Monday, January 25, 2016

Can I have it all?

I started writing this blog post a few years ago.  The post has been edited minimally.  The sentiment still rings true today as it did 2 years ago.  

One of those rare moments.....the 4 of us at a Cub Scout Pack Event.

There was a blogger, Amy Glass, who created a huge "discussion" with her blog post,

 I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry.  At first, I was appalled by her snarky tone and "all about me" attitude.  I knew she was probably just trying to make a name for herself and to get noticed by insulting moms.  You want your name or company in the news.... Insult a mom.

The bigger picture here, is how my generation is told "YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!!!  THE HUSBAND, KIDS, HOUSE, CAREER!"  Life is going to be be Pinterest-ingly perfect!  After working in a male dominated career for over 18 years, being married for 9 years, working with said spouse for 13, being a mom for almost 8 years...  I have "it all".  It takes one hell of a woman to juggle this life.  For those of us who work out of the home, we have help.  We have to.  My help is my hubby who is anal retentive about cleaning (score one for me).  My In-laws who come to our aid as child care givers and pick up whenever and wherever we leave off.  Friends who will text me to remind me of school issues and deadlines. 

I know I will have to make a decision within the next year or so about whether or not I should continue working at the rate I am.   It is not that I am overworked at my day-job, it is just life as a funeral director/embalmer with a funeral director/embalmer husband is a lot of juggling.  It is not a lifestyle for the weak.  Our life revolves around funeral service being number 1, hubby and I together are number 2, family number 3.  My issue is that my boys are now realizing that we don't make it to the school functions OR only one of us makes it.  The guilt is not from other parents or from someone telling me this is what I am expected to do.  The guilt is from the big blue or hazel  eyes looking at me asking, "You and daddy are going to be there, right?"  Most of the time I answer,  "Yes, just as long as the funeral home doesn't need us first."

Then, you have the stay at home moms.  All I have to say to anyone woman who does not have kids, you can not begin to fathom what being a stay at home mom entails.  That is why I work!  There will be a special place in heaven for the stay at home moms/dads.  The stay at home mom/dad is the cornerstone of most of the extracurricular activities that our kids will have.  If you are lucky, you have a stay at home mom/dad looking out for you!

The real, unedited picture:  As a woman,  you are fighting so many fronts for your identity and you are told you are supposed to fit into different molds depending who you are talking to.  Women just need to support each other.  PERIOD.

***When I originally wrote this, I was just a stressed out mom who worked.  Now, I am a Cub Scout Leader, too!!!  The juggling is worse, but more fulfilling.  Being involved with such a one-on-one family centered group has been awesome.  It makes me slow down (while at Scouts) and just be there for the boys. ***

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Chnaged the title to my blog!

My Blog was titled:  KAB-beading, Babies and Hubby.
The title did not fit.  I am more than KABbeading.  My babies are now active little boys.  I never once blogged about my hubby.  I need a title that encompasses all the messy that is me!  And a theme that I can blog about anything and everything important to me.  So..... Here it is the new and improved KABbeading Blog Title:
My 100 Things to Do.
The basis of the blog will be on my 100 goals for 2016.  These goals cover every aspect of my discombobulated life!  I have a goal planner from 2014 that I never completed.  I am going back to the planner and completing it.  The planner asks for 100 goals for the year.

Here is my list of 100 Things to Do 2016!  I will BOLD when I complete a goal.
1.  Blog at least 1X/month
2.  Create a cleaning schedule (Boring....)
3.  Complete at least 1 round of the 21 Day Fix
4.  Give 10% to charity/church/good deeds
5.  Spend $10/month on advertising for my two businesses.   (Considering I spend $0, it is a start.)
6.  Purge clothes that no longer fit
7.  Donate said clothes
8.  Make it to the gym 1X/week in January  Big Fail
9.  Make it to the gym 2X/week in February
10.  Make it to the gym 3X/week in March
11.  Make it to the gym 4X/week in April
12.  Tip 100% at least once
13.  Make bed everyday (Yeah, right!)
14.  Shower 1 hour within waking (Yep... it's noon, still in PJ's!!!)
15.  Send out 1 general greeting card a week
16.  Get my Etsy shop back to 100 items.
17.  Spend 20 minutes a day on Etsy
18.  Try the Ben Franklin schedule
19.  Look up Random Acts of Kindness
20.  Pay off Hubby's car
21.  Get office studio cleaned and organised
22.  Keep office clean
23.  Cook a meal at least once a week  (Hubby does all the cooking)
24.  Wash and change all sheets on Sunday
25.  Plant flowers in the Spring
26.  Get my FB engagements up to 50/week
27.  Take the boys bowling
28.  Take the boys roller skating
29.  Purge all the boys old clothes
30.  Purge toys
31.  Eat breakfast everyday
32.  Make a budget
33.  Keep budget
34.  $1200 yearly sales for Bella Vintaj
35.  Drink alcoholic beverages only on days off/ weekends
36.  Lose 10 pounds by April
37.  Lose 20 pounds by August
38.  Eat more veggies
39.  Eat more fruits (my diet is pretty much all processed carbs....)
40.  No fast food (Funeral Director stand-by food source)
41.  Less soda, more water
42.  Drink 16 oz water/ day.  (I can go days with out drinking plain water.)
43.  Bring lunch to work
44.  Pray everyday
45.  Dust bedroom weekly
46.  Clean bathroom weekly
47.  Be better.
48.  Try not to eat after 10 PM
49.  Get Christmas cards out in 2016
50.  Call Dad once a week
51.  Write a thank you card to my HS Biology teacher
52.  Write a thank you card to my HS art teacher
53.  Have a dinner party
54.  knit a scarf and give it away
55.  Write more thank you notes
56.  Send monthly cards to Mom & Tom
57.  Send monthly cards to Dad & Linda
58.  Be positive
59.  Read to the boys everyday
60.  Bring work a treat a month
61.  Work on my listening skills
62.  Try not criticize
63.  Reply to emails and messages
64.  Take flowers to GG's grave in the spring/summer
65.  Donate blood regularly
66.  5 minute showers
67.  Have afternoon tea/ coffee dates
68.  Get a physical
69.  Get a passport
70.  Take the boys to a museum we have never been to
71.  Spend 24 hours secluded in nature
72.  Sing karaoke
73.  Try 12 new restaurants
74.  Go to a concert with the boys
75.  Take the boys apple picking
76.  Celebrate my half birthday!
77.  Create a jewelry piece that is based upon a goal
78.  Go see a play or musical with hubby
79.  Snuggle more
80.  Go to church every Sunday
81.  (private goal)
82.  Write a poem for hubby
83.  Do 5 things for my business a day
84.  Write a memoir for the boys
85.  Twitter more for business
86.  Learn about Google+
87.  Walk the Naperville Riverwalk with the boys
88.  Go tent camping with the boys
89.  Make something from a Craftsy Tutorial
90.  Buy a piano or full sized keyboard
91.  Bring Etsy Shop back to 125 views a month
92.  Get 25 Etsy Sales this year
93.  Participate in 2 craft/vendor fairs
94.  Take more walks
95.  Get Bikes for the boys  (I swear they are the only boys I know that have no interest in bike riding.)
96.  Get bike helmets for the boys
97.  Have a better Etsy year than 2012
98.  Give away all my Kindness Coins
99.  Go on a family vacation
100.  Give $1 to charity for any tasks not completed in 2016

I am reusing my planner from 2014 because I never finished it and I am trying to be frugal this year.
I am not as new-agey as Leonie Dawson, but I love her style.  She has a business planner and a life planner for 2016.  Check her out!
I was not compensated for this recommendation.  I just think she's fun, funky and someone to learn from!

Monday, January 27, 2014

January Story Starter

I read a blog (sorry, I can't find it again...) about tips to help write Facebook posts that encourage interaction.  The post suggested a monthly story starter.  You start a story and have your "Likee's" add sentences to keep the story going!  I am going to do it every month in 2014 to try to keep people seeing my FB posts!  I also decided to give a 30% off coupon to one of my contributors!  Here is my follow up with the winner of the coupon and the whole story!

 A special "Thank You" to everyone who participated in my January Story Starter! Here is the story in a continual format! And picked Sandy  B. as the winner of the 30% off coupon!

Photo: Happy New Year!  Here is the story starter!  Read the other comments and add a sentence or two!
 "As soon as I opened my eyes, I knew it would be difficult to keep my New Year's Resolution...."
As soon as I opened my eyes, I knew it would be difficult to keep my New Year's Resolution.... Cookies, candy and cakes leftover from Christmas littered my counter tops. So I made myself a cup of coffee, and said, "Maybe just one will be okay." But none of those would do the trick. So I headed over to the fridge. After seeing one too many leftovers, I decided I needed to do something different. I picked up my car keys and out the door I headed. I actually drove to the gym, but wasn't sure if I actually wanted to go in. After weighing the pros and cons, I decided that it was time to do it. So I drove down the street to see if I could get 1/2 price chocolate Santa’s at Walgreens. All of the left over candy had already been marked down to 90%. The choices were slim. I took this as a chance to rethink what I was doing. Time to take a deep breath and move on. Just as I was moving on, I caught a mysterious looking fellow peering at me from the end of the aisle. Why is he looking at me like that? Is he a customer? Is he a security Officer? Do I know this person? Ha, ha! I noticed he was my chocoteer, Steve, my "fix" for dove chocolate. Well, if I am going to be bad, I might as well make a better choice and purchase just a bit from Steve. As I am paying for my purchase, a woman hands me a note as she leaves the store. The note says "your chocolate drop is on camera.” I exclaim, "It's just chocolate! That's not illegal!" It was my personal trainer, laughing at me. "Just try. BE BETTER." - the end

My "Likee's" of Facebook wrote this story a few sentences at a time!  I came up with my 2014 Mantra:  Be better!

Being better just encompasses everything!  I even designed a necklace to illustrate my mantra and use some of my new supplies and techniques!

Bee Better Necklace
available on Etsy!!!!

I have selected the first sentence of my February Story Starter!  I can't wait to see how that story goes!
Bee (pun intended) sure to like my KABbeading Facebook Page to bee able to participate and get entered to win a 30% off coupon!

(The above necklace, I utilized Vintaj
P290 - 22mm Altered Blank - Small Rectangle, DP120 - 17x13mm Busy Bee Charm, JR40R - 7.25mm Jump Rings and JR20R - 4.75mm Jump Rings,  a stamping set from Hobby Lobby, and Martha Stewart Jewelry Glaze in Sea Green.)  I did not receive any money or product for free.  

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Been out of the "Loop"

I feel so bad!  I let life fly by and stopped writing new posts!  I just looked today and saw some awesome feedback!  If I would have checked in, those comments would have helped keep me on track and in "the loop"!

Some of my feedback:

Very informative and interesting post.It is really a big help. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Custom Beading Bead andTrim on Weekly Challenge 3: Use Tila Beads
Fantastic blog, Thanks for sharing. Keep posting like this.  Weekly Challenge 3: Use Tila Beads

I can not believe I have not wrote a new post in over 6 months!  I have learned a few new things and branched out a bit.  I now have a little more direction in my jewelry!

A little re-cap:  After Mother's Day, I went on a little creative hiatus.  I just felt spent.  I didn't make anything new until September.  I was getting ready for a craft show at my son's school.  I was bestowed a huge amount of handmade glass beads by Sarah Jane Fisher

 Anytime I make anything with one of Sarah's beads, the piece sells!!!  I utilized her beads, my new found love of messy wrap wire work, some Christmas themed odds and ends I have complied and had a very successful show  I even had another person selling jewelry ask me if I though my pieces were too "edgy" for the show!?!  I loved that question!  Me, edgy....?!?  I am a conservative funeral director!  And the show was at my son's Catholic School.  The funniest thing, after her asking me about my "edgy creations", our Priest's wife came over and bought 3 necklaces from me for Christmas presents!  ***Yes, our priest is married.***  I just wish I would have taken photographs of the necklaces.  I did not think all three would sell and I would have to photograph them for Etsy.  After the show, I took more time off of beading and jewelry design.

(My messy wrap ends and handmade necklace closure)

I am now ready to get back into it!  I have recently obtained my wholesale account with Vintaj Natural Brass and received my first order.  This weekend I actually created my first piece (but more on that in my next post!)  I also bought a Vintaj Big Big Kick Machine, Vintaj Patina Kit by Ranger and a whole bunch of Martha Stewart Jewelry Enamels and Jewelry Glaze (on clearance at Michaels).  The photo is of my first group of Vintaj Blanks that were run through the Big Kick with the Nouveau Roses Die and treated with the Vintaj Patina in Weathered Copper.

Photo: Long week!  Today is my day off from my day job.  I have a few orders to complete, but I wanted to share my new jewelry technique!  I love this! I can take blank tags and emboss them and then patina or color to show off the richness of embossing!

So many new items and techniques!  More to come!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Challenge of a Challenge!

I am a Member of BAM - Business Among Moms.  It is a wonderful resource for moms who have businesses to try to promote, share ideas and grow our businesses.  Then there are sub-groups for a more local reach.  The leader of my local group, BAM-Chicago, decided to challenge us all to post in our blogs for 7 days straight.  Here is to my challenge!
I am going to blog for 7 days!  This is day one!  I hope to get a little further ahead with my "Fusion Beads - Weekly Bead Challenge"...    and let everyone know what I have been up to lately!
Is there anything you want me to blog about?  Anything you don't want me to blog about?  (PL:EASE COMMENT!!!!)   I know the sub-title to this blog is Beading, Babies and Hubby....  but my babies are now little boys and the hubby is still putting up with me!  I may also blog a little about my "other life" as a embalmer married to a funeral director.... but, I feel a bit private about that.

Now, Just an update on what I have been up too....
My beading business has had the BEST YEAR EVER so far!!!  I can thank my wonderful online Mom-friends for asking custom orders!  Because of these wonderful women,

I have made Pea Pods....

Custom Coin Jewelry from coins given by a grandfather to his granddaughter....

And custom Father's Day Key Chains...

These women have challenged me and made me push my boundaries.  I am so blessed to have these crazy women in my life!  Thank You, Ladies...  sometimes, "Ladies" is a term not appropriate for the group  -- ahem... Marilou... but there is plenty of drama, suspense, advice and hilarity. 


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekly Challenge 3: Use Tila Beads

Tila Beads are these square beads with two holes running through them.  When I saw the challenge, my first thought was to skip it.  I know, not very challenging!  Then, I decided to go ahead and give it a try.  I ordered these wonderful Transparent Sea Foam Luster Tila beads and a Size 6 Silver Lined Opal Pastel Yellow Round Seed Bead for an accent.  I ordered smaller yellow beads, but they were too "gold" for the Sea Foam Luster Tila's!

I have never actually "bead weaved" before.  I always try to use wire or something firm and substantial.  With Tila's, they are thin and fragile.  The wire just was not working the way I wanted it to and I was breaking many of the beads.  I had a design in mind.  I have never actually "bead weaved" before, but decided to give it a try.  

It worked, but there is a lot of movement between the beads.  In one way, I like the organic nature the beads hang.  But then, the anal-retentive part of me thinks they should lay perfect at all times.

What do you think?  I love the color the combo!

So, I used a product I have never used before and a technique I have never used before!
How wonderful is that?!?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Cooked Something!

I cooked something AND it was easy AND it tasted great!

I am not a Suzie Home-Maker by any means.  When I have a day off from work, Hubby will come home and thank me for NOT cooking!  My last day off, I wanted to cook.  I looked in the cabinets and found a can of cannelloni beans.  Performed a simple Google search and found this awesome recipe!!! 


1 deep skillet, a handful of ingredients!  YUMMO!  Did I mention that I hate beans.  I even ate the beans. Simple, flavorful, filling and healthy!

We are also in the process of purging our basement of useless things we have collected down there.  One item was a bread-maker.  I got that baby out and even made homemade bread!  That is also pictured above!  I had everything on hand except for the Escarole.  I made a quick trip to our local fruit and vegetable peddler, Peter Rubi and got that all important healthy ingredient!

Go me!  Maybe I can become a Domestic Goddess!  Here is what my Hubby Posted on FaceBook about my cooking feat:  

I don't believe it. I came home and had this. I'm calling the Vatican tomorrow because I believe my wife has been possessed.