Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Creative Discipline

  Lately, an explosive Tasmanian devil and one of the 40 thieves have invaded my house.  *Pause*  The Tasmanian devil has AdHd and the 40 thief has Aspergers. *End Pause*  That being said, they've always been given extra leeway and flexible boundaries.  This is completely different from how I was raised by my strict, military father.  He said something one time and if you didn't move you better believe you were in for it.

  At Casa Durham we've been having issues with lying, bullying our siblings, explosive outbursts, throwing stuff, and tantrums.  Tantrums at 8.  God, save me.  The talking back and use of nasty words (shut up, no, what, growling) are also working a nerve.  I'm not a big spanker (although it is part of my arsenal when they push tooooooo far) but they are bout to get it for every little thing.  I'm that fed up.

   *Woosaaa*  So enter my stress induced insomnia and Pinterest. 

The calming jar.  Gives me and the Tasmanian devil some time apart.  She can take her aggression out on it by shaking it to death and watching the glitter fall.

Quickie command center.  I don't keep repeating the same stuff daily and they can see what's what.  In the middle we keep track of behavior so they know exactly where they are at.  The small board on the right tells them exactly what they are being evaluated on: 
 school/chore completion/attitude/behavior.

Close up of board.
Choices are a wonderful thing.  If they get bored after their half hour of electronics, they choose something from the "Bored no More" can.  So they don't do the same chores over and over, I put several on a stick in the "Chore" can.  The "Consequence" can works for the 40 thief. Not so much the Tasmanian devil. She ended up pulling 5 the other night!  The "Reward Jar" is for when they have a good day.   It has things like "skype a friend, extra TV time, stay up late," etc.  (Since this is a new system, daily rewards are working best.  Eventually I want to space it out to a week). 
  So far it's working.  I pray it continues to.  :)
What are you doing that works?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

So every now and then my kids say something that leave  my mind blown and my mouth hanging to the floor.  Last night after launching my websites, my little one says:

              "Mom, I know how we can stay busy while you work on your designs."

I, of course stop what I'm doing and give her my FULL attention 'cuz this is gonna be good.
               "And how's that?"

She's a hand talker and she's excited so her hands start flying and she starts talking fast and says it all in one breath.  I'm semi dazed by this feat but I got it all. 

She says, "Make chore sticks like you did with the boredom sticks.  We pick a chore stick first and do it.  Then we do a boredom stick.  That should leave you with time to work in quiet and it keeps us from fighting and bothering you."

Mind BLOWN! 
This is the child who follows me into the bathroom and HATES to do chores.  However, I wanted to show her I was supportive of her ideas.  I told her to discuss it with her brother and see what he says.  He agreed. 
Mouth wide open.
But I'm ecstatic.  :)  Maybe I can get them to help me with my mini dining/craft room reno this evening without too much fuss.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Launch of a new project

After enough prodding from friends and family, I'm happy to announce the birth of my online business, UnBEADable Class-UnBEADable Sophistication, on
Drop by often.  I'm always thinking up new things and trying to get them created and photographed as soon as possible.  :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Letting the simplicity in

 (This post is actually old.  Somehow I messed up and it was posted as new.  So sorry!)

2011-The last few years I realize I've been running the rat race.  Working a job just to pay bills and not necessarily loving what I'm doing, sacrificing my family because I'm a workaholic and want to give them everything even if they don't deserve it, and not living up to MY full potential.  It's all come to a stop.  I've decided, why wait til 2012 to live the way I want to?  It starts NOW.  Prioritizing, simplifying and visualizing my way into a happier healthier me with a happier healthier family.  Time to let the simplicity in and kick complication and aggravation to the curb.  :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saving on Bento

I decided long ago I was not going to be one of those people that let my kids eat the cafeteria food.  It's salty, greasy, and bland.  I've been sending them to school with a packed lunch since they started going.  Yay, me.  I love bentos.  I don't love the cost and time that goes into them.  So after a while, I stopped.  Shame on me :(

Well, I'm back at home with more time than I care to.  So I started cooking, baking, making again.  AND I'm back in the bento mode.  Only now I have limited funds.  I'm forced to think outside the box.  Now days we're all recycling, repurposing, reusing, upcycling, reducing or whatever other term being used for being greener.  So why spend a mini fortune on bento supplies if you don't need to or can't afford to?  I read an article on Pinterest about saving money on bento supplies by using stuff you already have. (once I find it again, I'll properly credit the author)  I also saw the tutorial on   where +Beth Winfield showed step by step how to make your own bento picks!  KAWAII!  Then my wheels started turning and I had to jot down my thoughts.

WAIT FOR IT.  If you wait for end of season or end of holiday clearance you can get some of the cutest things to top your picks for 50-80% off!  Valentines was two days ago.  I scored the cupcake wraps with the food picks  for 40 cents!  The stretchy heart frogs were 48 cents and the hopper frogs were also 48 cents.  The picks with the cupcake wrappers are plastic so I'll be able to remove the paper and add something more permanent later.  Total spent $1.36.  I paid $3.99 for just 8 of the cupcake wraps few years ago.  (sucking teeth)

BENT OUT OF SHAPE.  Many people posted about using pancake, egg, and cake molds to shape the food.  Some people even used cookie cutters.  DUH!  Why didn't I think of that?  Again, I overpaid for rice molds that vaguely resemble bears.  (face palm)  Well, I'm glad to say I've redeemed myself.  I own a Cricut machine.  It occurred to me I could cut out a stencil and use a fresh exacto blade to shape food like cucumbers, cheese, and meats.  GENIUS!  Not to mention I have some of those pancake molds and they've been sitting in a drawer since our move because I got tired of the mix sticking on Darth Vader's eyes.  Perfect for rice or sandwiches, ne!  I also found these little gel clings for 50% off.  It's a sweet little message for the children when they open their lunches or if you just want to do a furikake dusting with some sort of design in it.

PACKING IT ALL IN.  Like many I have tons of plastic storage containers so I didn't bother buying specialty bento boxes.  We also collect and reuse the plastic food containers from our favorite Chinese restaurant.  I splurged on their lunchboxes for three reasons. 1-Insulation.  2-Almost guaranteed no one else in their class is running around with the same ThirtyOne insulated bag so I know it'll come home.  3-The bag is large enough to hold all their foodstuffs.  But you don't have to go that route.  I frequent local thrift stores often.  I always see insulated lunch bags, thermoses, and plastic containers.  Soak it all in vinegar, wash in hot soapy water, and *VOILA* you'll probably spend more on groceries for bento than its packaging.  :)

I'm grateful to have stumbled upon those two articles and receiving my epiphany early enough in the year.  St. Patrick's Day and Easter are both on the horizon.  Beware, Leprechauns, duckies, and bunnies.  Licensed Transformers, Hello Kitty and Spongebob with an Easter kick.  I'm hunting you next for my DIY bento projects.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Catching up

It's funny how life tends to run you over at times.  I found myself getting involved in a ton of family oriented activities (I was even a coach!) and too busy and tired to keep up with my blog.  Then a major illness knocked me on my bahunky and now I have time again to reflect, create, slow down, reconnect.  I shall endeavor at LEAST a monthly update.  My goal is every two weeks but I don't want to make promises I can't keep.  :)

I've been on Pinterest alot lately.  It's sooo addicting.  I will post here some of the things I've done from there.  There are a GAZILLION amazing ideas out there.  Why did I hold out so long?!