The Best Laid (Lent) Plans- For Kids

Lent is almost here guys, and I’m super excited to PLAN ALL THE THINGS. Because we all know I love PLANNING. But actually EXECUTING IT AND DOING STUFF is…not what I love. So we’ll see.

(Like I’m planning on giving up swearing. We’ll see. But that’s a post for another day.)

But anyway.

So I’m trying to balance between keeping things simple enough to succeed (success is really important for my kids sticking with…well, anything.) and actually making them understand that something is different.

That’s a big thing this year- my daughter is seven, which is the age of reason and so she’s required to abstain from meat for the first time this year. And so that’s pretty cool and I really wanted her to understand what is happening. She picked something to give up all on her own, and we’re trying hard to make her understand that abstaining is not just a mean way to make her give up her happy meal from Grandma on Fridays.

The other major things we’re doing  are following a daily reflection book, weekly stations of the cross, attempting to get to daily Mass at least once a week (to be fair, I attempt this every week. And a lot of times it fails.) and doing sacrifice noodles. (Stay with me.)


The book is pretty typical. We have a copy that is the same except with teachings from Mother Teresa, but I wanted to focus on the Little Flower with the kids, since we have a family devotion to her. It’s nicely set up with a scripture verse, adult devotion, and a reading for children.

(And crafts. Of course.)

We’re also going to be doing the Children’s Stations of the Cross (just at home, so just praying them and not walking around or anything.) I’m aiming to do it every week, but we’ll see how far the kids’ attention spans go. More than anything, I don’t want to make them feel like Lent is a burden.


The sacrifice noodles are new, and I found it something on the internet. They’re technically sacrifice beans but I’m allergic to beans and I figured anything else my kids would put in their mouths. So uncooked elbow macaroni noodles are our new sacrifice symbol!

You designate a jar or a vase (we’re having a vase, because it pleases me aesthetically) and every time the children do something nice for one another, listen perfectly, or give something up for Jesus, they get to put a noodle in the vase. On Easter Sunday, the Easter Bunny (or mom and dad if you don’t do that) switch out all the noodles for jelly beans. The kids get to eat the jelly beans as they continue to offer things up or behave nicely. I think it’s a really nice way of concretely showing them that we need to offer things up for others as well as having a way to continue it through the Easter season and beyond.

What are you doing for Lent in your home or homeschool?

 

Kathleen’s Winter

A few months ago, I subscribed to Martha Stewart Living. I don’t know why. I think it was free. Also sometimes I fancy myself a totally put-together lady who loves entertaining instead of someone who admittedly does love a good cocktail party but is also wearing leggings and no makeup and not minimal makeup, I mean NO makeup.

Anyway. Martha apparently has her stuff together. (Except for that prison stint.) Every month she includes a monthly calendar with all the different things she does every day, to keep your home and life running smoothly. It looks like this:


And it makes me feel really gross. Because my February calendar of barely-getting-by looks more like, well, something like this:

February 1st: Wake up in the morning anticipating gliding through the day getting ready for Squeak’s birthday like a party goddess. Stumble through the day more like an insane person who definitely did not shower. Finish with a drink and a good convo re:Mormons.

February 2nd: Squeak’s Birthday! On Martha’s calendar, family and friends birthdays are totally blocked off because you know she just is truly PRESENT to those people all day. Not the case with a seven-year-old’s birthday. There’s a lot more “No, you can’t play with the harpoon gun I know you got it for a present.”

February 3rd: Spend day looking around dazedly and wonder if you should just move instead of clean.

February 4th: Investigate mortgage rates.

February 5th: Decide you can’t afford to move and begin extracting glitter from between the floor boards.

February 6th: Glitter.

February 7th: Laugh when someone mentions bulbs or seeds or something to you because pssh it’s winter. I’m not doing anything outside until I have to.

(Probably not even then.)

February 8th: Today the snow melted and Martha suggest surveying property for damaged trees. I surveyed our property for summer toys we lost and wash the biggest chunks off of a boat I haven’t seen since October and gave it to my kid to play with because he was bugging me.

February 9th: Think about Spring cleaning schedule. Laugh.

February 10th: Still laughing.

February 11th: Ignore the dryer vent that will probably one day kill us all.

February 12th: Celebrate anniversary with husband by having him forget about it and you passive aggressively talking about the day you met all day.

February 13th: Display beautiful flowers from husband!

February 14th: Valentine’s Day! Make a lava cake that you hide until after the kids go to bed. Think that some day they’ll probably put you in a home and call over their shoulders “Gonna go have some lava cake by myself now, Mom!” as they leave you there. Decide that you still really need a little time to yourself.

February 15th: Throw away all the half-assed valentines your kids made that even they don’t care about.

February 16th: Attempt a pilates video on YouTube. Laugh at how ridiculous that is. Go back to eating left over lava cake.

February 17th: Brother-in-law’s birthday! Celebrate by saying horrifying things to each other under the guide of “Cards Against Humanity.”

February 18th: Consider spring wardrobe. Wonder when you last wore pants. Don’t care.

February 19th: Wrassle two children to Mass and yep, that pretty much takes care of the day.

February 20th: Long morning hike…through Aldi.

February 21st: Bring fresh eggs to office…wait. I don’t have eggs. Or an office. Settle for offering children Cookie Crisp OR Fruit Loops for breakfast. Like we’re a friggin restaurant or something.

February 22nd: Try to explain fractions to daughter. Have her respond with “But they’re all pieces!” just like you did when you were little. Stare at wall and reconsider life choices.

February 23rd: Begin to prepare for spring gardens…by picking the obvious Christmas stuff off the potted evergreens you bought in November.

February 24th: Dinner with friends…which is free and involves childcare. DATE NIGHT.

February 25th: Don’t put on pants.

February 26th: Relax after church ignoring responsibilities until half an hour before bedtime and then run around like a banshee BECAUSE WE HAVE TO GET READY FOR THE WEEK GAAAAH.

February 27th: MIL’s birthday. Celebrate by drinking her wine that you can’t afford.

February 28th: Look back at the month and plan for March. Cry. Laugh. Decide you don’t care. Pour another glass of wine.

Ride or Die

Okay imma be honest. I don’t really understand the name of this challenge or tag or whatever. I ride horses and there’s very little makeup in that. And die? Geez. I love my ABH palette as much as the next girl, but it’s not like I’d die without it.

Anyway, they’re basically the one product in every category that you (in theory) couldn’t live without.

(You know, if we’re going to totally ignore the fact that there are starving children in the world and MAAAAYBE our choice of setting powder isn’t the most important thing.)

(I’m bumming myself out.)

(On with the list.)


Tool: Original Beauty Blender, from sephora.com. Absolutely the best for blending foundations and liquid products.

Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Primer. Corrects my redness and fills my pores.

Foundation: L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte. At around $8 a tube, amazing deal and holds up suuuper well. Combine with the Pro-Glow foundation for a satin finish.

Concealer: tarte ShapeTape Contour Concealer. Heavy duty highlighting and contouring concealor and works better than anything else for undereye circles. Also the biggest container of concealer on the market for the price.

Setting Powder: Laura Mercier Translucent setting powder. Because I’m a follower.

Finishing Powder: Smashbox Halo finishing Powder. Expensive but lasts FOREVER.

Blush: Urban Decay Afterglow Blush, in Fetish. Great rose neutral for everyday. As soon as you get over asking the salesperson for fetish.

Contour Palette: Fiona Stiles Sheer Sculpting Palette. It’s a close one with the ABH palette but I love this one because it’s so light and blendable. I can do a real contour or just a little dimension.

Highlighter: essence PureNude in Be My Highlight. Light, natural, but can be built up. And $4.49. 

Lip Product: Bare Minerals Natural lipgloss in Sangria. They don’t make this anymore and I’m so so so sad. It’s perfect.

Eye Primer: Smashbox 24 Hour Primer. I can put my eyeshadow on at 7 am and it’s perfect at 11pm. 

Eye Palette: Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Palette. I reach for this almost every day. Best quality matte shadows I’ve found, and the only one I’ve hit pan on in years.

Eyeliner: Smashbox Always Sharp eyeliner in Raven. DOES. NOT. MOVE.

Mascara: TooFaced Better Than Sex. Makes my lashes look false.

Lashes: Ardell Demi Wispies in black. 

Brows: Maybelline Brow Precise Micro Pencil in Auburn or soft brown. 

So there you go. My picks for the best products if you happen to be a pasty Irish chick concerned with aging who’s on a budget.

THIS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.*

*Okay maybe not change so much as save you a little money. **

**Okay and maybe not everybody, but just people who use a beauty blender sponge.***

***And really only people who are too cheap/poor to replace them as frequently as you’re supposed to.

FINE. This will be a moderate convenience to cheap women who use beauty blender sponges.

THERE. It’s not like we’re talking about the Blessed Sacrament here.

Anyway. My point. 

So I have a beauty blender from Sephora and I use it every day. It gets really gross and nasty and stained, even though I’m super pale. I imagine women with deeper skin tones have even more trouble. 

I tried washing it with soap and water, and with my Purity which I use for my brushes. Nothing. Then I tried the official Blender Cleanser, which does admittedly work amazingly. 

But it’s $30 for the 10 oz container. It’s almost cheaper to replace the $20 sponge more frequently. 

Last weekend I was bopping around YouTube and I found a bunch of videos suggesting and alternative way of cleaning and making your sponge like new again. Pssh. Whatever. My sponge is destroyed.

But it was a Sunday night, I had all the ingredients, and needed a makeup post for the blog this week, so I tried it out.

GUYS.

IT WORKS.

I KNOW.

So here’s the super secret combo of speciality ingredients for this Blender Cleanser dupe.

Dollar store antibacterial dish soap and extra virgin olive oil.

Yeah. Try to stay with me.

Put a small amount of the dish soap on a surface. (The video I copied said to use aluminum foil, but it’s not a chemical reaction at all. Next time I’ll just do it on a plate or bowl.) Put about half that amount of olive oil in the center.


Mix them together with your finger, and then rub all over your blender. Massage it it in wnd really scrub and then rinse out THOROUGHLY.

(This takes a while. Do it until the water runs clear out of the blender.)


Look!!! It’s totally clean. The dish soap cleans and kills bacteria (which you don’t want on something you’re literally rubbing all over your face.) The olive oil helps break up makeup products in the sponge and also conditions the sponge.

So there you go. You can do this as frequently as you need to and stop buying $30 soap to wash your $20 sponge.

(If you listen hard, you can already hear my husband go, “YOU SPENT HOW MUCH ON A SPONGE???” 

Birthday Weekend Carnage

Last week was Squeaks’ birthday (see my nauseatingly sentimental post below,) and we had overnight guests and parties and Buzz took off and it turned into a several day Bachanalia that taught me that a.) I am not 25 anymore with regards to the drinking, b.) cards against humanity is amazing, and c.) my family are horrible people. But funny. Horrible and funny.

And then I spent all day Saturday cleaning. Literally. All day.

And honestly, it was glorious. I really enjoyed myself.

I am old.


We woke up and the birthday girl got dressed exclusively in Rainbow Dash’s spring 2017 line.


The house was decorated for her, as per her specific requests.






She received presents from us (makeup, natch) and was given chocolate chip pancakes. 


We had barely finished digesting when she requested Culver’s for lunch, and well, you can’t say no. 


Catboy accompanied us and also enjoyed himself.


Catboy also got into the cupcakes and we had a very stern talk about licking things and putting them back. 



She had a wonderful party with literally everyone we know.


Then things got real. Hilariously real.


The next morning she and her friend played with glitter and paint and succeeded in getting it in between each and every floorboard! I know! Impressive!


Buddy was done.


We had another party.


Buddy was super done.


Then after I basically burned the house clean, I was able to relax with a book while other people watched football.

It was lovely.

Seven

Dear Eva,

Today you turn seven years old, baby girl. I can’t believe it. Seven is not a toddler. It’s not a preschooler. It’s not even a small kid. It’s a verifiable big kid who can go places and do things all on their own. 

This is insane to me. In my head, you’re still the little girl I saw for the first time on Holy Thursday. You’re still the baby that handed me her doll when I came over for the first time. You’re still the sweet little one I would hug that summer and to whom I would whisper how much I would always love you because even if I wasn’t around forever I wanted you to maybe have a flash of a memory of how much I loved you.

But things worked out and you’re my seven-year-old now. And I have never been given a more precious gift than when God and Daddy gave me the chance to be your mommy.

I have had six birthdays with you, made six cakes, blown up six million balloons, thrown six parties. I have gotten you up and sung happy birthday to you six times. I have cuddled you a little bit longer for six years because on today of all days the years seem to be going faster. 

I wrote last week about how I try to be thankful for my life, just being here, and your birthday makes me renew that pledge. Your mama only got to spend one birthday with you, the one where she gave you life and welcomed you into the world. I am forever  cogniscent of each and every precious birthday I get to celebrate with you, my beautiful daughter. 

Being your (and your brother’s, but this is your day) mommy is the best thing I’ve ever gotten to do. Watching you grow into a beautiful daughter of God is the greatest thing I will ever do. Your soul is my greatest jewel and honor, and I am so thankful that I get to be here to help get you to heaven. 

I can’t wait to see what you do this year, precious one. 

Love, 

Mommy