Lunchin' Love Notes

Since Lil O was really a little O, Mr. UpCyclist and I have been writing her a lunchbox love note daily (when she's in school).  To date, we're probably written close to 500 of them, which means I've made close to 500 of them.

And, I must say, I never get bored of making them.  This time, I even used Upcycled Education stamps.  Can you spot the I really, really like stamp above?  Or Thank you?  Or Today I learned?  Plus, I have sooooo many carnival tickets from a recent project that I decided to sew some of those together, too.  I love making these.  I get to use all my stuff - scraps, sewing machine, stamps, washi tape and odds & ends for a great cause - Lil O!




Dear Moccasins

Dear Moccasins -

You and I were BFFs all through my childhood in the 1970s and 80s.  Remember how I would swoop you up at the Teepee Western Wear shop?  You were all white and shiny with those lovely beaded thunderbirds on the top? I wore you until there was no more wear left.

You never let me down.

Now, however, I've changed.  We've grown apart and apparently my little feetsies need more support not your soft sides and flat bottoms.  Funny how that is probably what I need in life - more support from those around me, near & far, friends & family, in-person & online.

I still think you are the coolest. I will still cherish our BFF days.  But, now, I must say goodbye to you and surround my feet (and self) with the best and most awesome support possible.




Celebrating Mistletoe and Dr. H

There are so many people doing so many neat things in the world, this new series Celebrating Others will do just that.  Celebrate all the good, creative, and lovely.  Two weeks ago, we celebrating mom-blogger-crafter-entrepreneur, Elise, today, we move to a celebration in the medical field.

mistletoe in medical field

Here's the long story short....

Dr. Hinderberger - a Baltimore-based doctor who has treated our family before - recommended to one of his patients, who was battling liver cancer, a non-traditional treatment. Evidently, mistletoe (yes, from Christmas celebrations!) is used outside the US as a cancer treatment. Apparently, mistletoe is highly poisonous and semi-parasitic - a good substance to foil cancer's big plan.  You can read all about the mistletoe treatment and success - yay! - in this article.

Who knew the plant we all kiss under during the Christmas holidays would be so powerful and life-saving?

Today I'm celebrating Dr. H, his patient (who started a fantastic non-profit from her experience), magical mistletoe and for open minded medical practices.

We need more of those...open minded medical practices.




Simple Gratitude

Sometimes I can be a real stick in the mud.  Can you?  Recently, Lil O had an idea to bring a family member (who hasn't been feeling very well) a big, colorful balloon and instead of me saying, Great idea!  How fun!  I said something to the effect, What if they don't like it?  How much is that balloon?

I mean, come on.  Who doesn't like a big, colorful balloon?

Two things. Sometimes the simplest acts of gratitude are the most meaningful, right?  And how come I have to learn this life lesson from my wee one?

Thank you, Lil O.  You teach me more than you know.


Mommy (aka:  Jen)


DIY Arrow Magnets in 30 Second

I have a thing for arrows and magnets.  And cool friends, like those photographed below.

You can imagine how psyched I was to find these little gems at the $1 spot at Target.  Chunk arrow clothespins!  They come in a few color combos.

To make the clothespins into magnets, I hot glued a magnet onto the back.

And within 30 seconds (the time to heat up my glue gun), I was ready to go.  Arrow magnets were made.

Don't you love an easy, functional, inexpensive DIY project?

Plus, look at all those happy faces and happy arrows.

Have a great weekend,


Love. This. Quote.

Can I hear an amen?  This quote totally speaks to me.

And wouldn't you agree, this Etsy shop owner and blogger, Lindsay of Pen + Paint, is uber-talented right?  I could literally take one of each of her prints.

Here's to no more excuses.  Hello, Progress!


Photo Credit from Lindsay's Etsy shop


Conscious Discipline

Today we welcome student blogger, Judeth!

Welcome, Judeth!  Take it away.....

Conscious discipline. I have heard it a couple of times before, but I never really thought much about it. The main principle of Conscious Discipline is when a child is acting out, or misbehaving, it is a call for help, not a sign of disrespect. Embracing conscious discipline, the adults create a “safe place” for the child to go; The safe place is not to be confused with a time out where most children are left alone or left in isolation.  The safe place in Conscious Discipline is used to promote self-regulation and create a judgment-free space for the child to work through their emotion. 

To create a safe place:  It can be a small section of a classroom or a small area in a home.  The set-up of the safe place should be comfortable – offering a place to sit, the ability to engage with hands-on manipulatives, and offer a couple of different options for the child to express their anger, sadness, or whatever emotion they are feeling.

The standard process in Conscious Discipline (CD) is:
  1. Have the child sit down.
  2. Pick a breathing icon to help calm down (show in the picture below).
  3. Pick which emotion the child is feeling (shown in the chart above).
  4. Pick an activity that will calm the child down.  That's why you want to have interesting hands-on manipulatives available in the safe place.
  5. Once the child calms down, the teacher or parent is to sit and talk with them, ask curious questions about the child’s behavior, and explore what a better option might be in the future when the child has an emotional urge again.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why Conscious Discipline? There have been many other successful discipline tools for years.” Exploring the research and many videos at Conscious Discipline, you can see there are quite a few things that current discipline tools are not teaching, or actually making worse. To quote one of the handouts on the CD website, “Conscious discipline teaches everyone how to respond wisely to life events rather than unconsciously react from a set of pre-programmed skills that may or may be effective or wise.”

If you are interested in this style of discipline or just want to try something new, say good by to stop lights in classrooms (which teach humiliation, now how to behave appropriately) and rewards & punishment (which teach manipulation) and try Conscious Discipline.

Thank you, Judeth!  I hadn't heard of Conscious Discipline until your blog post.

What do you think, blog readers?  Might you give CD a go?  Their website is packed full of helpful materials.

All the best,