iPhone app that allows you to turn any photo into a watercolored work of art. 

Here's a photo I snapped with my phone of Cinderella's castle.

Here it is in Waterlogue. 

I'm addicted. 

My friend, Richella, did a great tutorial on how to print Waterlogue photos and turn them into real art for your home.

10. What celebrities would look like as normal people. With the Oscars fast approaching, this link just seems timely and right. I'll give you a peek. 

Brad & Angelina.


You're welcome. If you tune in to the red carpet interviews this Sunday night and begin to feel just a tad frumpy and less-than in your sweatpants and drugstore mascara, close your eyes and visualize your favorite celebrity sans million-dollar stylist, personal trainer, Spanx, and couture gown. Picture this middle-class, middle-America Brad and Angelina, the ones who never got famous and splurged on a portrait session at the Walmart photo center. You'll feel a thousand times better. 

Happy Oscars weekend, friends!


So, what have you learned this month?

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  1. That real life celebrity thing NEVER gets old. NEVER!!!

  2. Loved your list. You had me at #1 (says the girl with the unpacked suitcase at the foot of her bed.)

  3. My sister has the same initials as your daughter! I missed having the V so I started using my maiden name as my middle name. Makes my monogram more interesting!

    Having a teenage girl is FUN! My oldest in 15, and even though I was terrified of the teenage years, they've been wonderful. I'm learning a lot about myself through my girl. Don't we all?!

  4. I took the enneagram test! I've been meaning to email or text but I haven't. I scored as a 9...a peacemaker. I was sure, sure, sure I'd be a 4. It WAS my next highest score and it turns out peacemakers have little bits of all the personalities in them (although I am in no way like the go-getterish types). Maybe I go between the two? Would you be shocked? I confuse even myself but I guess what it comes down to is that I am creative and romantic, but maybe I value peace and avoidance of tension over that. So. We can still share a brain most of the time :).

    1. Yep, I can definitely see you as a 9. With a hefty dose of 4 of course. : ) I've got a lot of peacemaking tendencies too. See? We can still share a brain.

  5. Hey! Found you from Emily's linkup. TOTALLY with you on the Cadbury mini eggs. And I had no idea about the Papa John's heart-shaped pizza! I'll have to do that for my husband next year :)

  6. I love your mommy super powers! How funny!

    Those celebrity pictures are hilarious and make me feel so much better about looking ordinary.

    And about unpacking, I have to do that as soon as I get home from anywhere. Otherwise, it becomes like a 300 pound noose around my neck and I never seem to get to it.

  7. Middle American Bradgellina is my favorite EVER. That is just perfect.

    And this is why we are instant friends "I fear that I may never outgrow being easily overwhelmed, ridiculously irrational, and paralyzed by everyday decisions." - Yes. Amen. Me too times 1 million.


    1. I must also tell you that for some reason the Google choice here pulls my old blogger profile - which is totally weird. But I can't help but comment here. So I'm willing to go there for you. :)

  8. I have to do that as soon as I get home from anywhere. Otherwise,

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