DIY No Sew Fleece Nap Mat Cover

Let me say this simply…the last couple days I have been struck with a case of “mommy meltdowns.” One minute I am fine and the next minute I look around at all the home projects piling up and I start to weep. Any other moms suffer from this?!? My car is a victim of post road trip nastiness. The garage/art studio has turned into a junk yard. Our landscaping is so overgrown it looks like a Bengal tiger should be pouncing out at any moment. The list goes on and on. My kids can help with some of the chores but honestly sometimes it just makes more work for me when they “help.” I keep reminding myself that school starts very VERY soon. Within the next couple of weeks all THREE of my kids will be going off to school. Yes, that is correct. I said all THREE kids. Whoop, whoop! I have graduated to a new stage of motherhood. Sawyer’s preschool is only for 10 hours a week, BUT that is 10 hours a week to check things off my to-do list…KID FREE.
I am channeling my focus on back-to-school prep and choosing to ignore my home “to-do” list until my new-found freedom arrives. So with that being said, I decided to make Sawyer a DIY no-sew nap mat cover for preschool this morning. This was a project that I could get done with the “help” of my kids…and let’s just say I had A LOT of help. We ventured out to JoAnns to pick out all of our supplies.  There was no shortage of no-sew fleece! The options were endless.  Sweet Sawyer was so excited with her choice of Frozen themed fleece.  Her joy made me smile.

Can you cut? Can you tie a knot? If so, you qualify to make a no-sew nap mat cover!

SUPPLIES:

-1 nap mat  (I bought mine at Target)

-1.5 yards (length) of no-sew fleece to be used for the front and back of the nap mat. (JoAnns had a great selection).

-1 yard (length)of no sew fleece to be used for the blanket.

-Scissors

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cut the 1.5 yards of fleece into two equal sections.  Stack on top of one another.

2. Lay nap mat on top of the stacked fleece. Trim fleece so there is 4 to 5 inches of fleece bordering the mat.


3. Place nap mat in between to two layers of fleece. Cut 1″ fringe, 4 to 5 inches deep, all around the stacked fleece except for the top part. Cut corners out.


4. Tie the top piece of fringe and bottom piece of fringe together along the length of the sides and bottom.

*Ignore the top of my mat.  I didn’t trim it before I took the picture. However, this picture shows what the sides and bottom should look like once tied. I guess I am my own rule breaker.

5. At the top of the mat, cut the top piece of fleece straight across. Do NOT cut the bottom piece.


6. Tuck the bottom piece over the nap mat and under the top piece of fleece. This step is to make it easy to slid the mat out for when the cover needs to be washed.img_5106-3

 

7. Poke the fringe out of the side knots and tie to a piece of fringes.  Do this on both sides of the mat. The cover is finished!img_5107

8. Flip the nap mat over so the bottom piece of fleece is now on the top.

9. Lay the remaining 1 yard of fleece on top of the covered nap mat. Leave 4 to 5 inches of fleece hanging off on one side and the bottom. On the other side of the nap map, trim the remaining fleece so that 6-12 inches are left.

10. Cut 1″ fringe along the side and bottom 4 to 5 inches deep. Cut the corner out.  You only need to fringe the bottom part until you reach the end of the covered nap mat.  Once you reach that point, cut the fleece as if you are cutting out a corner. See picture.


11. Tie the “blanket” fleece fringe along the one side and bottom to the nap mat cover’s fringe to attach the blanket. See picture in step 4.

12. Covered nap mat COMPLETE. ✔️ Good job!

I think it’s safe to say that Sawyer LOVES her new nap mat.  Hopefully she will be a good napper at school.

As for now, my case of “mommy meltdowns” has subsided. My to-do list CAN wait until the kids are back to school. Until then, I will wear pretend blinders while in my post-roadtrip car, junk yard garage, or jungle-like front yard and hope that no tiger pounces at me.tiger-in-the-grass-jane-schnetlage

 

 

 

Baby Steps to BIG Dreams

Yesterday I had a very encouraging talk with a dear friend. We talked about all sorts of stuff especially our life dreams and goals. We both admitted that our dreams intimidate us. We share the fear of “How in the world are we going to achieve these goals?!?”
Here is what we came up with to achieve our goals in our short 4 HOUR (sarcasm) discussion:
1. Encourage one another

2. Take baby steps

3. Live one day at a time

4. Trust God

5. Follow your heart

6. Believe in yourself

7. Do NOT give up

8. We have ONE life (on earth), live it up!

9. Step out of your comfort zone

10. And…keep dreaming
I HOPE to do more and more with my art. It’s easy to get discouraged on this journey but I remind myself that I don’t need overnight success. Slow progress is better than no progress, right?!?
Today, I took another baby step in my ‘artist’ journey and set up a booth full of my paintings at a local store. I have to say that I am really proud of myself.
“I dream my paintings and I paint my dreams.” -Vincent Van Gogh

Don’t Lose Your Marbles!

*This post is for mommas who are looking for ways to reward their kids for good and helpful behavior.
Larson got a marble in his jar!!


What’s a “Marble in a Jar,” you ask?
It’s the reward/discipline system I use for our kids and they LOVE it. It’s amazing how powerful a bag of @dollartree marbles can be for motivating these kids!
How it works-

1. Each kid gets two jars. I recommend two different shaped jars so they know the difference between the two. I have found it helpful to write my kids’ name on their jars so they don’t get mixed up.

2. Fill one of each kids’ jar with 50 marbles. This jar will serve as the ‘bank.’

3. For every good, positive, helpful deed they do, they can earn one marble to put in their ‘earned’ jar.

4. Marbles can be taken away and put back into the ‘bank’ for disrespectful, rude, or negative behavior. (The kids do NOT like when they lose a marble!)

5. Once all 50 marbles are moved from the ‘bank’ to the ‘earned’ jar, I give my kids a $5 bill. So, each of the 50 marbles equals $.10 each.

6. When the kids have earned their $5, simply transfer the marbles back to the ‘bank’ from the ‘earned’ jar and start over.


What you will need:
– 2 jars for each kid. I recommend transparent jars so it is easy for the kids to see their progress. Glass jars look nice and can pass as home decor.

– 50 marbles for each kid

– Dry erase or permanent marker to write their names on the jars.

– $5 bills

Rock Bottom Gave Me a Solid Foundation

Addiction is a family disease. One person uses but the whole family suffers. This statement holds true for our family. I may not be the addict, but addiction has messed with my thought process. I know I didn’t cause the addiction, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it. However, addiction has often times left me feeling like a worthless failure of a mom and wife because my family was deteriorating in front of my eyes.
My heart was broken back in November when active addiction sneaked back into our home. I knew it wasn’t a choice to crumble as I had three kids who needed me to be strong. Hitting my rock bottom gave me a solid foundation to start rebuilding my life. I was determined to direct my energy to an area in which I believe I am gifted in, art. Art is very therapeutic and something I thoroughly enjoy. No longer was I going to allow addiction to hold me prisoner of JOY. I was set free with my big dreams.


So here I am two days away from launching my ‘Sarah Turnbaugh Mabry’ paintings at a local craft show. These paintings were all inspired from the HOPE, FAITH, and DREAMS I leaned on during a low season in my life.
“On Christ the rock solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

Today Is Going To Be A Good Day!

I make the choice every morning to see the positives and seek joy. Before my feet hit the floor I tell myself, “Today is going to be a GOOD day!”

I haven’t always taken this approach in the past. It’s easy to have a negative attitude and be consumed with self pity, anger, resentment, bitterness, and fear. Let me just tell you, it makes for a much more painful life process!

The other day I talked to John (my husband) for the first time since he left to seek help. Communication is very limited and I never know when I can expect a call. When we do talk we have to keep the conversations to a minimum because other patients are waiting to use the phone. My phone started ringing as I was wrapping up the kids dinner one evening. I didn’t recognize the number but I answered it in case it was an employee from the treatment facility calling to give me information. I assumed it wasn’t John because I was told he would not have access to a phone for the first week of his stay.So while loading the dish washer, I answered the phone. Much to my surprise was John’s voice on the other end. My heart wasn’t prepared to hear his voice yet as I thought he would be calling the next night. I was caught off guard. The conversation was awkward. It was sad and it was painful to hear my kids talk to their daddy over the phone. After about five minutes, we hung up the phone and I sneaked into my daughter’s nursery and cried. I wanted to be angry. I wanted to be mad. I wanted to be bitter. It’s a slippery slope to the “why me??” self pity mindset and in that quiet moment I reminded myself that I made the choice to seek joy regardless of the circumstances.

I am choosing to trust that God will take these broken pieces and make something beautiful. Our worlds not falling apart, its falling into place. In a way, I am very excited to see what God has hiding behind the curtain for the rest of my life!

Now I challenge you to go out and have a GOOD day!!

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‪#‎seekjoy‬ ‪#‎happiness‬ ‪#‎positive‬ ‪#‎glasshalffull‬ ‪#‎wifeofanaddict‬ ‪#‎rehab‬‪#‎addiction‬ ‪#‎alcoholism‬ ‪#‎substanceabuse‬ ‪#‎hope‬ ‪#‎itsagoodday‬‪#‎livelaughlove‬

5 things I learned from my 60 Day PiYo Fitness Challenge

How many of you moms out there struggle with the delusional effects on the brain caused from managing a home and kids? I definitely do! I finally got to a breaking point recently that caused me to really step outside my comfort zone to make a radical change in my life. On the surface, the process of transformation I’m about to tell you about gave the illusion that I was losing valuable time that should have been spent giving to my family. But what I found was that all of my responsibilities got done and that everyone’s happy when mommy’s happy!

I usually get wrapped up in the daily mommy grind of changing diapers, cleaning up spills, fixing meals and, of course, the dreaded never-ending laundry pile. As I attempt to type this my 1-year old daughter found a way out to our back porch and sat down in the baby pool. When I scooped her up she had a plastic piece of fake dog poop (from her brothers’ prank kit) in her mouth. Ugh!! Anyway, I’ve realized the chances of ever getting ahead in my “job” are…well…impossible. With the way things were I never felt accomplished because there was always some other demand to tend to no matter how hard or fast I worked.

I finally decided to shift my mindset away from solely stay-at-home mom duties to self-care first, then mom duties. For 60 days I committed to taking care of myself first. I NEEDED to see results somehow! My good friends Rainer and Kristen are coaches for Beach Body’s amazing at-home workout series, one called PiYo. They’re both moms and their homes haven’t imploded…yet…so I decided to do PiYo over any other workout program out there.

Surprisingly, I was able to find hidden time that allowed me to squeeze in a short work out daily, my house didn’t burn down and my kids did not spontaneously combust. Although things aren’t quite in the order I like them to be I am a MUCH happier mom because of this simple switch.

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By putting my personal goals first over the last 60-days I’ve learned these five important lessons that I’d like to share with you:

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1.  PiYo is actually relaxing.

There is a lot of commotion in our home. This video is a prime example of what I’m talking about. The activity and noise levels within our home makes me think I live in a theme park at times. So I didn’t need some super high energy workout. I used my PiYo workouts as a healthy escape to calm my mind and my body. PiYo is actually a combination of Pilates and Yoga so, although physically challenging, it provided me a way to center myself with its flexibility and fluid movement elements. Unlike other programs like Insanity and P90X, PiYo is low impact, requires no equipment and its exercises can easily be adapted to any fitness level.

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2. Consistence is key.

As with any habit, good or bad, it takes roughly of 3-4 weeks to retrain your mind and body to adapt to a new set of standards. I could easily have just done PiYo for 30-days, but I truly felt I needed – and deserved for that matter – a full 60-days of caring for myself in this way. I only missed one or two days, and that was even while traveling out of town for a week. I made up for the missed day by doubling up the next day. But I could tell when I missed a workout. I didn’t feel as relaxed, clear-minded or confident the few days I missed. Once you get into the routine it becomes addicting.

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3. Accountability is important.

This was one of the most important elements of my two month journey. When I purchased my PiYo kit from my friend, who is a registered Beach Body coach, I was able to join her Facebook group. I have to admit that I resisted checking in with an online group at first. But I found it extremely helpful to know other women cared about my daily progress and could encourage me on days when I didn’t feel like doing it. It was also helpful for me to be a cheerleader to others.

4. Motivation is a must.

I don’t know about you, but I need to feel cute if I am going to be working out. So what’s the first thing any sane woman does before she starts a workout program? She goes shopping for cute clothes, of course!  I purchased two new swim suits, a new pair of gym shoes and a few funky, upbeat bandannas with my birthday money. My new shoes made me want to work out so I had an excuse to wear them. My new swimsuits made me want to work out because I know that I will be wearing them soon now that it is getting close to the summer months. Heck, I even wore one of my swimsuits to work out in once for extra motivation. I have to say that this trick of working out in a swimsuit made me push myself harder than I normally do because I know the results I want to have.

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5. Keep your eye on the goal.

I think where a lot of people get stuck in making changes to their diet and exercise is that they don’t see immediate results so they quit. I knew where I wanted to go, but I had times of doubt. In smaller moments during workouts when I wanted to quit I had to remind myself how I wanted to feel after the workout – you know, accomplished and exhausted – and not on the uncomfortable pain I was currently in. In terms of the bigger picture, there were several days I did not feel like working out at all. But having my accountability team in place, along with the encouragement from my family, I was able to stay the course I had set before me.

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One of the best moments was when I went to my cousin’s wedding seven weeks into my program. I got so many compliments on how healthy I looked. Those simple words of encouragement helped me to finish my 60 days strong and now I have continued my daily workouts. The experience at the wedding reminded me that I need to be more deliberate in complimenting other people because one simple kind word from someone can completely change someone’s day or even week.

So whatever your goal is I hope my experience has encouraged you to take the first step in committing to whatever is you want to change or accomplish. If you need any motivation just let me know. I’ll be happy to be your cheerleader.

Love, Sarah

And now I give you my BEFORE and AFTER pictures:

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Fitness Success Update

Here’s a look at the fitness successes John and I have had recently. It’s so easy to say that kids, physical limitations and life in general keep us from taking care of our minds and bodies through regular exercise. You have to make the conscience decision every day to choose good health over the poor lifestyle decisions of junk food and a sedentary lifestyle. Join us this summer as we continue to reclaim healthier minds and bodies from the business of life that will no longer rule in our household. Just decide to move and choose better foods today to get started. It’s a one day at a time journey.