Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My Thoughts on Politics and Social Media

As the announcements continue to be made by presidential hopefuls, more and more posts about politics have started popping up all over. I'd like to share my thoughts on politics and social media.

There are a few topics in life that cry out for opinions to be shared. And throughout my life, I've welcomed those opinions. Politics, like religion, seems to be something people just can't stay civil about. And that makes my blood boil.

I'm a pretty even-tempered person. While I can be stubborn and what some may label opinionated, I also do my very best to stay open-minded. When I see posts on Twitter, Facebook, and the like that are full of hate, I just can't seem to help myself. My little fingers type and type and type... and then I erase my post... Then I sit there... staring at the screen. Sometimes I'll retype my message. Other times I force myself to get up and walk away!

So here's my hope for this election season:
- We will stay civil as we discuss politics.
- We'll refrain from name-calling.
- We will stay positive in our comments. (For example, I personally feel saying, "I would vote for this person because he wants to... " can go a lot further in sharing your position instead of saying, "I'd never vote for this person! I can't believe she said...")
- We'll be cautious in our use of absolutes--words like "never", "always", "all Republicans" and "every single Democrat".

Really, my questions are simple: Have any of you changed your political views because someone called an opposing candidate inappropriate names? Have any of you taken time to consider what someone has to say when their posts on social media don't even address an issue, but simply say how much he hates one of the candidates? I'm genuinely curious about this.

Unfortunately, I'm also a realist. Even as I type this, I know I'll need to write a big note to myself to just take a deep breath and walk away from the computer when I see posts full of hate.

I recently took a quiz that was supposed to show which candidate I agree most with. I thought it was really well put together. It went through many of the major issues, asked questions, and gave short explanations if needed. I wasn't surprised with the top result, but I was surprised to see some of the others on my list. So I did a little research and looked up a specific candidate's Facebook page. I was unfamiliar with him, so I wanted to learn more about what he would do if elected. But I couldn't actually find what he believed in. The page was full of "The current president is doing this wrong..." and "She'll be horrible if elected because..." After about 10 minutes, I had to give up. I couldn't find this candidate's position on issues on the Facebook page anywhere. I'd like to actually hear why I supposedly agree with him. Do you have a good source to learn more about different candidates?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Small Homes

About three years ago, I ran across this awesome printable from Brightsides Designs. "Small homes grow tight families!" It touched me so deeply because we had recently purchased our "small home" and were growing our little family in it. I just got around to purchasing this awesome printable last week, though. It's currently in our entryway.

I've been reflecting on our little home a lot lately. We're at a point where we'd need to move soon or end up staying for awhile longer.

I grew up in a large home with lots of land and lots and lots of kids. Even though there were so many of us, there was always somewhere (usually outside) to go if you wanted to be alone.

My own little family is very different. While we don't live in a large city, we live in a very different environment from where I grew up--just 20 minutes away. We live in a lovely established neighborhood. We walk everywhere we can. We have friends up and down the street. But we often find ourselves shut safely and securely in our "small home" as we grow our family. And we really have become very tightly knit.

This is where we've learned that our kids really do have senses of humor. You know when they've gotten to the age where they can joke back with you! This is where we've had sleepovers in the living room. It's where we've read countless picture books each night and chapter books over the summers. This is where we've joined together each night to read scriptures and say our prayers. And yes, it's even where we've watched t.v. from the kitchen table... and of course it's where there have been sibling squabbles, disagreements, and long, tiring days. But it's been those times that we couldn't really run away. We had to work things out together.

I know we won't live here forever. In fact, there are many days I can't wait to leave because of the small kitchen and minuscule bathroom. But it's bittersweet to think about where we might spend our next chapter. I have to tell myself that no matter where we are--in a different house or living away from each other when the kids are grown--that we'll still be our sweet, close, and loving family.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Painters Tape Canvas Art

We've had an oddly rainy summer so far... and to be honest, we're kind of pansies when it comes to the really hot days. So we've been turning to our Pinterest list a lot lately for indoor activities.

Here's one we did today. The idea was on an adorable Australian website called Bright Star Kids. You can see the instructions and photos on their blog here.

We waited until we had some 50% off coupons for our craft store & grabbed a pack of 3 canvases. I got to make one, too! Yay! My kids are older, so we used acrylic paints. I did some reading and a lot of people said washable (like one of our favorite sets from Crayola) should work well on canvas.


I tore off long strips of painters tape and had the kids arrange it how they wanted. We're big Minecraft fans, so I shouldn't have been surprised that we had at least one plan for a Creeper... Then we just squeezed out some of our favorite paint colors onto paper plates and painted!


You can wait and allow some paint to dry if you want to add layered details like stripes or dots.




  


When the paint is completely dry, you just pull up the painter's tape. Voila! A fun indoor activity that gives you unique artwork ready to hang. I love when you can have you children's artwork hanging up in your home. It can create such a sense of belonging and pride for them.



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

M is for Monster - Preschool in a Box



Where, oh where was M is for Monster when I had toddlers and preschoolers? This "preschool in a box" is one subscription box you will adore if you have young children!

Bitsy #1 went to an adorable little small-town preschool. For much of that school year, we were living with my parents while we house-hunted. The preschool was a perfect fit for her and it didn't break the bank. But when Bitsy #2 was ready for preschool, we had moved into our home. We weren't very far away, but it was far enough and to a bigger town--we saw a big jump in the cost of preschool! Ouch!

Bitsy #2 ended up with quite the diverse preschool experience! One year, we had a little co-op with some friends from church. We'd each take a day to have the preschoolers in our home. It was wonderful! The next year, we were on a waiting list for a small preschool he ended up going to for the 2nd semester. But that 1st semester was pretty chaotic! Bitsy #2 was SO ready for school. I was constantly scouring the internet for ideas and searching stores for specific supplies for our lessons. It was exhausting! Looking back, M is for Monster would have been a perfect fit for us. 

That's my experience. I know as parents, we each have very unique experiences with our children. I am all for doing what works best for your family and your children. So if preschool boxes fit in to your toddler and preschooler experiences, I'd highly recommend trying M is for Monster.

BLOG
M is for Monster was designed by a stay at home mom with too much to do. She spent many hours per week planning and shopping for things to do with her kids that week. She wanted to make other stay at home mom and dads jobs easier as well as working moms and dads who wanted to help their children grow. M is for Monster has themed weekly learning activities with all the supplies included for you and delivers them right to your door! No more planning and shopping and spending too much money on extra supplies!



Above is an example of some of the goodies in the May 2015 box. You will love the play-based learning activities geared toward your toddler or preschooler. Hop on over to M is for Monster to check out this amazing subscription box. You won't be sorry!

You can also like them on Facebook for updates. Then check out the blog for freebies! Yay! Free printables and free monthly lesson plans. Amazing!





Monday, June 1, 2015

Fun Printables For the End of the School Year

It's June and that means that school is almost out for summer! I've taken a few minutes to put together a list of all our fun printables for the end of the school year. If you don't see something you're looking for, I'm always happy to take custom orders. Just let me know!


We have these fun last day of school printable signs. They are instant downloads, so you can print immediately after you purchase! 

Or if you're looking for something a little more personal, we have fun customized last day of school printables in a variety of colors. This is a great photo prop! Just print, have your child hold, and snap some quick photos. What a great way to remember all your child's favorites from this school year.


Does your little one ride a school bus? Here's a sweet and simple bus driver printable. Print and pop it in a frame or turn it into a card for your child to write a note to that special bus driver!


Don't forget our FREE PRINTABLE over on Somewhat Simple. This printable teacher newspaper is perfect on its own or paired with your favorite teacher gift. The best part? It's free!



  

Are you feeling ambitious and want to make something on your own? You may enjoy some of our clipart sets at BitsyClips. All our digital art and paper sets are instant downloads, so you can start creating right away.


If you have a few more weeks like we do, you may enjoy these awesome teacher notepads. (We had so many snow days this year, the kids are going until June 18th! Wow!)

I hope you all have an amazing summer!



Monday, May 18, 2015

Do you work from home?



Friends, as a work at home mom and a member of a few online mom communities, one of the questions I see time and time again is, "Are there legitimate work at home options for moms?"

Over the next few weeks, I'll be collecting different stories from you, Dear Readers, to share with those moms who ask in the future. If you have a story you'd like to share, please contact me with a short paragraph about your experience as a work at home mom. These can be stories about how you make it work as a blogger, freelancer, artist, etc. (The story you share with me now will not be published. It will help me determine who will be chosen to contribute.)

If you tried something that did not work and think it would be helpful for our readers to hear about it, I'd love to see your thoughts, too.

If you're chosen to contribute to our on-going feature on working from home, we'll ask that you write a blog post that will be published here on the BitsyCreations. It will be shared all over social media and we'll link to your business website, facebook, pinterest--wherever you'd like!

I can't wait to hear from you!

Please note: I'll be limiting the number of direct sales stories to those with unique experiences.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Win a FREE Printable from BitsyCreations Plus a $25 Amazon Gift Card

I am so excited about this giveaway! You can win a FREE Printable from BitsyCreations PLUS a $25 Amazon Gift card. There are so many ways to enter! Just have a look below. If you have any questions, please let me know!

The giveaway starts TODAY, April 13th and goes until late Friday, April 17th.

No purchase is necessary to be entered, but if you purchase a printable from BitsyCreations between now & Friday, you will be entered in the giveaway FIVE times! The best part is, all printables are 50% off right now! Woohoo!

ONE winner will be chosen. Winner will receive $25 gift card AND choice of one printable from Printable Wall Art section of BitsyCreations.etsy.com (This only includes our $5 printables. Custom printables are excluded from the prize.) Please be sure to follow the guidelines in the form below to enter this giveaway. If your name is chosen as a winner & you have not, for example, left a comment, your entry will be disqualified.



Here are a few of our favorite printables:

   






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