Creative Title

A glimpse into the brain of a writer-momma-nerd.

Valentine’s Day Felt Wall Heart

Posted by nattya61 on January 4, 2013

I’m sure most of you have seen those felt Christmas Trees you can make to put on the wall for your little one to play and rearrange the ornaments. I made one of those for Nick this Christmas and was so sad to have to take it down last week, that I decided to make him the same thing, only a heart, for Valentine’s Day. I know this post is a bit premature since I haven’t even written about our Christmas (or Thanksgiving…whoops) yet, but it was so cute, I had to post a picture of it before I forgot.


I just cut a heart out of red, a smaller one out of white, and then a bunch of little hearts and LOVE out of felt scraps. I then put the tacks under the white felt and hot glued it to the red so Nick wouldn’t be able to get the tacks out of the wall, and that’s it. I know it’s a bit “girly,” but who cares. It’s almost Valentine’s Day!


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Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies – Thank You, Pinterest!

Posted by nattya61 on August 16, 2012

And thank you, Paula Deen, since she is the creator of this recipe.

So, I said I was going to make homemade ketchup. That was until I realized you needed a blender for the task. We have a blender, but I’m not in the mood to take it down from the top of the refrigerator, dust it off, use it, and clean it, so I decided to be unhealthy and make cookies instead.

I dug into my Sweets board and found the pin for Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly except I didn’t add the powdered sugar since I knew Nick would be eating the cookies and that would just be really messy. You have to buy Pillsbury cake mix because that’s the only brand (as far as mainstream brands go) that is the right size box (who knew…I always thought they were all the same). They are super simple to make. These are honestly the best cookies ever! They are soft and chewy. They taste like cake batter! Oh…so…good!!!

Nick didn’t even know I was baking cookies, but he ran into the kitchen and yelled, “Cookies!” He could smell their awesomeness from the bedroom.

You can’t eat just one!

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Canvas Wall Hanging Football – Another Pinterest Project

Posted by nattya61 on August 13, 2012

I am seriously wanting fall to get here. I’m ready for sweaters, hot chocolate, the holidays, and yes, even football. Even though we live in Missouri, we are a house of Cowboys fans. Bryan is from Texas, so he grew up loving the Cowboys. I never had a favorite team (the Chiefs colors are not pretty and the Rams can’t win to save their lives), but I always liked the Cowboys colors and thought Troy Aikman was pretty cute, so once Bryan and I were married I was ok with decorating using a little Cowboys spirit and indoctrinating Nicholas with the blue, white, and silver stars of Texas.

I found this pin on Pinterest and thought that it looked easy enough, so I gave it a try.

Pinterest. Should have been titled "Obsession."

The writer of the blog makes it look a bit easier than it actually is in her post. The materials were cheap and easy enough to find. We got everything for under $30 (I bought about $5 more fabric than I needed and some really nice ribbon, so you could probably get by with doing it cheaper if you already had some of the tools at home). I bought:

– 1 yard of dark brown canvas
– blue, white, and silver paint (for the Cowboys colors…but I ended up not even using the silver)
– silver puff paint
– paintbrushes
– a piece of cheap posterboard for the stencil
– 2 rolls of ribbon

Other necessary tools that you already have at home include:

– stapler
– scissors
– pencil (or chalk as was used in the linked post)
– plastic bags

The concept of the door hanger is pretty simple. You draw what you want on the posterboard. Cut the material to match (two pieces, back and front). Then you paint on the decorations (more detail is in her post), staple the ribbon to the back side, staple the two sides together part way, stuff it with plastic bags, staple the rest, cover the staples with puff paint (not one of her steps, but I hate if the staples show…this thing looks cheap enough), and then make the bow look pretty.

However, getting the designs painted on the front to not look like a child did it is not easy. I’m not an artist. I’m crafty. There’s a big difference.

In the end, mine turned out like this:

“Good enough!” I say.

If I were to do it again, I’d buy more puff paint and less acrylic because it’s easier to control. I’d just use puff paint for the whole darn thing. I was also lazy and didn’t stencil the COWBOYS logo, I freehanded it…4 times. What you can’t see is the inside and the back has a half COWB where I realized that I was over too far or not enough to actually get the YS or the S on there. I don’t know if it was the beer I was drinking or the fact that it was 10PM when I was trying to paint the darn thing, but that part was a bitch.

In the end, I’m happy with it and had fun being crafty for a bit.

This weekend’s Pinterest project: Homemade Ketchup with agave nectar. Look forward to the post on that one, folks!

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Happy 4th of July!

Posted by nattya61 on July 15, 2012

Warning: Snarky post ahead. Turn back if you are easily offended because I don’t have time to deal with that crap. There’s also some love in the post too. I don’t hate everyone…close, but not everyone. *wink* Read the rest of this entry »

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Pinteresting Project – Fireworks Shirt

Posted by nattya61 on July 9, 2012

I found this idea on Pinterest (yes, I’m obsessed) to make Nick a fireworks shirt. It was actually pretty easy, but it turned out a little trashy-crafty, so Nick only wore it to play at the YMCA. It also didn’t wash too well (the paint stuck to itself and when I un-stuck it some tore off…even after washing it according to the directions (inside out in cold) and hanging it up to dry). I figure we’ll keep it around for Nick to wear when doing something extra messy, like other Pinterest crafts.

I was such a cheap and easy craft, that I still recommend that you give it a try either for or with your kiddo(s).

I used:

– red, blue, gold, and silver puff paint
– paper plates (I put paper plates in-between shirt layers instead of paper, and it worked just fine.)
– 9 pipe cleaners (but I recommend 18…you’ll see why below)
– a white t-shirt

Items Needed

Follow the directions in the blog linked above. However, I recommend that for each firework you want to make, use clean pipe cleaners. Here’s why:

Close-Up of Firework

This was my second firework. By this point, the colors bled more than I would have liked because on the other firework the blue was put on top of the red, then the silver and gold (which I mixed on the plate instead of doing these colors separately), which meant they all ran together. Thus, for this firework, the colors were already kind of mixed on the pipe cleaners.

Here is the finished shirt. I had to extend part of the fireworks because I spilled some paint. Be warned, this project ends up being messy because you really have to press down on the pipe cleaners and the paint bleeds through onto your fingers. Wash your hands in between each color, or you’ll end up with paint everywhere.

All Done!

See, it’s not terrible.

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Posted by nattya61 on July 9, 2012

We found out about a month ago that Bryan has diabetes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Quick Rant

Posted by nattya61 on June 25, 2012

I’ve been pretty good lately about ignoring the things that piss me off. I just let them roll off my back and try to forget. But, today Read the rest of this entry »

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10 Years

Posted by nattya61 on June 12, 2012

Mommy, Daddy, and Me in the Early 1980s

This morning, a little after 9:00AM, marked 10 years.

10 years without being able to touch her, smell her hair, kiss her cheek.

So much has happened in the past decade. I graduated college, then graduate school. I moved to Springfield and started my career. I met my soulmate and got married. I gave birth to Nicholas who is now a beautiful, smart three-year-old. I did all of this without my mom being in this world. It’s bizarre to think that as she was dying, I didn’t know how I would live without her. But, life went on and new life was created. She taught me so much and left me with more than I ever realized. Even though Nick will never get to meet her, she lives on in us…in me and in him.

I’ll never forget you, Mommy, but I’m ok.

Goodnight, sweetie-pie. I love you, too.

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Movin’ on Up!

Posted by nattya61 on May 29, 2012

We did it. Last month we finally moved to a much, and I mean MUCH nicer apartment. We are in the same school district (the one that I think has the best elementary school in town), but in a better, safer area. The apartment is so different from where we were before. Here is a list of just some of the differences and you can see for yourself just why we are so happy to have moved: Read the rest of this entry »

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Warning: Fat Girl at the Gym

Posted by nattya61 on May 15, 2012

Since we moved, we now have a free membership to the local YMCA. Since it is super close and they provide free childcare, which Nick absolutely loves, I figured I might as well start working out. My goal is not to lose weight. I know that if I have that as my goal, I’ll just get frustrated and quit. Plus, I’m honestly not bothered by my weight. I was born a fat girl, and as I’ve grown up, I’ve learned to be ok with who I am, and that includes not being a size 2, or even a size 10. I’ve seen what weight obsession can do to people, and trust me, it’s not pretty – it’s sad. My goal is to be strong and have energy and stamina. I want to be able to take Nick to Silver Dollar City when he’s 4 and to Disney World when he’s 6 and be able to walk around the theme parks all day and not be sore, tired, and out of breath. If I happen to tone up in the process, that’s just a bonus. In the past week, I’ve actually worked out five times.

Walking into the gym, I still feel like that awkward teenager in gym class. I really hate gyms. I hate the sweat smell. I hate the testosterone that permeates the air. I hate the people with the “look what I can do!” attitude when they are lifting weights that are too heavy just to show off for the skinny bitches in their tight spandex and full make-up, not a hair out of place. However, here I am, at the gym, probably soaking that gym-smell into my clothes and my brand new white and purple Asics.

I always head to the trusty treadmill first. I don’t like the trendy elliptical machine. It’s too bouncy for me and makes me dizzy. The stair master looks like a torture device, so I don’t even attempt that machine. I mean, seriously, think about it. A never ending set of stairs sounds like something out of a horror movie. I thought about trying the exercise bike, but that looks like it would make my ass hurt, so I decide against that too. The treadmill it is, and I walk my mile. Eventually, I figure I’ll work my way up to two miles, then three, but for now, I’m proud of myself for doing just one. Thankfully, these treadmills have a television attached to them. King of the Hill is on, which gives me a good distraction so I forget that I’m starting to sweat as I walk faster and faster, up a bit of a hill. I assume I’m probably the only one in the place not focused on Fox News. This is Springfield, after all.

Next, I stretch. This is where I really feel out of place. I don’t have a machine and a television to put me in my own little world. I find an empty, relatively secluded place, and do the stretches I remember from gym class. I’m not near as limber as I used to be. This fat woman used to be a fat girl who could do the splits and lift her leg over her head. Not anymore. I do what I can, and it’s off to the weights.

There are rarely more than two females over at the weight machine “room” in the sea of men that seem to live there. I’m fine with that as for some reason I’m able to ignore the guys in the room easier than the girls. That’s probably because I know the guys are comparing themselves to the other guys more than they are noticing that I’m even there, haphazardly trying out the machines. The girls at the gym, on the other hand, seem to watch everyone. They watch the boys because they want to see who’s watching them, and they watch the girls because they want to judge and compare. The more times I go to the gym, the more comfortable I become with the weights. Today, I can do 10 more pounds on the lat-pull than yesterday. The weights make me feel strong. They make me feel like I can do anything, as long as I keep trying. They also make me feel like I could take someone out if I had to…I like that feeling.

I usually do a circuit of weights. Bryan taught me how to do my arms and chest one day and my legs and back the next. I haven’t actually gotten up the nerve to do any of the back weights or exercises. Honestly, some of those machines just look so unpleasant, so for now, I’m sticking with what I know and what’s fun, and when I feel like I haven’t done enough, I just go do the rowing machine for a bit before it’s time for my cool down which for me is nothing more than taking a few laps around the indoor track.

When I’m all done, it’s time to go get Nick. So far, he’s been excited to see me, but not really excited to leave. I’m thinking that in another week, I’ll probably have to drag the boy out of there. I’ll go watch him from their little viewing window and have noticed that he’s pretty much king of the castle in that little playroom. Someday, he’ll probably be one of those preening boys out in the weight-room. I just hope that I teach him enough to be like his daddy, to just do his own thing and to not be a douche about his abilities.

I’m proud of myself for working out. I can already tell that I have more energy. I don’t think I’ll ever not feel out of place at the gym, though. I’m at home at the library, surrounded by books and computers with the smell of paper and coffee everywhere. But, at least I know what I’m doing and know that what I’m doing is my choice, unlike the horror of school gym class where I was forced to participate in activities and pushed by manly gym teachers who had nothing better to do that to try to figuratively beat the Daria-ness out of me. I’ll always be that chubby nerd who would rather read than do anything that could make me sweat, but hopefully I’ll end up becoming a chubby nerd who can sweat when she has too and not feel like she’s dying…and also kick a little ass if need be.

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