Monday, February 18, 2013




That is what it feels like life has been the last few weeks.

One thing after another, after another after another.

Never letting up, never giving me one moment of relief, not one breath before something else happens to knock me down.

Stomach punches to the gut, each one leaving me heaving and breathless on the floor.

Fetal position.

Tear stained cheeks.

Black mascara eyes on the days makeup even gets put on.

Yesterday was one such day.

I lost it in the middle of church. I bawled setting up my classroom and tried beyond tried to compose myself before my kids came in. Camilla was with me and she just looked at me with so much sweetness and love and concern. Somehow I managed to stop the tears but my face was red, my nose swollen, and there was no masking my utter sadness.

I hit rock bottom.


Right now I am sitting in the muck of the bottom of pits such as these.

I am sitting here trying to decide what to do, what my next move might be, should be, where I should go from here.

Until I know, the only things keeping me together are my babies. Three of the most amazing little people on the planet.

They are my glue.

My passion.

My fire.

They are the only ones with a rope, pulling me up and out of this dark place.

Somehow I will see the light again soon.

Even if I am not okay in this moment.

I will be.
 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini003_zpsd6ac1fab.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini001_zps7ade8200.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini002_zps2819897c.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini004_zps133f73e8.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini005_zps4305d741.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini006_zps23a02dd5.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini007_zpsd677ebda.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini008_zps1ec0c6ce.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini009_zpsaa44f016.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini010_zpsea3c37c3.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini011_zps32899abf.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini012_zps20a17d05.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini013_zpsa99cd2a6.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini014_zpsd4b975df.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini015_zpsc2553fe5.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini016_zpsb026a242.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini017_zpsffa88142.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini018_zps49683b37.jpg

 photo TaeKwonDoKarateKimOrlandini019_zps37d54d20.jpg

This amazing Jothan boy got his blue belt.

He works so very hard at all that he does. I love to see him succeed and find joy in all of the things he does in his life. He is such a good example to me that happiness is possible and that life just isn't meant to be endured, but enjoyed.

(Thanks for the reminder Becky.)



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day | Mantel Decor Tutorial

I know this is up later than I had hoped, but let's just say that the new Photobucket hates me and it took me as much time as it would have to learn Cantonese and I probably would have picked that up faster than trying to create this blog post. Needless to say, I have it finally figured it out, and hope that this means more blogging in the future.

First of all, Happy Valentine's Day! I have missed you. You may not know this, but I craft for about an hour a day. It is part of my new year resolution to spend more time in the real world, with real people, doing real things. Some of which involve me crocheting like an old lady, but that is a post for another day.

This is my pathetic excuse for a fireplace/mantel. We have been in our home for one and a half years and while I hate this area in my home, it just kind of is and has to be this way for a while. I avoid doing anything with it because, well, the mantel ledge is approximately 2" wide and not much can fit there, not even frames without the fear of them falling.

So this season, I decided that I would try to create something to jazz it up for my kids to make it a little more exciting.

Here is a fun little tutorial for creating a quick and easy Valentine's (or any day) mantel piece. Enjoy!

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini001_zps4ab239ac.jpg

I started the season off right with this adorable xoxoxo garland for $3 from Target. Can you believe how freaking cute? I could not make a garland for that much so I bought one for me and another for a friend.

Alas, I felt like I needed to do more. I like simple, so even hanging this up was a big deal.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini002_zpsed1d726d.jpg

That is when I decided to take a trip to Walmart and their less expensive than Michael's Styrofoam forms, two tea light candle holders, some paper, pearl head sewing pins and my Carl cutter. I of course broke out the Cricut Mini. Oh my how I have come to love this little machine.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini012_zpsd290db90.jpg

If you haven't gotten a Carl paper cutter/trimmer, you are missing out. I have had my fair share of rotary trimmers and my boyfriend Carl is hands down, by far my favorite. It cuts up to 35 sheets of regular printer paper at a time, and I use it 3-4 times a week. It is that bad-a.

He is also EXTREMELY dusty in this photo.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini011_zps57bef0bb.jpg

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini003_zps6732d66e.jpg

I laid out some hearts in the software and then cut red, white, and pink versions. I probably cut a million, who knows. Looking back I would have variegated the sizes from large to small, as  you will see why in the next few steps, but whatever. I like things simple, and I am not a perfectionist and I called it good. BUT, if I ever made these for another holiday I would change the sizes and go smaller toward the top.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini004_zpsad427e8c.jpg

How fun are these hearts? They made adorable table scatter. Now that I have the beloved Cricut I will make my own confetti and table scatter for EVERYTHING. I am obsessed.

Now was time time for the real fun. I opened up the Styrofoam cones and the tea light holders I purchased.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini006_zpsd68bdac9.jpg

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini007_zpse323f44b.jpg

Then, because Walmart basically sucks and they only had one size of cone left in stock, I had to trim down one of mine to get the height difference I was going for. No biggie. I mean, who doesn't like to cut Styrofoam with knives?

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini013_zps5681e30f.jpg

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini014_zps6412464e.jpg

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini015_zps22e6dd5a.jpg

As you can see the little bits of Styrofoam ended up looking like snow, not too different from the day I made these little was a blizzard.

So my vision was to use tea light candle holders as trunks, but to create a 'lid' with the 'tree' so that I could put candy in the bottom, to make it more festive.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini016_zpsbb15c5a0.jpg

I kind of pressed the glass into the bottom of the cone to get an idea of where it would go.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini017_zpsa83321e9.jpg

I then used my knife to make a deeper cut in the circle so that the glass would stay, and the cone would be more of the lid I was hoping for.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini0171_zps15d1603d.jpg

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini018_zpscdbb3d5c.jpg

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini019_zps466378ed.jpg

Remember all of that Styrofoam blizzard specks? Well, no one likes those in their candy, so I pulled out some pink acrylic paint to paint over the top and bottom of my cones to keep all of those little specks and seal them in place.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini020_zps8537095a.jpg

Simply brush the paint on the top...

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini021_zps590e17f0.jpg

...and swirl the bottom of the cone around the plate full of paint. BOOM!

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini022_zps0cf83e40.jpg

Give DeeDee the bottom of the cone you cut off and let her paint and think that she is helping. She was so quiet for so long.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini023_zps8ddad2ca.jpg

Then the fun part, sticking the beautiful pearl pins into the hearts and cone.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini008_zpsc7204e6f.jpg

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini024_zps0929661c.jpg

I did the first row pretty straight to make a scalloped edge overlapping the bottom of the cone, and then I got all sorts of random. This is where I would have variegated the size of hearts and gone from big to small as I went up the cone. Just like when you decorate a real Christmas tree. Meh. You live and learn.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini025_zps706b9ad2.jpg

Continue all the way up the tree. (Sticking pins in things is a really great stress reliever.)

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini026_zps0f16fcb7.jpg

Then it was time to add the candy. We chose the M&M's Valentine assortment because the colors matched our hearts so perfectly.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini027_zps9988b71d.jpg

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini028_zps0c37563b.jpg

Then we stuck the cone tree lids on top. That is when I decided I needed different sized hearts and possibly that I should have painted the entire cone because you can totally see through the hearts in the following photos. From far away though? No big deal.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini029_zps2d78cf41.jpg

See? So stinking adorable and my kids thought I was super mom. Total time? 1.5 hours from gathering the materials to taking this photo, and I got to spend quality time with Camilla as she poked pins into Styrofoam with me. Bonus? They totally fit perfectly onto my ever so tiny 'mantel'.

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini030_zps73ad89d2.jpg

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini031_zps5d949660.jpg

 photo CricutValentinesDayProvoCraftKimOrlandini032_zps3d559e49.jpg

Happy Valentine's Day.