Struck By The Love Bug?

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Valentine’s Day is a big holiday, whether you choose to forego it, participate in it, or all together ignore it. Personally, my husband and I usually wait to indulge until the day after when all the candy is on sale. We think we’re pretty sneaky that way. Some people though truly love to get in the spirit and buy wonderful gifts for their partner, although sometimes this can break your bank. I’ve created a list of
a few of my favorite crafty projects that make wonderful gifts and don’t break the bank!

1. Date Night at Home Jar
Date nights can be few and far between, whether you have kids, have busy schedules, or just can’t find the time. This is a great way to give yourself some fun ideas and create time for date nights.
• Depending on how in depth with this you want to go, you’ll want to grab between 5 and 30 or so popsicle sticks. You can decorate them (all Valentine’s themed, maybe even one for every month themed differently) and put them in a mason jar. Personally, I like mason jars because I think they’re adorable, but you could use any kind of container (or even come up with your own, share your ideas with me if you do!). Lastly, come up with creative ideas that you know you and your partner will enjoy (this is important – men, if she hates sports games, you’ll probably want to leave “go to a sports bar and watch the game” out, and women – if he hates chick flicks, you’ll probably want to leave “watch The Notebook together” out). Then, set a date each week, or month, or whatever you have time for, and pick a stick! Then you have no trouble deciding what to do and you can just enjoy yourselves.

Example ideas:
Take a stroll to the park and swing together
Pick a new TV show on Netflix and binge watch with snacks
Ride bicycles
Start a garden

2. Cookies in a Jar
My absolute favorite snack in the world is cookies. I’m serious, I could literally eat them everyday. This is one of my favorite crafty gifts because the recipient might even share them with me! Also, you get to use mason jars, which I am completely obsessed with. For the sake of those with peanut allergies everywhere (me), I’m going to share a recipe that doesn’t have them, but of course, you’re more than welcome to add nuts.
Feel free to get as creative as possible with decorating (use ribbons and such to spice it up!)

Here is a great recipe courtesy of Organized Christmas. They also have printable tags for those of us who don’t want to write this out for our giftees!

Ingredients
1⁄2 cuppowdered orange drink mix (Tang)
3⁄4 cupsgranulated sugar
1 1⁄2 cupvanilla baking chips
1 3⁄4 cupsifted flour, all purpose
1⁄2 teaspoonbaking soda
1⁄2 teaspoonbaking powder
1 canning jar, quart-size with lid and ring
Instructions
Sift flour before measuring, then stir in baking soda and baking powder.

Layer the ingredients in a clean glass wide mouth quart sized jar. For each jar, layer 3/4 cup granulated sugar, then 1/2 cup powdered drink mix, then 1 3/4 cup flour (mixed with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder), then 1 1/2 cups vanilla baking chips. Tamp the first three layers firmly to compact ingredients.

Attach a copy of Orange Dreamsicle gift tag, or create your own tag using the recipe instructions below.

Orange Dreamsicle Cookies Recipe
Preheat oven to 375°.

Empty jar into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg (slightly beaten)and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix until well-blended

Form dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until tops are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack until completely cool.

Makes 2-1/2 dozen

3. 52 Reasons I Love You.
This is probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever made, and I made it for my husband while he was deployed overseas. Sometimes, even when they’re here with us, we forget to remind the people we love how much we love them. This is a nice token that they will really appreciate and can cherish for a long time. We still go through (two years later) and read mine because it’s nice to be reminded.

First, you’all want to buy a standard 52 card deck of cards. (Note: the easier way to do this project is to buy vintage cards but I somewhat made them myself.)

If you buy the vintage cards, you literally just have to write a reason you love them on each card, hole punch them all twice, and stick some closeable book rings through, and wa-la! You have your finished “book”.

If you don’t, here’s what I did:
•Sand all the cards down in various areas to make them look “worn”.
•Make them “dirty” (you can also stain them a light brown).
•Either write directly on the card, or cut small strips of paper and glue them to the card to write on.
•Hole punch each card twice so you can make it a book.
•Put the book rings through, close them, and admire your finished product!

These are just a couple ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts, if you’re so inclined, that won’t break the bank. Of course, feel free to add your own flare to them and if you do, share them with me on Twitter, Facebook, or my blog!

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Defining Myself

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When I began to circulate the idea of creating my blog in my mind, I drew a blank for a name. I couldn’t think of anything creative, funny, or that really fit. Someone gave me a suggestion to use my name, so I took that and ran with it. I figured I could think of something.

I spent two days and finally, I thought I could incorporate the word “tailored”. Because it is a spin on my name, it fits my lifestyle (since I’m a self diagnosed crafting addict), and its definition had a special meaning to me.

I googled the term, and this is what stuck out to me (and yes I know the meaning, I just wanted a deeper understanding of how I could relate it to my blog, ha).

tailored
/ˌteɪ·lərd/ adj [not gradable] (also tailor-made /ˌteɪ·lərˈmeɪd/)
specially made for a particular purpose or situation:
a tailored (= close-fitting) suit
Her clothes fit perfectly – they must be tailor-made.

So I know it might not make sense immediately, and you’re probably thinking, “what does that have to do with anything?” What stood out to me was the part where it says “specifically made for a particular purpose or situation”. I believe that everyone has a particular purpose, but furthermore, I think this blog is a good way for me to start exploring mine. I’ve mentioned that I’m going to be blogging about motherhood, and I will say right now I have always felt that being a mother to a wonderful little child was one of my biggest purposes in life. The day Princess was born confirmed that for me even more. I think that exploring yourself is a really good thing for both you, and your relationships. You can recognize your strengths and weaknesses and use them appropriately. I’ve compiled a list of my top 3 biggest strengths and weaknesses as a wife and mother. Feel free to make your own list and share with me!

WEAKNESSES:

1. Communicating effectively.
I figured I would start with my weaknesses because I’m a “bad news first, get it out of the way” type of gal. Communicating effectively is so hard for me. I go from zero to pissed off in a matter of seconds if people don’t understand me or hear me the first time. I’m working on it (you’re welcome Ryan), and some days are easier than others.

2. Being selfish.
Sometimes, I’ll admit, I think, “why can’t I just be traveling the world or studying abroad?” I didn’t get a typical college experience, I never lived in dorms, I never joined a sorority. I was meeting the love of my life, getting married, and starting a family. Believe me when I say I am truly happy. But sometimes I think I just want a few days to myself, on a beach, lying in the sun without a care in the world. I also would like to add that I’m a very big “my way or the highway” kind of girl, and that doesn’t always sit well with people.

3. I’m a perfectionist.
I’m the type who wants you to clean the house, but I want you to clean it my way. I’ve had to compromise and I quickly learned that my way isn’t necessarily the right way.

STRENGTHS:

1. I love with every part of my being.

This is my biggest strength. I truly lay my heart out on the table and do my best to let my husband and Princess know that they are my absolute world.

2. I’m creative.
This may not sound like a big deal, but being creative can help in a lot of ways. I am very crafty, I can find ways to cut expenses by doing stuff myself, and I’m also extremely good at finding fun little activities that don’t break the bank. I’m pretty proud of that!

3. I’m a perfectionist.
I know, you’re thinking “what? Didn’t I just read this on her weaknesses list?” Yes, yes you did. But if there’s anything I’ve learned through my experiences, it’s that sometimes your features are both a weakness and a strength. Being a perfectionist gives me a good eye for detail when it comes to things like budgeting, cleaning the house, and making sure the home front is maintained so to speak.

So that’s my list, and let me just say, it was a lot harder to come up with my strengths than my weaknesses. But doing so really boosted my self esteem, because really, we should all try to highlight our strengths instead of focusing on our weaknesses. Try making a list yourself! Share it with me if you’re so inclined because I would love to read it!

Signing off,
The Tailored Mama