Tag Archive for Domestic Engineering

Sunday Funday – Mandala Coloring & Construction!

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Look out – we’re link heavy but its worth it.

So…why mandalas?

What are they?

Why do I keep seeing them?

Do some homework! Essentially they are a wheel of design to represent principals in harmony – Mandala means “disc or wheel” in sanskrit. It’s never ending!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandala

 

http://spiritualawakening.weebly.com/mandalas-what-are-they.html

 

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Mandalas have been used in cultures all over the world as a healing and telling form of channeling and design.

These vibrational circles found on Tibetan temples and on Dutch Farm houses alike. They all have a harmony and melody and speak to us in different ways.

There is a formula to them and by tracing, learning how to construct or simply coloring or drawing inside of Mandala WILL help you channel things within yourself. They are for everyone, and for all ages.

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You can explore repetition, motifs, color, lines, and information inside of repetitive structures & enclosures. Lines, leaves, petals, bubbles, shading, hatching, doodling.
You’ll see a telling collection of fragements your mind is harboring and quiet your mind in the process. It’s a VERY therapeutic practice!

For Sunday Funday here are some RAD FREE PRINTABLE Mandalas you can color, trace, cut, or be inspired by!!!

Great for kids, Grandparents, Men, Women and YOU.

 

http://www.aurora.edu/student-life/campus-services/wellness/toolbox/stress-relief/mandalas.html#axzz2osk1OJ2U

 

http://www.hellokids.com/r_262/coloring-pages/mandala-coloring-pages

 

http://www.education.com/worksheets/mandalas/

 

http://www.coloringcastle.com/mandala_coloring_pages.html

 

and even

a PINBOARD!

 

http://www.pinterest.com/centerca/mandala-coloring-pages/

Get out your pencils, pastels, crayons & Markers! You can even glue sequins or magazine words & clippings!

Enjoy! Share what you colored on my FB Page > Beth Kaya or BethKaya Design & Consulting!

 

BK Sound Off and Salute – “Stay At Home Mom”

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Photo By Rommy Coleman Photography

The day I found out I was pregnant – I was on my way to work and felt dizzy on the Metro North (Westchester NY) Platform into the city. All of a sudden my iced coffee was oddly unappealing which was odd for a hot July day. The fellas in the deli had my cup ready to go that morning as usual and I tipped a lot more than normal. Perhaps I subconsciously knew it would be the last time I would ever go into that deli by the station.

I remember sitting on the bench trying to grip my consiousness and the train blew into the station. The sweatbeads that were starting to pour were fanned by the passing cars and in my mind I heard, “Beth, are you really going to miss this train? If you can just get onto the train and into any seat, the AC will help.” Just as I heard the sigh of the train I threw myself into the open car doors and into a seat. I was right about the AC, and I gathered my composure. As I thought about what had just happened, deep in my heart I knew. On the way into Sony, I rounded Madison Avenue and scooped a pregnancy test from Duane Reade. As the major supportive vein to my department, I prided myself on being about 45 minutes early each day. We had a private showroom for Sony VIP’s that I would set up each day. I’d get the coffee going, and make sure the place was a nice environment for our team and our visitors to come into. This morning I took that test, only to find 2 blue strips. Game Changer.

I had my own very modest apartment and my radical job as a Sales and Marketing Coordinator for the VIP group at Sony Corporate. It was a stellar environment to work in. I felt part of something major and sleek every day. The beat of technology design and entertainment. I dressed every bit of the part in trendy corporate attire. At night I went to school for jewelry design at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  This meant every day the mile I walked to the train and the 15 blocks to Sony I carried tool boxes and portfolios and I carried them home after school around 11:30 pm when my train would finally get in from the city at the end of the night. I thought I was busy then. The commute alone is something that some people just couldn’t dream to do. The walking, the waiting, the carrying. It was hard, but it was what I chose and I was doing it alone, but doing it, damnit.

My husband and I fell madly in love after our first date. We dreamed of having children together and here it was coming true! When I told him that day, he was wildly happy and we knew without real question in a few months there was not a real possibility that I could maintain employment in the city, a home at the jersey shore, with child and my apartment and school life.

It just didn’t occur to me that by choosing to do one of THE MOST IMPORTANT jobs there is to do, be a mother – would literally strip me of every last accolade of my career or life thus far – to MANY people especially, the Mouths.  The mouths are the people who get into your head with the things they say, the people who just can’t HELP themselves from offering their opinion. I wholly admit to being one of these people! There is a reason I have a consulting business – because I am very opinionated. Sometimes it’s just too far and off base. Tact is just one of those things I’m not sure people are aware of fully in terms of themselves. We mean well, most of the time. Intentions are truly what we should go on when we decide to allow ourselves to be hurt over something but in the heat of anything those aren’t so clear.

When people ask what I do, I say “Stay at Home Mom” first. The reaction is priceless.

Now my FIRST job is to be an at home mom and a housewife.

I am NOT ashamed by this but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt that people assume I need more than what I do.

I went to school to be a designer – so I design. ALL the time. So much more than I ever did with a dayjob. Yes it’s tighter, much much tighter on 1 steady income. But not working means, I don’t need to have a full blast wardrobe anymore nor, nor a heck of a lot of anything, I am surely not eating out all the time or picking up people bar tabs like I used to. Do you know how much I loved doing that?

Now I’m lucky to have a drink bought for me and I sneak airplane booze into concerts in my boots. Yeah, I said it!

I’ve made HUGE sacrifices damnit to be home with my kid. What you choose is YOUR CHOICE and my husband and I knew this would was for us. Never, not once has he ever made me feel like what I do with my job as a mom, wife or business woman is not enough.

Why isn’t it enough for the rest of the world?

Why do people have to constantly suggest what I should be doing instead of doing exactly what I am doing?

Why do people try to scare me into thinking that my career experience and also education thus far is some how all invalidated like the grand ol’ magna doodle eraser, just because I am a mom? Poof, Vanished!

Do you know I can use a daggone blow torch on gold?

Do you know that Tony Bennet and I hosted a photo exhibit for Sony together at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in NYC?

So what I traded in the blue pinstriped suit for yoga pants. Is it not a completely life expanding experience to become a mom?

Why is it completely diminished by so many people in this day and age?

I truly do not get it and have growing fears of my workplace re-entry because of this stigma that comes along with having a child.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I had an anxiety attack in the OB’s office. I was still working and commuting. The bus and train to the shore was a 2 hour trip and it seemed to just get to me that day. The doc started to rant about how I reminded him of his daughter. She had this wild career and was seeking her education, then she got pregnant and tried to keep it all up and couldn’t. Inevitably, something has to give somewhere or something suffers and mostly, it’s the family.

It makes sense to me now – something somewhere does give. Getting used to NOT getting that paycheck every other week with my name printed all perfect up there with all my “vacation hours” next to it. Vacation Hours!! Now that’s a concept!

You can always work – the jobs, the jobs are freaking there. A child is a baby for a breath, and a kid for a shot longer. I can’t believe 3 years have gone by since I’ve had a boss that wasn’t a client.   I STILL know how to do all of the things I used to do, I swear! Also I’m pretty sure would be better at my old job than I ever was back then and I was good. 😉 Certainly now I am much more patient, understanding and nurturing, also lets not forget a mom’s ability to “multitask”.

So I dedicate this rant to the people who “at home mom bash”, who make us feel like we’ve handed the keys over to our smarts, our careers and our family’s “livlihood” because we chose to care for our kids for ourselves. No this isn’t a dig at the moms who went back to work – I SALUTE YOU. Your job is hard as heck. To the AT HOME MOMS, who feel these words – I SALUTE YOU TOO. You rock. You don’t get breaks, commutes, alone time, to crap solo, to take 1 demand at a time, to wipe just your own tush, to eat out or cook just for you, to step over the mess, or to take shortcuts.

Work comes my way, I pump away on the ol digital airwaves like I’m doing now and every inch of my professional experience aides my job with my personal business. I’m a MOMPRENEUR, second to being a mom. It’s a real job, without steady pay. So, hey, buy me a drink. I’ll get you back, someday – it could come in the form of a PBJ, though.

We Got Spirit! Yes We Do!

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I emerged into Spring with a really raw and fragile perspective.  My yard always gives me renewed connectivity to Spirit every season. The whole process of it – preparing the soil – tending to seedlings, playing dominion, the whole bit. My little family with our little “bit of earth” makes the most of it. The person who owned our house a very very long time ago put a lot of love and effort into the house and yard. They even left of trove of depression era Mason Jars inside of a handmade canning closet inside the garage. (My husband neglected to tell me about this after investing about a hundo in jars). To give him credit back,   my husband maintained this magic yard with his gentle respect and connection with nature , animals and plants. In our tiny little plot, there is generation after generation of natural magic. You can’t just buy this gorgeous piece of land and expect to grow things on it in this day and age. Bees,  are having a harder and harder time finding refuge with the pile of ecological issues going on. The word gets out. Animals know what trust means too!  Bees are in well abundance in our yard. If we were to ever leave, we can’t just take this with us.  Every state bird, caterpillar, worm, flower, butterfly, small animal and neighborhood vagrant et all , have traipsed through my yard at some point to mingle with our abundant species of plants, or my animal-speaking husband and little boy.

A little known fact about the latter portion of my child hood, we had cows, pigs, bees and sheep in our larger “backyard”. The bee pen shared a fence with our acre of land. I could unlatch a little link and enter a pen of easily 100 k bees in 9 hives or so. Bees smell fear. They smell threat. When you pose no threat, you are only getting stung if you step on them or they encounter you by accident. At certain times of the summer, honey bees drink a lot of honey and get really intoxicated. The queen  leaves the hive and flies to a pre-selected tree and all of the bees follow her. They swarm into a massive buzzing ball of bee. Our beekeeper neighbor explained and coached us little ones on the process. You can pet this phenomenon. They are so bloated from honey, they can’t shake their booty to sting. It’s absolutely incredible.

Why the bee talk? Well I did a lil tune up work with a light worker this Spring and Summer and one of the biggest take aways was that I needed to get down and respect a few things more and take on 2 major rituals.

– Daily Prayer                               and….

-Daily MULTIPLE Uninterrupted Moments with Nature – Trails, Walks, Lakes, Bays, Beaches, Garden alla Bare FEET!

Being raised in a bi religion family prayer was suggested, but not enforced.  It’s honestly just not a habit I really hadn’t been into unless I was begging for mercy. I know we’ve all had these lows where we look up at the sky and say “OK big being, take that wheel at any time now!”

Some days literally feel like every 10 minutes something is going wrong. HOW do I continue to be the inflatable clown that pops back up every every last blow?

What Am I Some Kind of Clown?

It’s praying when there is no wrong, but just to reflect on all of it. The good, the bad, the just because. This is your time to ask questions. To talk to anything that’s listening including Spirit/s, Ancestors  and “Our Higher Selves”.  This seems abstract but go with me here – It’s like having manners, to SPIRIT. Whatever you believe, you HAVE to resign yourself to one fact – this world is spinning in your very eyeholes. What harm does it do give credit where due? So just because I’m knocking a little, “What is up spirit? Thank you SO much for giving me all of the beautiful squashes, that came from bees that are SURELY doing their sacred work in my little sanctuary here.” back,  OR  “THANK YOU for this sanctuary, for the littlest bit of earth that my family has that was turned into a place where animals of all kinds feel safe, have food and give back to each other so my family can learn so many of your lessons and have wonderful foods to eat!” OR EVEN – “Dear Spirit, Where am I looking right now? Can you give me a piece of nature to guide me?” …..Run – On – Prayers over here.. you get the point.

Garden Bounty!

Grateful living is for REAL. I’m not saying ignoring the “real world” outside of being overtly gracious and concerned with what the rest of the world thinks. I feel SO much better when an entire gallon of orange juice falls out of the fridge onto a broken saucer with my 2 year old dancing in it when I take a second, BREATHE and say – ” ahhhh thank goodness I am home with him today and have the air in my lungs to breathe this air of frustration!” OR “What did I just learn from that?” How can I honor that it was really upsetting to break such a special dish and spill a whole gallon of orange juice but also put it all back into perspective here. It’s really honoring it and vocalizing things in a way of light even if dark. Picking the battle inside of the perspective of it’s place within the greater meaning of it all. Spilled Orange Juice? Annoying and wasteful perhaps, but not the end of the world. I had and have a lot of bratty behaviors that just have got to go in order for me to really really shine. These practices are curbing them into respectful places!

Easier said then done I suppose, and I certainly find myself caught up on a bad day or two, or more!

Sacred Fibonacci

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY ALL OF THIS BABBLE? Reconnecting with my spirit, with my mother, earth inspires me. When I eat, and feed my family what we GROW OURSELVES it connects me with a spirit and she invigorates me with fire in my idea cauldron. We are literally EATING spirit! It’s incredible. As the growing season winds down I know my production level too will die down. That doesn’t mean we’re going to sleep! This means we’re going to school, to the thinking tank, to the white board.

My husband and I built ourselves a studio and now I have tools in home at my grasp. This summer was her first ride. I produced more than ever in a single summer and also have the biggest financial summer as an indie designer. My husband has a little recording and digital music making situation going on in the same room. This winter we fully expect to collaborate there as a family and produce exciting things musically once again. I’ve played harmonica for a long time now. It’s another facet that I’m not sure some people who are newer to my work know. Harmonica is an instrument that is classic to the original dub music made in Jamaica. It is also a bigtime American Folk Instrument.  I can work many genres with the use of modern effects and with my husband and my vast musical collection and knowledge – its REALLY exciting to think about. I hope you guys will help us spread our music when the time comes.

Here is a snapshot of the big projects I worked on this summer as I wrap things up for Autumn:

The most important project of all – ReBranding BethKaya

 

 

New Business Card

 

 

New One Sheet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handpainted Items

 

 

 

 

Upcycled Scrap Headbands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a lot of gas in my creative tank to produce this stuff. Being open with my inspiration, giving credit and thanks where due. (Thank You, Brett Joseph and Terra Kroll for your mentorship)  This precipitated a lot more opportunities for me that I’ve had to date while working on my own. I actually worked my arse off to also be fair but I very much have been propelled by a deeper connection to my “dharma” my “sacred path” and have been given the light to work because of the light in my heart. With new angles on the work I am here to do, I can do things better, bolder, and with a greater impact.

Think about the women before us. Think of the conveniences we have now.  Lets reconnect with that and use our modern conveniences right along with it. This is the time to be more grateful, connected, mystical, and more enabled then EVER to do what any one truly wants to in their hearts.

XO

BK

 

P.S. If you’ve made it this far – hit me up for a free Tarot Card Spit – I’m resurrecting an art that means a lot to me in the name of new techniques and vision.

Message me Today!

The Art Trunk

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When I was really young I remember a particular Christmas morning that was totally a game changer.

My Uncles and Grandparents had pooled together and bought us an Art Trunk. It was a huge trunk filled with everything you could imagine to make and do crafts with. My sisters were excited about it, but everyone in the house knew that I was off the wall stoked.

Photo From Etsy.com – Exact Trunk We Had

The other thing that we also got that holiday were two sets of books, encyclopedias and child craft books. Back before the internet was the way of finding out about something – we had family desk references. Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Eye Witness Books and Various other series on the Sciences etc.  were often found on the shelves of a family home. One of the books in the childcraft series (#11 to be exact) was all about crafting. “Make and Do” It was like my little treasure map.  I spent hours looking and replicating the crafts and concepts found inside of this book.  Tin Can Stilts, Tiddlywinks with Buttons and Egg Cartons, Volcanos inside of Pop Bottles – you name it.

Photo From Etsy.com – The Childcraft Books Series

Today we have all sorts of ways to get inspired. Pinterest is a super highway of inspiration and ideas. Then there comes in a whole new sickness of being over inspired and under motivated to act on inspiration. I encourage people who suffer from this to make a new pin board of all of the recipes and crafts, DIYs and other neato things you’ve been pinning; that you’ve actually done.

Back to the art trunk – what goes into an art trunk you may ask? Well for kids a few simple staples can spell a long long time of self entertainment, sensory exploration and artistic encouragement. In our trunk we got that Christmas we had things like:

-Popsicle Sticks – Pipe Cleaners – Glue (sticks and bottle) -Foam Brushes – Tempura Paints – Pom Poms – Felt – Googly Eyes – Beads – Yarn – Markers and Crayons

I had endless good times, without the need for a TV. (I do admit to junking up on my sony boombox and mix tapes)

This art trunk is something I recreated for my son in a new way. It’s a 3 drawer organizer with everything I listed above and a few new things like – Craft Sissors – Stickable Foam Sheets – Stickers – Toilet Paper Tubes and Egg Cartons

Sometimes on rainy days or just ancy days in general – we’ll try to tie an art project into the day. Its not all that hard to dream up too.

Say its spring time – make flowers, grass and clouds out of construction paper and build a scene! My child is young so he requires adult assistance but he is fine tuning those motor skills and other memory and recognition skills by these projects. The older kids find a nice little world to escape to also inside the art trunk. Man, I’m so glad that I thought about this today and felt the need to reflect on how important this little box was too me and my artistic development.

Now if only I could get my hands on a set of encyclopedias.

XO

BK

 

The Neo Homestead

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When a lot of us think about a “homestead” we often think of some backwoods shanty with roosters running around with children in the treetops. While I think some if not ALL of that can be true, the reality is homesteading is an idea of self sufficiency, sustainability, low impact and low reliance living. In our daily rigamaroll, we are literally bombarded with convenience to deter us from what we know are better choices for our selves and our families.

It goes beyond food choices and is an idea that we live out in every choice we encounter. A great example for instance; and this applies to single folks and family folks – you have to buy someone a gift for an occasion. This often involves physically transacting with a business. Giving the money that someone went to work for, in exchange for a good, that comes in a package. That package must then be put into another package, packaged along with a little paper package (card). In addition to the gift, you’ve now spent an additional 6 bucks on another 2 package products.

In a scenario like this, the homesteader will do one or all of the following:

– Make Gift Entirely

– Wrap purchase in cloth, found ribbon or something that is on hand and will do

– Make a By Hand Card

– Purchase Gift from a small business or crafter

Now, I am not saying we all have the time and decadence to make things, but everyone has time to make choices. A homesteader is a conscious choice maker. It becomes a way of life. Once convenience and reliance is cut out of the equation – options are easier because they become innate and on hand. Do you want a new backsplash in your kitchen? Do it your self? Not so handy? Hire a trusted family friend and help their business grow!

Big business wants you to feel like you don’t have any other option BUT to turn to them to sustain your life. For your home decor, for your food, for your clothes, for everything. You don’t! Simple choices can not only cost you less in the long run but really give you back an authentic and sincere way of life. Nothing has felt more honest and true in my intention and way of life, than being able to be home to learn this art of living off ourselves.

Another element to the neo homestead that must be addressed is space. It is often considered that you must have a bounty of real estate to be able to self sustain your life. Homesteading is about making your home a working machine, a vital tool for your life. Scale is all a matter of perspective. Keep your visions on a smaller scale and execute them for the space you have to work with. Live in an apartment and want a garden? Next time you buy store bought yogurt, buy the kind with a container that states “made from plants” on the bottom. Save every one of them. Drill/punch holes for drainage in the bottom, put them on a dinner dish and plant some herb seeds in them. There you have it, a small herb garden on a dinner plate you can move around from sunny window to the next. You do not have to be home full time to participate in this thinking and that is not an excuse either. Bringing lunch to work, in a reusable container, bringing your own coffee to work, drinking from reusable water bottles and mugs, these are all lifestyle choices we make every day.

If you want to be a neo homesteader you have to throw out the way you were probably raised to think, unless you were raised on a homestead!  Everything all of us do, has a cause and effect. Karma is not just some JuJu fairy that floats along striking justice where it sees fit. It’s an actual principal of action and reaction. 1 choice we make, has many implications.

This is something I personally am on a quest for and I am finding rewards over and over again. What are some of your homesteading tips, tricks and thoughts to share? As a newcomer to the full time home steading game, I am  thirsty every day for another way to stretch here, conserve there and prove that there NO sacrifice for luxury or quality of living by becoming less dependent and impactful.

*This is a photograph of the old Black Rock Mill in the early 1900s. This mill was about a half mile from the house I grew up in. We’d swim in the creek and play along it’s ruins. I’m sure many of my Maryland readers know this location today.

DIY – All The Live Long Day!

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Since someone linked me into the wonders of Pinterest, my addiction to DIY has been brought to a whole new level.  Because of the little images scrolling by my feed, I have found SO many wonderful and talented blogs bloggers and websites lending information about the various things that interest me and my purposes. Something about crafting, cooking and creating really gives me pride. I’m no longer paying 6 bucks for the weakest bottle of natural house hold cleaner on the planet. I pay about 80 cents a bottle and make my own!  Here are a few blogs and sites I’ve been sniffing around lately:
Here is my DIY pinboard!
OOOH LALA! Where to start? What are your favorite DIY spots online?

My Garden, The Teacher

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As a constant booming idea person, it’s often hard to busy my mind enough to quiet the racket.

Many times I find that my garden and the shoreline are the only two things that can fully capture every area of my busy mind at the same time and then push me into a state of mental obedience.
Meditation isn’t just about sitting in a quiet room, repeating a mantra although that works.  Really, a practice that allows for mental obedience and discipline is mediation.
No matter what, there are things every day that my garden requires from me.
If I don’t do them, the gentle village of plants and insects that I’ve worked for years to sow and wind into harmony, will suffer directly. Every morning when that baby hits the crib sheets for the am nap, I enter the garden and tend to its needs. I observe the changes that have occurred in just a short time since I last visited. It’s amazing how fast something can thrive and how fast it can dive. A seedling teaches me that no matter what you do in life to create the most optimal environment for something to grow, it has to want to grow. As much as I want to wake up and see seedlings emerge the day after I’ve planted them, or the next, my time, is not nature’s time. Patience is one of those virtues I’ve struggled with for all my days, and there is no room without it per the garden’s rules. Then as seedlings emerge, the strongest are the ones allowed to survive and I play dominion when I thin them to assure the fittest among the tribe. You must perform the rituals for success and you must wait. This silent falling into order, has never been my way but I’ve always been willing to work for food.
 Over the last decade I’ve become stringently attentive to what I eat and what I am feeding and exposing my family to. Since we became aware of the dangerous additives to everyday foods and sundries it has become abundantly clear that there is no looking back and there is no other way for us to live but as naturally as possible. Aside from being incredibly lucky to have such a rocking home to hundreds of flower and herb varieties, we have multiple organic veggie gardens and my yard really is not that big, we just allocated space for these things and now I am so glad we did.
Today in the 105 degree heat, I watered and weeded the beds, deadheaded flowers, staked tomatoes and lillies and laid down river rocks near the front beds that I collected from the bay. All of this to the white noise of the baby monitor clipped to my apron. Thinking about it – what a wonderful, healing and productive way to spend an hour or two.  I was dripping with sweat, so much that it was burning my eyes. When I came inside I sat back and enjoyed some tea, I relished that my lovely was still napping and long enough for mom to catch a breath. Later on, I harvested our entire supper. We roasted zuchinni, green beans, rainbow carrots and chard, lettuce, onions, radishes and garlic cloves. It feels like receiving a trophy every time I am able to harvest an entire meal like that but really I take away so much more. Sometimes quiet compliance gets the job done and bores more lesson with reward then kicking up smoke, dust and glitter, but hey I like that too, sometimes.

America, the independent beautiful

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As someone new to this blogging game, I straddle the line of where I’d like this train to go.
Is this a blog about myself, as a mother and artist?
Is it a blog about art and whims?
Is it a soapbox to share things I think are awesome?
I suppose it’s all of these things, but I wonder just how personal to make it.
There is a saying that once you put it out into the digital meta space that you can never take it back.
There are pieces of myself I want to share, but someday – I might feel differently.
I will say that today is our country’s day of independence – the concept of independence is one of those things that as a new mom you wonder about.
As a stay at home mother, working in my spare moments to push my business and also to create an environment that’s optimal for our family has me thinking about the concept more and more. The people who fought for our country to be what it is, didn’t do so, so they could run off and do whatever they felt like.
They did so to create a better place for their children and their family’s to live freely, but within a structure.
On a hot summer night, on a rare escape to the pharmacy or grocery store alone, I often turn up the song on the radio, roll my window down and twirl my hand outside in the passing breeze and for a moment or two. I reconnect with the freedom and independence I left behind the day there were 2 lines on the pregnancy test.
I find my mind flashing through the flicker-real of moments collected from my days and travels before becoming a parent and I miss them for a moment or two.
Then at the left turn before my neighborhood, waiting for the light to turn green I remember that in less than a minute, the raft that is the home I’ve built is waiting for me and it’s just the raft I wanted to cling to all throughout those days of freedom.
I’m lucky to have a little bit of earth to sow, and call our own. I’m lucky that my fiance and I are free to believe in our god that is so very our own and omits from our flowers, our child and our little beach. Thanks America for being you, nothing’s perfect – but in my opinion, you’re still the best.

Living Room Bowling On a Rainy Day

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The other day I was in the check out isle of a store and from the check out noticed a mini bowling pin set. I know this has  happened to you; when there is a packed line behind you and you spot one more thing you think you might want to buy but know if you step one inch out of line you’re getting clobbered by everyone behind you? One of those… Anyhow, once I paid I went over to the bowling set and looked it over. It was pretty cheap plastic and had a 10 dollar price tag. I put it down and went home.
My little boy loves sports. He loves to play ball and he really gets into it. He shouts “BALL!” wildly as he hurls a ball at you laughing and clapping. We are die hard yankee fans around here as well and he loves laying with mom and dad for a little baseball before bed. Someone gave him a pair of little golf clubs recently too and we play hockey around the house with them. He’s a natural!  

This morning I woke up to a rainy rainy day. My kid needs to exert energy or he can be quite a  little rascal (to put it mildly). This morning while Silas was eating I collected 10 similar juice bottles from our recycling bin. There are a MILLION uses and reuses for plastic and glass bottles and containers!  I scrubbed them with hot soapy water and took all the labels off. Using some dollar store construction paper, Silas and I made new labels with giant numbers on each pin using different colors and some packing tape.  We had a blast making and playing with our pins today! Silas didn’t quite get that he needed to roll the ball to knock the pins down. When I’d tell him “GO!” he’d throw the ball in the air and crash into all the pins throwing and kicking them wildly around the room. He has innovated the game!  Every time I tried to set them up he’d kick or knock them out of my hands before I could put them down and he laughed hysterically while doing so. Hey, mission accomplished and on top of that, we scored a PM nap which is touch and go these days. Hopefully he’ll sleep like a champ tonight! Our game was a nice distraction too from the gigantic molars that have been pounding his little lower jaw all week!
Next you need an indoor craft and sport, dig into your recycling bin! 

All in good and cheeky fun,
BethKaya

 

How to Survive Dining Out With a Tot

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A lot of people are very intimidated to take their child into a sit down place, I really am not going to compromise my occasional diner coffee or outback salad because I have a child. I am also a new parent so I remember what it’s like to be in a restaurant and trying to have a nice conversation over a screaming child and thinking “can’t they TAKE CARE OF it already?”. As a new parent I also know how embarrassing and stressful it can be when your kid (acting totally normal) raises his voice or throws something in a public eatery. Here are some tips I’ve come to know and utilize for smooth dining experiences.

1. Bring all of the wee ones’ things required for him to have a comfortable meal. This is what I pack in a BYO cooler – 
      -A paper plate for sharing, and for leaving behind with baby’s leftovers
      -Kiddie Utensils
      – A travel cup already filled with his fav beverage
      -Several food items, the meal staple (avocados travel well and are packed with nutrients) and a finger food to toil with (cheerios, annie bunnies, yogurt drops etc) 
      -Bib
      -Wipes!!!!!!
2. Pick places that have fast service or you know what you want when you go in and order when you place your drink order!  
     – We love Surf Taco, Outback, Jersey Mikes, Diners, etc
3. Ask for a “To Go” box and for the check as soon as the food arrives! Also avoid group checks so you can settle up and leave when the melting happens.
4. Space out the kid’s food. Don’t use all your tricks at once! If he gets sick of one thing, slowly break out the next trick. Distraction is so key, once he’s sick of one thing break out the next! Keep a few of his favorite toys in your bag of tricks too! 

Hey I’m new at this but I’m one thrifty gal. Do not be caught unprepared if you want to have an ENJOYABLE meal out with your little one! Hope this helps some mama out there DYING for a cup of diner coffee like I am from time to time.