DIY Halloween Costume: Girl Pokeball

Halloween is right around the corner! I was late deciding what costume I wanted to make for my 14 month old daughter this year, so I had to make sure it was an easy DIY!

I got inspiration from a Pokéball costume I saw on Pinterest, and decided I could make something very similar for my little girl to wear. Not only is Pokémon very popular right now, but my husband also plays Pokémon Go…so I thought it would be a cute and trendy costume!

I even found some Pokémon beanies that my husband and I could wear to be part of the Pokémon theme…my daughter has to “catch us.” I also found some Pokémon stuffed animals she could carry around for props.  I included the DIY supplies and instructions below.


  • cardboard or cardstock material
  • scissors
  • black & white acrylic paint
  • paint brush
  • white tulle fabric for the tutu
  • elastic
  • needle & thread
  • black tulle fabric for the belt
  • glue gun
  • red long sleeve bodysuit
  • black or white pants (I used a pair already in her closet)


Note the measurements were specific for my daughter who is size 18 months. This costume could be made for any size, but adjust the measurements accordingly.

  1. Trace a 5-6″ wide circle on cardboard or heavy paper (I used white poster board and a bowl to trace my circle.) Use scissors to cut out the circle.
  2. Paint the circle white (if it isn’t already) and let dry. Paint a black ring on the outer edge of the circle, and draw a smaller circle directly in the center so it looks like this:
  1. While the paint is drying, you can assemble the tutu. Cut a piece of elastic to fit around the waist and give an extra 1/2″ for sewing.
  2. Cut white tulle fabric into 2 inch strips. I used a total of 2 yards (could have used up to 3 yards) and cut the fabric in half lengthwise before cutting 2 inch strips. (My strips were approximately 28″ long by 2″ wide.)
  3. Fold each strip of white tulle fabric in half, place under elastic, and pull the ends through the loop securing it around the elastic. Pull tight, and repeat until all fabric strips are used. Distribute evenly around elastic. Overlap the elastic ends by 1/2 inch, and sew together.
  4. For the belt, fold the black tulle fabric lengthwise (the piece I used was 1.5 yards long.) Find the center, and hot glue the painted circle to the fabric. (I cut a second circle and glued it to the back of the belt to secure it around the fabric.)
  5. Assemble costume with the red long sleeve bodysuit and black or white pants. I made sure the belt was long enough to tie a bow in the back.

I think it turned out really cute! It was a very low cost and an easy DIY Halloween Costume. I can’t wait for Halloween to come so we can go out and catch Pokémon, and maybe some candy too. What are your costume plans this year?

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My First Baby

Every mother has a birth story. This is mine. (Published 2016 as SAHM who blogs.)

It was 5 days after my due date.  My husband and I arrived at the hospital a little before 6 pm and went straight to the birthing center to check in. We were actually pre-checked in, so they were expecting us and took us straight to the room.

I would be induced at 6am.

The night was…uncomfortable. Bed not so comfy, tubes connected to me were awkward, and I had to get up and pee a lot.

I was hoping for any sleep, and I got about 3 hours.

I was already awake, so they induced me a little earlier than 6am. It was an easy morning. Easy for me meant: no contractions (that I could feel) and I was able to stay amused watching TV with my husband. I kept being told by the nurse, “No changes, we’ll just keep upping the Pitocin.”  I was dilated barely a 3 all morning.

The doctor came to check on me at 1pm, and my water broke.  “We’re having the baby today!”

I still wasn’t feeling any contractions, so I was hoping dilation would speed up and I’d start feeling something.  My husband and I decided to watch Disney’s Frozen. I hadn’t seen this movie yet, and we’re having a baby girl, so why not?

We made it about halfway through the movie before my contractions got very bad and frequent, I was on the waiting list to get an epidural…stat!

This was about 3:30 pm

My husband was asked to leave the room while I got the epidural. This was the first time we were apart from each other since we arrived at the hospital. The contractions were so strong (and happening every 30 seconds) the nurse had to put her forehead against mine and tell me to breathe before they could poke me with the big needle.   

I am happy I decided to get an epidural!  It went from pain and tears to no pain and being able to talk on the phone with my mom about how to turn on streaming TV shows at my house.  This means family was starting to arrive, and they were all patiently waiting for baby girl to make her arrival.

Right around 5:15 pm I could feel an enormous amount of pressure, like I needed to start pushing!  The nurse checked my dilation and I was finally ready, so they called the doctor to come back to the hospital.  

Every contraction was time to push.  It was my husband and the nurse coaching me through it…there was one time the nurse left the room and it was just my husband and me. We looked at each other like: what if the next contraction is the push where the baby comes?  Luckily, it wasn’t (and I’m sure the nurse knew that) but the realization was that this baby is coming and we were not ready to do it on our own!

About an hour went by.  It felt like I was doing a lot of pushing…I was tired, running out of energy, and looked forward to the rest time between contractions.  But, this is one thing in my life that I was not able to give up on, so I held onto every positive thing my husband and the nurse were telling me.

Eventually another nurse was called in, and around 6:30 pm my doctor arrived.  This must mean the baby is coming soon, right?

I kept being told her head was visible during my contractions, then it would disappear when I wasn’t pushing…how frustrating is that!?  Putting my frustration aside, there was a moment during pushing where everyone was cheering and the doctor looked ready…this was the moment my daughter was born.

Charlotte Jean was born on August 21, 2015 at 6:53 pm, weighing 8 lbs 12 oz, and measuring 21 inches.  Labor was a total of 13 hours, and I pushed for about 1.5 hours. 

It was an experience I will never forget.  Sharing the details is hard for me, because I do not usually share these things, but having a baby is something to be proud of!  If sharing my story can help another mother or expecting mom get through their own birthing story, I’m all about sharing it! 

What makes me even happier?  This birth story is only the beginning of our life together.

Read her little sister’s birth story HERE.

reading, sahm

How to Have Peace When You’re Falling to Pieces

A book review.

When I was younger, my mom would tell me, “To be a writer, you need to read.”  So, I was inspired as SAHM who blogs to read something that I could blog about for other moms. I chose:

How to Have Peace When You’re Falling to Pieces by Rebecca Rode

My first goal: Finish book

It took me longer than a week (or two) to read leisurely…but, I finished it!  And, it was a good read.  As a mom, I found myself thinking, “I have felt that way…I have thought that way…I have…I have!”  I give it 3 stars (out of 5). 

My second goal: Blog about it

The book is split up into puzzle pieces, and each puzzle piece has their own chapter (or chapters) of stories and support for that puzzle piece.  When all the puzzle pieces are put together, it’s symbolism for a “put together” mother at peace.  The puzzle pieces include:

1) Mother of purpose “…recognizes her own worth”

2) Mother of skill “…realizes her unique power over the family environment.”

3) Mother of work “…keeps a house of order, but she also understands that relationships are more important than her tasks.”

4) Mother of faith “…realizes her divine potential and refuses to allow trials to shake her faith for long.”

5) Mother of wisdom“…resists comparison and is content with her blessings.”

6) Mother of joy “…tries to see the positive during even the hardest of trials.”

7) Mother of peace “…foundation of purpose, skill, a love of work, faith, wisdom and joy.”

Purpose was perfect for the first puzzle piece.  As a new mother (and SAHM) the feeling of worthlessness looms overhead often, and the search for purpose is necessary to battle those feelings.  Other SAHMs may feel the “crippling pressure we find ourselves under is from our assumptions about the world’s expectations…” and “the pressure on moms is greater than ever, and yet, we also receive less credit for our work.”  These chapters have relatable scenarios, and the ability to recognize them in yourself is important.  The reality is, “Moms have only one supervisor: ourselves.”

Skill included a chapter that really stuck out to me: Control Baskets.  The author was recommended by a counselor to handle “difficulties by sorting them mentally into two baskets…” the “can control” and “can’t control” basket.  “Focus on what you can control, and forget about what you can’t.”  I think this is a very important skill to add to a mother’s toolbox, and it’s something that I need to focus on regularly.

I’ll skip ahead to…

Faith.  It really hit me when I read, “faith or fear…they cannot exist together…the moment fear creeps in, faith flees.”  What a great reminder that you need a little faith to drive your motherhood.  “There is an old saying that if everyone set their troubles on a table, they would probably take back their own.  This widening of focus to include everything we have been given, not just what we lack, has the power to change our entire outlook on life.”  Wow…that is definitely one of the powerful things about this book that I enjoy: the quotes I’m able to take away.

Side note: There were a lot of scripture stories and passages for the faith puzzle piece…and I expected it, but scriptures spilled into every other chapter and puzzle piece throughout this book.  The author seems very knowledgeable on scripture and passionate about her religion, but because I usually don’t read scripture-driven literature, it seemed like a lot at some points.

Joy is a puzzle piece I was looking forward to reading…it had chapters for me!  I always try to have a positive outlook on things, and that is a very powerful attribute as a mother.  “A mother of joy looks to her husband as an equal partner and helpmate in their journey together.  She understand that her mind is powerful and can influence her mood…A joyful mother treasures the fleeting moments with her children and makes memories with them that will last for generations.”  Being a joyful mother will shine on your children and they will learn through you.

Peace is a realistic opportunity for every mother.  The combination of recognizing, realizing, and understanding all the pieces that make your own motherhood is essential for finding peace.  By reading this book, it helped me pinpoint what is important in my own puzzle and what I strive to work on.  The end message was, “Keep moving forward…Your ‘small and simple’ offerings are noticed, and they do make a difference.”

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7 Things Parents Shouldn’t Apologize For

It seems to be a universal understanding that parents sometimes feel overly tired, hungry, stressed, and short on time (to name a few)…so apologies come out very easily.  I find myself saying sorry every day to myself, to my husband, to my baby, or even random strangers.  It is time for me to be realistic with myself and face the fact that I don’t need to be so apologetic. The word “sorry” should even be removed from my daily vocabulary!

Here are 7 things parents shouldn’t feel the need to apologize for:

1) sorry I am still in my pajamas…sometimes taking care of kids begins as soon as you roll out of bed, and finding the time to get dressed doesn’t always happen (especially if you don’t have anywhere to go.)  It’s ok!  If someone knocked on my front door right now, I’d hope they would understand why I’m still in my robe because I have a crying/teething baby on my hip today.

2) sorry I need more caffeine…do I need to explain why this shouldn’t be an apology?

3) sorry I am starving…some days you may not think about eating until you have that hangry feeling.  Just eat a little more at your next meal, don’t apologize for it.  I know my daughter’s eating schedule takes priority over my own, grabbing something for myself to eat doesn’t always happen when it should.

4) sorry my baby’s crying…babies cry. This is something that should not be your apology, most people will understand.

5) sorry I am so tired…every day. It takes a lot of time and energy to raise kids, so I think it goes unsaid that most of the time you are a tired parent who needs sleep.  No apology needed.

6) sorry I am behind schedule…it seems to happen more than you’d like, but sometimes it is out of your control and finding the flexibility is important. Use your time and energy to work on the schedule for tomorrow instead of apologizing for today.

7) sorry I need time for myself…every parent should have time to themselves. Just because you need some alone time does not mean you don’t want to be a part of the family anymore.  I know I need to work on telling my husband that I need some alone time instead of apologizing to him about it.

If someone were apologizing to me for these same things, I would say that I understand, there is no apology needed!  No apology needed…

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1 Week of Shredded Chicken Recipes

Two days before Charlotte’s due date, my mom came down to visit…so we prepped food for my freezer.  We made some casseroles, but it’s also when she showed me how to prep shredded chicken. 

She shared that she makes shredded chicken every couple of months to freeze for recipes.  It’s super easy, just put 8-10 chicken breasts in a giant crock pot with chicken broth and some seasoning, and cook all day.  Then shred the chicken and measure into 2-cup portions before placing in Ziploc bags to go in the freezer.  You can use the shredded chicken for just about anything: quesadillas, enchiladas, BBQ sandwiches…just to name a few.

Having shredded chicken portions in the freezer was a dinner-saver some nights.  You could go a whole week making easy shredded chicken meals for dinner:

Monday – BBQ Shredded Chicken Sandwiches

Tuesday – Chicken Taco Casserole

Wednesday – Chicken Pot Pie Biscuit Cups

Thursday – BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
Friday – BLT Chicken Salad Sandwiches

These are some of my favorite recipes, although I am always on the lookout for new shredded chicken recipes!

BBQ Shredded Chicken Sandwiches
1) Thaw shredded chicken 2 cup portion.
2) Mix chicken with 1 cup BBQ sauce in saucepan over medium high heat.
3) Add some zest to your BBQ sauce: 1/4 cup Italian dressing, 2 TBS brown sugar, 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce and mix well.
4) Garnish with sliced cheese and pickle slices on a toasted bun. Try pretzel buns!

Chicken Taco Casserole
1) Thaw two shredded chicken 2 cup portions.
2) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir the chicken, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup sour cream, 1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles, 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained), and 1 packet of taco seasoning together in a bowl.
3) Spray 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Layer 1/2 the chicken mixture, 3 cups crumbled tortilla chips, and 1 cup shredded cheese in casserole dish.  Layer with remaining chicken mixture and tortilla chips.
4) Cover the baking dish, bake for 30 minutes.
5) Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake uncovered 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
6) Serve with fresh chopped tomato and green onions on top.

Chicken Pot Pie Biscuit Cups
1) Thaw shredded chicken 2 cup portion.
2) Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray muffin-pan cups with cooking spray.
3) Mix chicken, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, and 1 bag thawed mixed veggies in a bowl.
4) Roll or pat each biscuit from refrigerated can until flat. Press into bottom of muffin pan and up the sides.
5) Spoon 1/3 cup chicken mixture into biscuit, top with cheese.
6) Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
1) Thaw shredded chicken 2 cup portion.
2) Heat oven to 350 degrees.
3) Stir chicken, 1/2 cup barbeque sauce, 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley, and 1/4 tsp minced garlic in bowl.
4) Lay 4 tortillas on baking sheet, evenly spread chicken mixture over tortillas, top with fresh diced tomato and shredded cheese, then place another tortilla on top.
5) Bake quesadillas in oven for 5-7 minutes on each side. To help with crispness, gently brush tortillas with vegetable oil before baking.
6) Cut into wedges to serve, goes great with salsa and sour cream.

BLT Chicken Salad Sandwiches
1) Thaw shredded chicken 2 cup portion.
2) Stir chicken, 1/4 cup crumbled bacon, fresh chopped tomato, and 1 stalk diced celery together in a bowl.
3) Whisk 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 TBS chopped parsley, 2 TBS green onions, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 dash Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste together in a bowl until smooth. 
4) Poor over chicken mixture, toss to coat.
5) Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
6) Serve on toasted bread with lettuce.

Optional garnish: avocado slices.

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