How To: Chalkboard Art Tutorial

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Chalk art makes my heart happy.

This week has been crazy, and it’s only Wednesday. Sure a glass of wine [or 3] at night can help to de-stress after a long day, but sometimes I like to start the day off relaxed by letting my creative juices flow. A little chalk dust and a few cups of coffee later and I was ready to start my day.

I’ve posted previously how to make your own chalkboard wall, but I figured I’d do a quick tutorial on how I actually create my chalkboard art for the average person. [let’s be real – no one has time or sanity for that elaborate fancy shit] I’ve seen people print out their designs and cover the back of the paper lightly with chalk dust then trace over it, I prefer to do mine all by hand. I find it therapeutic to see what you picture in your head come to life.
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PSA: Cease the Parent Shaming

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I’ve always heard about it, seen friends share articles and in my intensive expecting research I even browsed a few. It wasn’t until I had a smiling cherub of my own that I actually understood the ugly beast it is. While I try my hardest not to be, I’m occasionally guilty of it. Newsflash: So are you! At some point we’ve all judged another mom in passing, on Facebook, or even our friends.

There is no “right-way” to tackle the journey of parenthood. As I first time mom I am clumsily learning that first hand, very quickly. Everyone does things differently, even different pediatricians tell you to do things differently. In the end, we all turned out OK [well most of us] and our children will turn out OK.

While some comments are said as jokes, some as unwarranted advice and some just are downright ugly – they all hurt a little [or a lot] and make you feel like you’re not parenting correctly or maybe a bad parent. You question every decision you’ve made and start to compare yourself – and your baby – to those around you.

STOP. Stop it right now. Breastfeed, great! Formula feed, wonderful! Cloth vs disposable diapers – just change em! Cry it out vs cuddle – you do you. In the end we’re all raising amazing little beings in our own way that’s just right for us and for them. We need to band together. When asked, offer your advice – judgement free. I know I wouldn’t have made it through some of the tough times, and won’t make it through the tough times ahead without asking for the wonderful advice of my mom, other moms and my new mommy friends!

Let’s collectively as a whole try to put an end to parent shaming. Instead of shaming let’s uplift and encourage. Stop and take a moment to tell that person how great of a job they’re doing. After-all, we’re all in this together – let’s stop being annoyed by everything and start lifting each other up.

I recently saw a post on Instagram that speaks volumes:

“To the pregnant women on social media posting constant updates and belly pictures, I am so incredibly happy for you and the fact that you will soon be blessed with the most amazing little bundle of joy, I love seeing how excited you are to become a mommy. To the women posting “selfies”, thanks for letting young girls know it’s okay to love yourself and to feel beautiful! To the mom posting a million pictures of her kids, it makes my heart so happy to see parents so proud and loving their babies! To the married couple constantly posting “sappy love posts” thank you for being a reminder to the next generation that all hope isn’t lost and happy marriages DO exist.” 

How to Deal with Toxic People

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Let’s get personal for a moment…

From the very beginning of our relationship my husbands family has not liked me – yet here we are today happily married with a beautiful son. Originally there was no real reason for the hatred: a mother struggling with losing her first son to another woman, jealousy, nicknames, difference of views and opinions. Lots of small moot excuses but no real outright reason for not liking me as a person.

It’s been a roller coaster of good times and bad, as well as times where mine and Leep’s relationship truly suffered. I am sad to say that as of today they are no longer a part of our lives or our sons life. While that wasn’t an easy decision to come to – mentally, emotionally and wholeheartedly we are happier and healthier for it.

Family, friends – it’s hard to say goodbye to anyone. I struggled for a long time [and maybe still do] with accepting that their opinion towards me would never change, no matter how hard I tried. The point I want to share is: It is not wrong for you to show them the way out of your life.

This post is to let you know, you’re not alone. Monster-in-laws is more than just a bad joke or saying to some. You hear others talk about how they dislike their in-laws and you both cringe inside, your spouse out of embarrassment with how their family acts, and you because they don’t know how truly bad it could be. You feel pangs of jealousy towards those that have great relationships with their in-laws and you band together with those in similar situations as you. If you’re like us, you’re blessed to have one side of the family who loves and supports you and more importantly your spouse, unconditionally. Spend your time with these people, they are the meaning of true love, support and family.

Here is a quick list of thoughts that helped us navigate this difficult situation.  Continue reading