The One and Only

My initial feeling is one of annoyance as my three year old climbs on my back as I attempt to do some one-handed computer work while bouncing the baby on one knee.  The microwave beeps for the umpteenth time {what was in there, again?},  and my five year old hollers for more toilet paper from the upstairs bathroom.  So. much. going. on.  And, if I could just finish this one email…. But, the annoyance quickly disappears as my little one’s arms slide around my neck and she nuzzles her face in my {slightly dirty} hair. “My Mama.”  She says it matter of factly.  Because to her, it is fact.  I am her world.  I am Mama…the fixer, the wiper, the scolder, the hugger.  Anything she needs, she knows she can count on me.

Things to remember when your kids are annoying you!

My kids need me on average, every 3.4 seconds of each day.  And most of the time it is for silly, trivial, {annoying} little things.  But.  My three-year-old now insists on getting her own water out of the “fountain” in the fridge door.  She takes her merry old time, but can now officially buckle herself into her carseat.  And her hair.  Ermagard, her hair. It’s always a mess, because she insists on brushing, headbanding, and pony-tailing it herself.  And once again, I am reminded that she will not always need me.  The days of complete independence will soon be here, when friends and iPhones and sports will take the place of her time with me.  So why is it such a constant struggle for me to remember this daily?!?

Things to remember when your kids are annoying you!

I may not always have a smile on my face as I stop in my tracks to fix the seam on her socks.  Again.  I can’t promise that there won’t be a little attitude or sarcasm in my answer to impossible questions {over, and over, and over again} while I’m trying to concentrate on traffic in the car.  And I can’t promise that I’m not secretly rolling my eyes as I hear the high shriek of “MooooOOOOOOM!” from the playroom…..to think, they were playing so nicely together for the last 2 minutes!

Things to remember when your kids are annoying you!

So, once again….I remind myself to put that negative attitude away and appreciate these little moments….snot in my hair and all.

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A Pain in My Heel {5 Ideas for Plantar Fasciitis}

I think I mentioned last week that both Dave and I have started going to weekly bootcamp sessions.  We both are loving them {and VERY sore!}.  Dave’s been working out very early in the mornings a couple of times a week with about 50 other guys in town, doing F3.  I’ve started going to a Bootcamp here in town that’s been kicking my butt.  And I’ve only been to two workouts so far!

The first one was a skills assessment, so we ran through drills to see how many pushups, squats, etc. we could do in a minute.  I was relieved to see I was not the only one struggling.  But low numbers are ok, right?  My margin for improvement will just be greater that way!!  The second class we did some partner work, alternating a cardio routine {push-ups, squats and sprints} with a strength training sequence {tire flips, box jumps, and pull ups}.

The next morning, I couldn’t put any weight on my right foot.  It improved a bit over the next hour, so I could hobble around, but it was bad.  My foot had been kind of sore for a week or two prior, but it was definitely getting worse.  So Dave took me to the medical center and I got it X-rayed to make sure there were no stress fractures.  Turns out that I have Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs.  Very painful, but as it turns out, manageable.

And as I’ve researched it and talked to my other runner-friends, I’ve found that Plantar Fasciitis is  very common.  So I wanted to share with you the 5 things I’m doing to cope with both problems.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

1. Work out your muscle:  Use a golf ball {frozen if you want!}, or tennis ball to gently massage the bottom of your foot. Roll it around in circles, putting on gentle pressure.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

2. Stretch: By rolling up a towel and wrapping it around the ball or arch of your foot.  Arch your toes upward and slowly straighten your knee and lift your leg slightly off of the ground.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

3. Stretch: Use a wall or stairs to stretch and strengthen your calf muscles {which are attached to your heel and arch muscles}.  Put your good foot against the wall, and put your bad foot slightly behind.  Bend your knees a little and go downward for the stretch.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

4. Ice it down: Freeze a water bottle and use the arch of your foot to roll it back and forth.  Not only will you be working and stretching the muscle, but also icing it down.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

5. Take some Motrin or Ibuprofen as needed to control the inflammation and manage the pain.  Invest in some heel cups or orthopedic inserts, and get a new pair of sneakers that support your feet well.  I’m trying a new pair of Asics sneakers and  Heel Cups from Heel-the-Pain.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

Refrain from high-impact activities, like running or jumping, until your pain is gone!  I’m keeping it low impact in my bootcamp class, and taking short walks with the girls after stretching my arches and calves really well.

I also found this cheat-sheet of exercises on Pinterest, from the site Padel Star.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

I hope these tips give you some relief!

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{From the Archives} DIY Mr. Potato Head Felt Board

This is one of my favorite posts.  I love the kids.  I love the party theme.  And I love my readers….who clearly also love this post {or at least they love Mr. Potato Head!}, because this is one of my most read articles!  Take a trip down memory lane with me today!

June 2013

A couple of weekends ago, Millie’s boyfriend turned two.  I say boyfriend, because:

a) she looks forlornly out the window waiting for him to come home each day,and b) I caught the two of them canoodling over dinner the other night!Seriously though, I love this little boy!  Isn’t he adorable!?!  And his mama threw an awesome “Toy Story” Themed birthday party for him, complete with “Toy Story” jump castle {see it in the background?}.  Did you notice the “Woody” and “Jessie” outfits?

All that was missing was a party game, so I volunteered to make a Mr. Potato Head Felt Game {kind of a twist on Pin the Tail on the Donkey?!}.   And I couldn’t believe how easy it was to do.  I started with a large piece of felt that was the size of the easel we’d be putting it on.  I then “sketched out” with a skinny marker on felt, one half of the Potato Head.  I’m terrible at making things even, so then I folded the felt in half and cut on the line I had drawn, creating a mirror image on the other side {and a perfect Potato Head!}.

I hot glued the blank potato head onto the background felt, and cut little slits at the top of the background, where I tied ribbon through to attach it to the easel.  The greatest thing about felt {other than that it sticks to itself}, is that it doesn’t fray!!DIY Mr. Potato Head Felt Board and Toy Story Party from PalmettosandPigtails.comI used the Mr. Potato Head toys that we got at Disney as my model.  Then, folding all the rest of the felt in half {to make everything even}, I sketched and cut out eyes, a red nose, mustache, feet, ears and mouth.  I did the same for the hat as well, adding a second layer of a black felt strip to give the lip of the hat a little dimension.  I also added black pupils to the eyes.  I’m not the greatest artist, so I tried to keep it simple!  And I didn’t even attempt to go authentic on the hands….five fingers and I was happy!I don’t think anyone actually played the game, but the kids had a lot of fun creating silly Potato Head faces!

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Christmas Traditions

Happy New Year!

Hope the start of 2015 has treated you well so far.  As you know, I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions, but we do have a couple of projects coming up that we are excited about.  My parents gave us the gift of peace this Christmas by whisking the girls away for four days immediately after Christmas, so Dave and I could get some stuff done around the house.  Our first big project of 2015 is the Playroom Renovation…more to come on that later.

Dave and I also have joined a couple of Bootcamp programs to get rid of the baby weight that we’ve gained.  Dave’s program is especially cool…it’s called F3 and is new to our area.  It’s completely free and stands for Fitness, Fellowship and Faith.  Basically a Bootcamp Bible Study!  Wish they had a women’s one….

Christmas was kind of a whirlwind this year.  Both sets of grandparents traveled in from Florida for a few days.  It was great to have the kids surrounded by their grandparents…and I loved that we, once again, got to continue most of our little family’s Christmas traditions this holiday season.  That’s my favorite part about Christmastime…the traditions.

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

None of them are groundbreaking or terribly creative, but they mean so much to our family.  For instance, we begin celebrating Christmas by decorating the house the day after Thanksgiving.  Dave always puts the tree up, while I decorate the rest of the house.  The kids hang their handmade ornaments on the bottom half of the tree, while the fragile ones go more toward the top.  All the while listening to Christmas music.

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

Our favorite tradition is our Christmas Eve Morning Brunch.  It started out as 30 of our closest friends and neighbors gathering in our house for a potluck brunch with a last minute visit from Santa.  But this year {our 4th year}, we finally had to move it down to the Farmhouse {our neighborhood clubhouse} to accommodate the 120 people that showed up this year! And with our kids getting older, we finally had to retire our Santa’s helper that used to come {Dave} in exchange for the real deal…who comes in his red car and has a real beard!

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

On Christmas Eve, we enjoy crock-pot chili, the Night Before Christmas, and new Christmas jammies after visiting our church for their 5:00 service.  I love “Silent Night”, but the glowsticks are the highlight for the kiddos!

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

And much to the dismay of my father-in-law, we make the kids WAIT to open their presents on Christmas morning.  That’s right…I am a mean mommy who insists on brushing her teeth, starting on breakfast and grabbing a cup of coffee, before settling down on the couch to enjoy the kids arriving downstairs to begin the all-morning process of opening gifts.  We are also a one-gift-at-a-time kind of family.  I’m thrilled that the girls are just as happy to hand out gifts to everyone else, as opening their own.  And they actually take time to play with their new toys and appreciate them before tearing into the next.  It may take us all morning to open everything, but I think that the whole family enjoys the leisurely buffet while watching the Jayna and Millie show!

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

Later that day, while the “guys” smoke turkey and pork on the smoker and then promptly take naps, the kids play with their new toys and I start fixing supper.  We eat around 4:30 or 5 each year, since we’ve just been snacking all day.  And I just love that time in my kitchen, surrounded by the ladies that raised me, encouraged me and inspired me.  And although my feet are killing me by the end of the day, it’s all worth it as we gather around the dining room table to celebrate the Lord’s birth together.

Next year, we will have the same crazy schedule.  Despite all of my careful planning, we’ll get stressed about the amount of people coming to the brunch.  I’ll panic as I realize that I forgot three ingredients crucial to the feast I’m making for Christmas Day.  We’ll fight tooth and nail to get the children in their Christmas best, hair done and shoes on…AND get to church on time.  But when it’s all said and done, I’ll sit back with {just one more} Christmas cookie and a coffee with Irish Creme, and thank God for all of my blessings!

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

Hope y’all had a wonderful Holiday too!

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January 2015 Cleaning Calendar

Happy New Year!  So, my father-in-law visited over the holidays and attempted to call me out on my cleaning calendars.  My December calendar was up on my fridge, but he wanted to know if I really used it.

Wanna know too?

Yes.  I really use it.  However, I will admit that I don’t do one chore a day.  Some days, I just don’t have the 15 minutes it takes to do the daily chore.  But then other days, I end up having a free hour, and I can bang out five or six things at once.  I also don’t do the chores in order.  I do the ones that are realistic for me to accomplish on any given day.

And my personal resolution regarding the calendar?  To start holding my family a little more accountable for helping out with the chores too.  I purposefully put outside/garage/heavy lifting chores on the weekends with the intent that Dave will be able to help out with those. There are also a bunch of really simple chores each months that the kids can definitely help with.  For example, dusting the blinds and wiping down the light switches are super easy for kids to help with.  For more ideas, check out my master lists of ideas for age appropriate chores.

Here’s to starting the new year with a clean house! Click on the picture to print your own January 2015 Cleaning Calendar.

January 2015 Cleaning Calendar from Palmettos and Pigtails

click here to download and print!

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Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!  Here is the Christmas card that I finally decided to go with from Minted.com…it wasn’t one of the ones I showed you originally, but I’m super pleased with it!

Merry Christmas from Palmettos and Pigtails 2014

And now I’m off to spend the rest of this year with my family!  We have folks coming from all over the South to celebrate with us, and it’s the highlight of my year being surrounded by family!  I wish you and yours the happiest and healthiest holiday season!  See you next year!

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Declaration Boutique

Last weekend I got to escape.  Originally, Lincoln and I were going to drive to my grandparents’ house in Florida to surprise my Grandpa for his 90th birthday.  But when I heard that they were sick and not up for company, Loo and I decided to detour down to my parents’ house in Saint Augustine, FL instead.  An impromptu trip, but the first time in years that I’d been there without children following me around!

I’ve always loved it down there…it’s the oldest city in the US, and the history is so interesting…not to mention the quaint shops, yummy food and festive holiday decor.  The ever-popular St. George Street is where we usually visit with the kids, poking our heads in shops {because Heaven forbid we actually bring our three little bulls inside!}, and searching for pirates {yes~the town has many people dressed in character…some are paid, and some are, uh, volunteers!}.

Pirates are everywhere in Saint Augustine, Florida

But since this particular trip, I only had Lincoln {and he was perfectly happy to hand with GP while us ladies shopped!}, so MomMom, Loo and I visited the other side of Saint Augustine, called “Uptown”…the northern part of San Marco Avenue/A1A.  Lots of cute little boutique and antique shops, and the famous LuLi’s Cupcakes {with their Bacon cupcakes and Frosting Shots!}.

But out of all the shops we went in, my favorite was behind a tiny door in a cluster of three shops on the corner of San Marcos and Pine.  Declaration Boutique.

Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

You walk in the door and have to walk down a corridor lined with an arrangement or greeting cards, scarves, and tea towels. But when the hallway opened up into the main shop…my senses were in full overload from the smells of chocolate and coffee, the sounds of Christmas music, and the wonderful clutter of knick-knacky goodness.

Buttons from Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

The shop was filled with eclectic eye-candy…but arranged into almost little shops within the store.  In the center of the room was a display of note cards, bookmarks and necklaces.  Santa, if you are reading, I liked the reindeer necklace the best!

Necklaces from Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

Photo courtesy of Declaration Boutique. Click for Pricing.

Along one wall is an airy display of screen-printed tea towels, framed by strings of cupcake liners.

Creative Decoration at Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

Tea Towel Collection from Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

Tucked in a corner is locally made sweets.  The chocolate smell as you pass by makes you instantly requiring a snack!

Candy and Chocolate display from Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

I’m just in love with the way that this shop is set up.  Each little area is it’s own adorable little booth, completely appropriate for the gems it’s selling. It’s like being at a craft fair all in one room!

A variety of children's and nursery items in a cute display at Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

And of course the obligatory children’s corner {but always my favorite!}.

And as you head back toward the door, you pass by the checkout counter, which is {in my OCD opinion}, just as beautiful as the rest of the store!
Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, FloridaI could have spend hours there!  “I want that, and that, and that…”  If you ever visit Saint Augustine, stop by Declaration Boutique… and pick me up a necklace!

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Just FYI, I did not receive any sort of payment or discount for writing this post….just loved the little shop!

Chapel Market – Pike Road, Alabama

The Chapel Market: A Collaboration of Yummy Vintage Goods

Logo by Poppy Petals

As a mom of three, there is nothing better than a weekend getaway with your hubby.  Without children.  It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it seems to happen kind of quickly and spontaneously…when all the planets are aligned and pigs fly!  Apparently the last time that happened was back at the end of October.

Dave and I flew to Montgomery, Alabama for the weekend.  A few of the DIY and renovation blogs I follow throw together a flea market type festival in the little town of Pike Road, called The Chapel Market.  I first found out about the Chapel Market before their inaugural sale last October, on one of my favorite blogs, The Lettered Cottage.  Layla is one of the founders of the market, and has a fantastic blog about home renovations and adoption.  Another market participant was Miss Mustard Seed, whose blog I have read since waaaay before I started blogging!  And I have to admit I was a teensy bit star struck when I met her!

Miss Mustard Seed and Me at The Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

Wait.  Let me back up and tell you about the neighborhood that this market was located in.  There is not much around….farmland mostly.  But then, there is this cute neighborhood, with beautiful ponds, houses with picket fences, and children riding bikes.  Not even kidding…it’s like Pleasantville, USA.

The Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

And then you drive to the end of the road, and you see…

The Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

The neighborhood was just stunning at dusk!  The next morning, we got up and headed back to the chapel on the hill, which was where the Chapel Market was taking place.  An old trolley transported the droves of people from the parking lot over to the church {and tent behind it}.

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

There were 17 vendors between the tent and inside the church, not including these adorable entreprenuers!  {I hear they made a killing!}

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

One of my favorite sites, Urban Farmgirl was also there.  I scored a teeshirt and a wooden pick-up truck plaque for Lincoln’s room.  Here’s a few of the other things they had…too many good things to choose from!

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

Southern Accents…what can I say, this was the one shop that I wish we had been able to visit in person {but, it was about a 2 hour drive from Pike Road}.  They brought a sampling of salvaged and upcycled items….like these adorable Christmas trees made out of reclaimed wood.  But if you go to their site, and look at all the doors they have….you’ll know why I wanted to visit them in person!

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

Littleville Blue had such interesting repurposed items.  Although they don’t quite fit our personal style, I was obsessed with the details on these creative crosses.

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

Acres of Hope builds handcrafted farmhouse tables….and had Dave drooling dreaming up his next project {since we couldn’t fit one of theirs in our carry-on!!}.

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

Susie Harris creates signs that just kind of speak to you….can you guess which one I relate to these days?!?!?

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

And here are a few other snapshots I took while at the Chapel Market.  Because we flew, we didn’t end up buying much, but got a lot of inspiration for future projects!

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

Do you remember my DIY fabric pumpkins?  Great minds think alike, huh!?

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

A collection of eye candy from the Chapel Market in Pike Road Alabama - Palmettos and Pigtails

A beautiful weekend, with lots of eye candy!

To find out more about the Chapel Market, read Layla’s post about it, or “like” their Facebook Page!

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Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole with Bacon

Happy Thanksgiving!  I’m taking the week off to celebrate Lincoln’s Baptism and spend time with our family in town!

My Thanksgiving menu doesn’t change much from year to year.  I grew up with baked turkey, moved South and got introduced to fried turkey, and for the first time last year, tried smoked turkey.  By far my favorite!  As for side dishes and dessert…I usually make sweet potato casserole, biscuits, salad, pecan pie and green bean casserole.  You know, the Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom version.  But this year, I’m trying something a little different.  I found this recipe on the eMeals site, and thought it might be fun to try this year.

Green Bean Casserole with Bacon - Palmettos and Pigtails

Green Bean Casserole with Bacon

  • 2 (12-oz) packages steam-in-bag green beans
  • 1 (8-oz) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-oz) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (2.8-oz) container French fried onions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook beans in microwave as directed. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Sauté mushrooms in butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once after 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add to beans in bowl.
  3. Cook bacon in skillet until crisp. Crumble bacon, and add to beans. Reserve 1 Tbsp drippings in skillet. Cook onion and garlic in drippings until tender. Add to beans. Stir in Alfredo sauce and cheese.
  4. Spoon into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with French fried onions. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly.

What side dishes do you make at Thanksgiving?
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A Minted Christmas Card – A Vote

We are a week and a half out from Lincoln’s Baptism Celebration….and then four days later, Thanksgiving.  And then the Christmas Season.  Because around here, it truly is its own season.  Every weekend we have a party or event to go to.  School days are filled with Christmas crafts, Operation Christmas Child, and Nativity programs.  And my evenings are spent planning, sewing and shopping.  Y’all, where does the time go in December?

But, it’s not December. Yet.  So as far as I am concerned, I’m ahead of the game.  For now.  This week, I’m starting to think about Christmas cards.  Those beautiful little reminders of how blessed we all are.

Blog Christmas Card

This was my homemade Christmas card from 2012.  This year, I’m teaming up with Minted.com to share their 2014 Christmas Card line.  They are giving me a chance to try some of their gorgeous Christmas cards to send out this year….but I’m having a hard time deciding!!!

That’s where you come in.  I need your help!  I’ve chosen a few of my favorite styles {it’s super easy to Pin and to Favorite each card you like on their website}, and was wondering if you can weigh in with your pick.  Leave me a comment with which one you like best!

Choice #1: Year in a Nutshell

Year in a Nutshell Photo Card from Minted.com

It’s a little more modern than I typically do, but I love that you can add your “stats” and highlights too!

Choice #2: Love Tree

Love Tree Christmas Card from Minted.com

Choice #3: Very Merry Flourish

Very Merry Flourish Christmas Card by Minted.com

I like that the shape is different and pretty….but it’ll be hard for me to find a vertical picture of our family that I like!

Choice #4: Bright Days

Bright Days Christmas Card by Minted.com

So here’s a compromise that is pretty and horizontal!

Choice #5: Heart, Halo, Hooray!

Heart, Halo, Hooray! Christmas Card by Minted.com

Keep in mind that if you click on the link in each card’s name, you can play around with the color of the lettering and the cut style of the card.

Which one do you think I should choose?

Check out this week’s awesome deals: 15% off Holiday cards and 20% off Foil-pressed cards.  Click here for details.

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