Smashbooking–What Am I Doing?!

I recently came across a whole entire new way of scrapbooking.
It’s called Smashbooking and it’s for those of us who are apparently too darn unorganized and messy to scrapbook.

I’ll have you know, I am the proud owner of many a big 12″×12″ scrapbook, all filled to the brim with nicely organized photos of various life events.
My main issue is that they are so darn big, hard to store, and you feel that you just HAVE to fill in those pages, whether you want to or not.
I don’t want seven photos from my friend’s graduation party. I have one picture that I like. That’s it. I also have a number of pretty tags from clothes that I like but don’t want to make a full scrapbook page dedicated to them….
Enter the Smashbook. 
It’s small, easy to fill up, and you can decorate it however you want, and if it turns out a bit messy, that’s okay. In fact, it is expected.
Smashbooks are actually now a brand-name item that you can buy in craft stores, but honestly, I just go the simple, cheapo, DIY route by buying a plain notebook, pasting in scrapbook paper cut to size, and then decorating from there.
I’ll admit–my tiny little baby-sized Smashbook is pretty nifty, and I’m really getting into it. I like crafty little projects.

One of my favorite things to store in it are little doodles that I have done on scrap pieces of paper as well as little notes from my sister and friends and my Mom. I also like to make little lists of songs that I am listening to, and little facts about myself, so I can look back in a few years and remember what my life was like.

Please excuse my taste in music. It’s weird. It’s eclectic, I’m fully aware of that. You more than likely cannot dance to it, I’m fully aware of that too. (Except for Uptown Funk. I could get down to that if I wanted to….)
So I’m sure you get the idea of what a Smashbook is now…
It’s a baby scrapbook for those of us who are messy…
Or at least that’s how they’re marketing them…

 

🙂
+JMJ+

My Pinterest Page

I’m pretty much in love with Pinterest.
It’s perfect for me.
A wedding setup photo here, a recipe for crock-pot cheesy rice and veggie recipe there, a bunch of pretty outfits everywhere.

I pin a lot.
I mean a lot.
(2.5K Pins to be exact.)
Am I addicted?
Maybe?
I just like to say, “I’m organized for the first time in my life….see?”

Here’s my Pinterest Page

Feel free to go follow me on there! I’m always up for new followers
🙂
My top boards that I am currently pinning to the most are:
For My Little Ones
(yes I know they don’t exist yet, but I want some ideas in place so I won’t be running around like a chicken with my head chopped off when they do get here.)

Wedding Stuff
(again, it’s an organizational, dreaming of the future thing)

FOOD
(My stomach is grumbling just thinking about this board.)

For My Home Sweet Home
(I love interior design)

So go check out my Pinterest account and feel free to leave me your Pinterest account name so I can go follow you!

🙂

+JMJ+

The Participation Trophy: The Loser’s Trophy

Nothing annoys me more than when kids get trophies for participating.
For showing up.
For being a team player, when, in all actuality, their team stinks and they themselves are the weakest link on their team.

Here is where hundreds of angry parents will swoop down upon me screaming,
“YOU EVIL WOMAN! HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT?!”

Well, I say it because it’s the truth.
In life, adults are not handed trophies, awards, pay-raises just for showing up.
There needs to be work, and good work at that, put in behind showing up (on time, in appropriate dress, ready to work hard, etc.)

Your child should learn the bitter taste of defeat.
It is not a fun thing to lose, I know. I totally understand that.
But it is very important that kids know what it feels like not to be #1 all the time.
We live in a culture where our kids are being told that they can do nothing wrong, and that they are 100% right all the time, and are totally 100% perfect.
I have worked with kids a lot.
Being wrong is a foreign concept to 90% of them.
I used to watch a four year old, and when she did something bad, or wrong, and I corrected her, it was the start of WWIII because, as she put it “But Daddy always says I do everything right!”
Well sorry, but you are doing a bad job right now at sharing your toys.
Someone call the waahmbulance. Waah waah waah.
Kids are entitled. 
Some of the least entitled kids I know came from big familes, where kids had to learn to share, learned that someone might actually be better at something than they were, learned that not “everything you can do, I can do better”, and learned to find what they were good at.
My kids won’t get any participation trophies.
They’ll get a pat on the back, a “You tried, but you gotta try a bit harder. I’ll help you practice.”, a “Life’s not all about winning”, and that’s it.
I want my kids to learn about hard work, losing, losing graciously, and learning a skill that they can get good enough at so that they won’t lose and get a participation trophy.

I’m sorry to say this, but those participation trophies aren’t gonna do them a speck of good once they’re all grownup.
But a little hard work wouldn’t hurt.

My Homemade Green Machine Juice

I am a pretty health conscious little lady.
I do my best to eat well, and to cut junk food out of my diet.

I was blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at things) to learn that I have an allergy to GMO corn. I found this out about four years ago and it drastically changed my eating habits. Originally we thought that my allergy was to ALL corn, but just found out last year that I am able to eat NON-GMO corn products (hello corn chips and salsa!) I do my best to stick to Non-GMO foods, no matter what, so this little logo is my best friend.  So far, so good. I haven’t had a single reaction to any non-GMO foods. One thing that I do is make my own food. It’s cheaper than buying premade food from the store.

One of my favorite things to buy those Naked Juices.

Yeah, they’re delicious.
Yeah, they’re pricey.

Yeah, my wallet is weeping if I buy one that is not on sale, or was not purchased with a coupon. (2 for $4 is rare, but a great deal!)

So I started to make my own green machine style juice at home. I make it in bulk and store it in a pitcher in the fridge.

Here is my recipe for two servings.
(This is an easy recipe for making double or triple the recipe.)


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

4-6 cups of spinach leaves; uncooked, and rough chopped

1/2 cup unsweetened green tea

2 large kiwis

12 strawberries

1/2 of a large banana

Mix in a blender or juicer your spinach leaves and green tea. If you need more tea in order to get your spinach leaves to blend together, by all means, add in some more.

Chop up your kiwi, strawberries and banana and add them into your spinach/tea mix.

Blend until smooth.
If you so wish, add in a teaspoon or so of either pure Non-GMO cane sugar, or honey.

Pour into a glass and enjoy.


 

Told you it was easy.

Plus you’re getting nutrients from the spinach, tea and fruit!
It’s a win-win!
Feel free to print out this recipe and share it with your friends and family.

🙂

+JMJ+

One man for ME.

I should be married.
Okay….I should be engaged….
FINE.
I should be dating….
Trying to find the man I will spend the rest of my life with and start a family with.
My husband.
The ONE MAN on the face of this whole earth that GOD has set aside
JUST FOR ME.
Isn’t that awesome to think about?
GOD set ONE PERSON aside out of EVERYONE ON EARTH just for me.
This man is out there.
I know it.
I pray about it.
I pray that GOD will protect my future husband, wherever he is and whatever he is doing, so that I will find him one day.

I think I’m just down on myself recently because quite a number of people I know are getting engaged and married and starting families.
I want that.
I pray for that.
I want to be a mother of a small army of kids and raise them up right and homeschool them and cook for them and love them and their father unconditionally.
I cannot wait.
This is an important time in my life as I am searching for the man with whom I can make that dream a reality…I will not settle for second best.
Only the man GOD has in mind for me.
Saint Priscilla, St. Katherine of Alexandria and St. Anne, pray for us!

+JMJ+

Book Organization For Kids

 

Since I want to be a mom, I am always on the lookout for cute organizational ideas for my kids, because, let’s face it, kids are messy and wind up accumulating a LOT of stuff over the years.

Now multiply that LOT OF STUFF times 7, which is my preferred number of kids….who knows, there might be more…I’m open to more!
Whatever God wants of me!

I saw this cute book-holder alligator (or maybe it’s a crocodile) at my local library.

That Mommy Bell went off in my head the second I saw it.
It was so adorable and so perfect that I just had to snap a photo for future reference!

The inner Mommy in me LOVES this as a fun way to keep my kid’s books in order. (Plus you won’t have little ones trying climb up a bookshelf to reach shelves that are out of arms reach!)
Sure, people stared at me as though I was crazy when I took three steps back, whipped out my iPhone and snapped this picture….but I couldn’t help it!
(This is now on my Pinterest Mommy Board!)

I wonder if I could DIY one myself…and maybe make it shaped like a panda???

(Though the alligator shape lends itself better to this better than a panda.)

Let me know what you think of this charming book-holding friend!

Easy Dinner For Two: Cheesy Chicken Salsa Bake

I love to cook, and love to spend my time in the kitchen fixing food
for my family and friends.
One thing that I like, are recipes that are easy to prepare, and taste delicious.
I recently came up with a recipe for a cheesy chicken salsa and sour cream bake that you can put together in under fifteen minutes, stick in the oven, and serve within an hour! This is a super popular dish for my mom and myself! We really love it.


What you will need:

~2 boneless chicken thighs (feel free to double or triple this recipe if you want!)
~Paprika
~chili powder
~garlic salt
~Salsa (I use Pace Medium Salsa)
~Sour Cream
~Mozzarella Cheese
~Cheddar Cheese
~Baking Dish (I use a glass baking pan)

What you will need to do:
Preheat your oven to 400° F.
Sprinkle your chicken with garlic salt, paprika, and chili powder.
Then dollop on two tablespoons of sour cream and spread over chicken.
Repeat with two dollops of salsa.
Cover with a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Plate up and enjoy!


Feel free to pass this recipe on to anyone you know!
🙂

How Kids Spell These Days–Why I Will Be Homeschooling

I was a second grade teacher’s assistant when I was 19.
One thing that I noticed during this job was that the kids has virtually no clue how to write in a NON-TEXTING manner.
These were second graders.

Little kids.

My sister sent me this meme yesterday, and I laughed so hard when I saw it….

This is one reason why I will proudly homeschool my kids.
maybe, if I am lucky, they will spell B-E-F-O-R-E not B4, and won’t go and finish a sentence in their short story assignments with LOL.

Because seeing that does not make me LOL.
It makes me cringe.

These kids will be voting when they hit the tender age of 18.
Please, remember that.
Be afraid, because I know that I am.

God bless the homeschoolers!

Basic Age Guidelines And Rules For My Future Kids

Basic Age Guidelines And Rules For My Future Kids

It should come as no small surprise that I want to be a mom, and have a bunch of kids, and raise my kids to be good Catholics, and be able to think for themselves and make wise choices, while still obeying proper authority!

Over my 22 years of life, I have seen various parenting rules in place from my Mom, as well as my friends’ mothers.
As I begun to think about having kids, I have compiled a list of
BASIC RULES—And ages at which these rules will be implemented. I already know that many will view these rules as “silly” “unneeded” or “harsh” and I know that I will be viewed as the unpopular opinion puffin, but these rules make sense to me, and I will be doing my best to use them when my kids enter my life.

Let’s get started.

Piercings for my daughters.

They can have their first piercing for their First Holy Communion. If they choose not to, then it can be anytime afterwards. But I figured that 7 or 8 is a good age for their first earrings.
~
Second piercing.
My daughter’s can get their second hole (in the lobe—no cartilage piercings on my watch!) when they are Confirmed. So between 13 and 15. Some churches Confirm kids at 15.

~
There will be no third hole until they are 18, and cartilage and other body piercings are TOTALLY BANNED until my girls are out of my house, and off my insurance. I’m not paying for your infected piercings.

Piercings for my sons

If you are over 18 and out of my house and not on my insurance, then go for it.

Tattoos

My rule will be the same across the board for all of my children—both the
boys and girls.
You are NOT ALLOWED ANY INK WHATSOEVER UNTIL you are
(A) over 21

(B) no longer living under my roof and

 (C) are off my insurance.
I don’t hate tattoos, but I will not let my kids get inked under my watch.
If, once they are on their own and off my insurance, they so choose to get a tattoo, I will highly recommend that they go to a priest and have that tattoo blessed.
If they so choose to come home with a tattoo, EVERYTHING WILL BE TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM. Cell phones, their car (I will drive them to work or school and then home again), their various tech items, their social lives.
Their lives would be on lockdown for as long as their Dad and I want it to be so that they learn their lesson.

Ipods

There will be no iPods for my kids until they are 13.
Then there will be rules for the use of the iPod.
(A) Mom and Dad oversee ALL MUSIC AND APPS PUT ON THE iPOD

(B) No using the iPod at night (after 7 pm)
(C) iPod will be placed in a special “Mom and Dad Tech Lock Box” at night.
(D) Chargers will be in Mom and Dad’s possession. If you fail to keep up with chores, then you can watch the power on your precious iPod dwindle away to nothing.

Feel free to use your iPod-free time catching up on those chores.
(E) No earbuds in while in the same room as Mom, Dad or any adults.

Computer

The PC in my house will be in a COMMON AREA (except for my laptop, which will be MINE and only mine) so that Mom and Dad can keep a close eye on what the kids are doing on the computer.

~
(A) ONLY get on the websites that are on the MOM AND DAD APPROVED LIST. Getting on any other sites will mean you forfeit your allowance for two weeks.

(B) No adding pictures onto the PC without parent’s approval. This leads to a very cluttered PC.
(C) No games unless they are approved by Mom and Dad, and those will be set in a special box next to the PC.
(D) No social media until you are of age.
(E) You can get an email account when you are 14 and Mom and Dad will have your password, otherwise, you will not have an email account.

(F) If you are in need of a laptop, you must purchase one on your own, and Mom and Dad will have all passwords, etc until you are over 18 and out of the home.

Facebook

I got my Facebook page when I was 16 ½. So that will be the rule for my kids too.

~
(A) You must be 16 and ½ to get a FB page.
(B) Your first friends will be Mom and Dad and we will know your password.

 We will be keeping up with you.

(C) There will be no friending people you do not know. If that happens, your account will be suspended for a month.

(D) No inappropriate photos, or posts on your page. This will result in a week long suspension of your account.

Instagram

My little sister and I got our  IG accounts when were 19.
My kids can get an IG account at 19.
~
(A) Mom and Dad have your password.
(B) Follow Mom and Dad FIRST then any of your siblings or close relatives.
(C) Keep your account set at PRIVATE
(D) Any inappropriate photos will result in a very long lecture from Dad and Mom plus we might even report your account numerous times and we will sit you down and make you remove said questionable photo.

Cell Phones
Want a cell phone? Sure, you can get one when you are 16, but you have to buy it yourself. Once you get it, here are the rules:

(A) Mom and Dad have full access to your phone.
We will have the passcode to it and will be permitted to go through your photos, apps, and contacts and texts whenever we so choose.
(B) No chores? No phone.
(C) If you use up all your minutes or go over your monthly usage, you are paying out of pocket for that, or else, you will wind up with an unactivated cell phone. (Mom’s been there. It stinks.)

(D) No being on the phone at night. (You can stick it in the tech lockbox at 8pm)
(E) Mom has your chargers. Same deal as with the iPod.

Pets

This is a big deal to me, because I want my kids to have pets, and to learn responsibility for an animal. It’s a good skill for them to have.

At birth, my kids will deal with whatever dog or cat Mom and Dad may previously own.
At age 4 they will learn to feed the dogs and cats.

At age 6 my kids can get either a goldfish, or a hermit crab as their very first pet.
**My kids will also learn to ride horses at age 6 and will begin to learn to care for horses.**

At age 8, my kids can get either a rabbit, a guinea pig, a hamster, or a large fancy rat.
***Care for any of these animals will fall on the child who owns that animal, or else Mom will take responsibility, and will not let the child play with the animal. It is now MOMMY’S PET. MOMMY LOVES ANIMALS.***

NO CATS OR DOGS WILL BE PERMITTED UNLESS PICKED OUT BY MOM OR DAD.
These are animals with more responsibility to them, so it is the parent’s job to bring them into the household.

Cars, ATV’s, Motorcycles

My children will be allowed to get their learners permit at 16.

I know that this is when most kids get their drivers licenses, but I am not ready to

 let my kids do that.
Once my kids have done the required driving, drivers ed, and have passed their road test (oh Lord, I’m already sweating just thinking about it!), here are the following rules.

(A) The car is the FAMILY CAR.
(B) Each family car will have a cell phone attached to the keys.
You must use that phone to call home when you arrive and leave your destination.
(C) If you have your own car, you will have to purchase it with your own money, that you have saved from your job, and you will pay for your auto insurance yourself.
So go get a job.
(D) Any driving offenses that are committed behind the wheel of the family car, and we will take away your permission to drive the family car. Start walking.
(E) Any speeding tickets that you may incur will be paid out of your own pocket.

You may drive an ATV IF AND ONLY IF you:
(A) have the proper helmets and safety equipment.
(B) Have had lessons on proper ATV safety.

There will be no dirt-bikes or motorcycles until you are over 21, not living at home under my care, and are paying your own insurance. Even then, I expect you to follow the ATV rules.

Clothing
Fashion is a big deal when you are a tween/teen.
But it needs rules, especially when you are trying to raise decent kids.
~
For my daughters—

(A) No belly shirts. PERIOD. Not until you are out of my house and over 18.
(B) No heels with shorts or jeans. It looks beyond trashy.
(C) No skirts that you can’t bend over in.
(D) No see through shirts that show off your neon bra (or no bra if you think your’e a fashion rebel or something.)

(E) No lude or evil sayings or images on any article of clothing that you are wearing. Any clothes with said images will be tossed in the burn pit. Not joking.

(F) If you want expensive name brand clothes, I suggest you get a job or save gift money. Mommy isn’t paying $50 for a pair of skinny jeans for you.
(G) My girls can get their first pair of heels for their Confirmation (so either at age 13 or 15, depending on how old they are when they are Confirmed.)

(H) You must wear leggings with short skirts (anything two inches above the knee) or you will have to change your outfit.

For my sons—

(A) KEEP YOUR PANTS PULLED UP TO YOUR WAIST!
(that pretty much covers it for the guys.)

Okay here are a couple more:
(B) No lude or evil sayings or images on your clothes.

(C) You must wear a shirt at all times, unless you are at the beach or are working outside in the burning sun.
(D) Please do not walk around like a thug with chains around your neck, bling in your ears, a backwards snapback, and your pants around your rear. It is disgusting. Have some self-respect.

Makeup

My daughters will be permitted to wear blush for special occasions at the age of 6.
At 7 they can paint their nails (with Mommy approved nail polish colors only) unless it’s for a special occasion like a wedding.
Their first official makeup will be presented to them at 13—it will be what my Mom got me
a natural shade of lipstick
a simple, plain lip gloss,
a palette of blush
brown mascara.

Eyeliner and concealer will be permitted at 15.

After age 16, if they can afford it, they can have it.

**My girls should note that if either I or their Dad say they have too much makeup on, they will be required to take it off, and try to put less on. **

So those are my rules and age guidelines for my future kids.
I pray to God that they will understand that I created these rules with their health, happiness and safety in mind! Even though they aren’t in my life yet, they are already on my mind!

Welcome to ThisBlissfulLittleLife

Hi and welcome to ThisBlissfulLittleLife!
I am really excited to get this blog started!
~
Let me give you a little info about myself.
~
I’m AnnieHelen, and I am turning 22 later this year. 
I am a professional homebody who loves to blog, cook, browse Pinterest, decorate my home, write children’s story’s, and prepare for the next great adventure in my life–marriage and parenthood! (I know, it seems as though I’m jumping into this subject a bit prematurely, but if I didn’t take a second to think about it and make some plans, I’d feel as though I was flying blind!) 
I originally began this blog on Blogger (also known as Blogspot) was really wasn’t feeling the layout of the site, and there was the giant issue of Google owning Blogspot that was hanging over my head. 
I already have a fashion/beauty blog on WordPress, so I figured why not start up a lifestyle blog on here as well? 
So my blog will be focusing on life, food, my Catholic Faith, my growing plans to be a homeschool mom of a small army of kids (God willing! I will take however many kids He blesses me with), wedding ideas, DIY projects, house decorations and
home organization. 
This covers a lot of material I know! But there will always be something new for me to blog about! 

I hope that you will join me on this blogging adventure!
Please take a second to follow my blog, pass the word around about it, and please enjoy! 

XOXO
~Annie