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Archive for November, 2014

Help! I’m A Control Freak

Help! I’m A Control Freak

I know I’m a control freak, but nothing proves that more than when we do arts and crafts around my house, especially crafts that involve paint. Ok, sopainting3 today I decided it would be a great idea to do a painting project that I heard about. I’m enough of a control freak, that when I heard about this craft I was thinking that it would be the perfect craft to do because it didn’t sound very messy at all, and it was something that all three of my kids would enjoy doing. Boy was I wrong! Let me start at the beginning…

It’s late November, it’s cold outside today, super cold and snowy. We are on Thanksgiving break from school so all three kids are home and it’s not vacation time yet for my hubby, so I’m entertaining the kids this week until Thanksgiving day by myself. We don’t have any family visiting this year, so there are no cousins to play with and most of our friends are busy traveling that we don’t have a lot of playtime with our friends. We are basically stuck inside for 3 days and if I don’t plan things to do for the kids, I (yes, me) go crazy with them asking to play computer or watch movies all day (I think technology has a way of sucking their brains cells and turning them into little devils so I don’t like to let them play too much). My usual go-to when it’s cold out is to painting4craft something. My older kids LOVE to do crafts, my youngest, not so much.

Let me pause for a quick background on me to help you understand my craziness even more: I’m an artist. Yep. I am.  I’m a huge crafter, I love to scrapbook, draw with chalk, was an art major in college and have a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. So I’m used to be wild, fun, “out-there” and getting messy.  But as I’ve already mentioned, I’m also a huge control freak who likes to be clean and I tend to clean up as I go when I’m being creative.  I’m much more creative with organized chaos

You would think that getting messy and having fun is what my house is like every day right? So 100% WRONG! I’m such a crazy control freak that I hate when things are messy. Hate it. Imagine trying to raise kids and be such a crazy control freak that you go nuts when they get messy? Do you know any moms that have a huge stash of Wet Wipes in their giant purse they can grab at a moment’s notice when their kids spill Ranch on their shirts, or literally waste an entire package of wipes when you are painting something because they are constantly making their kids wipe their hands every time they get a drop of paint on them? That’s me! I am that mom! UGGGGGH!!!! I must have the best kids in the world because they put up with my crazy neat-freakinesspainting7 and still want to keep doing crafts with me.

So back to our craft from today, it was a painting craft. You get a giant oatmeal container and roll a piece of paper and drop it in the container, and then you coat a few marbles with paint and shake them up inside the container. The paint stays in the container for the most part and it makes a really cool design on the paper. Sounds innocent enough right? I thought so too…but gosh, this was super messy. First off getting paint on the marbles is super complicated – it gets all over your fingers and I had wet wipes flying in the air trying to keep up with the kids and the paint drips. Don’t get my started on trying to get the marbles out of the containers…I had marbles flying all over the kitchen and because they are covered with paint they are super slippery and were rolling all over the table and floor and one even went flying across the room and covered my blinds with a nice line of red paint (because someone forgot to put their lid on their oatmeal container – he shall remain nameless). At first, I felt like a fireman flying around the kitchen trying to keep up with the fires that each one of my kids was setting, but after I yelled for the fifth time and was diving across the floor trying to save the runaway marble that was leaving a line of purple paint all the way to the laundry room, I seriously burst out laughing! The kids laughed, we all did, and the tension in the room that I had created with trying to stay “clean” dissipated! Yeah, we made a total mess, but it was so much fun! I was covered in paint from head to toe (seriously…head to toe), but it was washable paint, and the giggles that escaped my kid’s lips will be a sound I won’t easily forget. The fun was well worth every painting1spot of paint I had to clean up later.

So my point in all of this (and my point to myself) – relax and allow yourself to get messy (Katrina). Enjoy your kids and don’t yell at them when they are making a mess – after all, they are just kids (Katrina, are you listening?). Let them be creative and get dirty. My oldest tends to be pretty messy with just about everything – he always has stains on his clothes either from food or markers, but he’s very creative and he needs the freedom to get messy in order to be creative. I need to chill out – BIG TIME, with him and just let him be himself.

I said to myself, “Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings.” –Psalm 116:11 The Message 

Such a powerful verse and such a good reminder.  As moms, God calls us to nurture our kids and love them as they are – just like He loves us as we are. So, if you are a control freak like me, chill out and focus on the blessings God has given you. Go get really messy and do it with your kids, and choose to laugh the whole time. After you are done, you will be thankful you allowed yourself the fun time with your kids and you will feel incredibly blessed. Promise. I sure did, and I mean that. After I chastised myself out loud, then told myself to chill out and have fun, finally, we all had a great time! We made some really pretty art too!

If you are a control freak like me then chill out, relax, and get messy! Hugs!

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November 25, 20140 commentsRead More
Katrina’s Coupon Tip #4 – Dig for Coupons

Katrina’s Coupon Tip #4 – Dig for Coupons

You’ll laugh, but I actually found a big stack of coupon inserts this morning on a walk with my youngest son.  We had just dropped the older two kids off at school and decided that since it was warm out, a whopping 34 degrees, that we might as well get some exercise and take the long way home from school.  We walked our regular route around the block, and it just so happens to be Thursday.  Thursday is trash pick-up day in our neighborhood, and usually the trash man comes pretty early.  We have several different trash companies that you can pick from and between the regular trash pick-up and the recycle pick-ups I honestly have no idea what time they come or whose truck is for which service.  But I do know that they come on Thursdays and I’ve seen a lot of recycle bins out in front of several neighbors houses (yes, I’ve walked our neighborhood and searched for which neighbors recycle).

I know of a few specific houses on our regular walking route that have a recycle bin for newspaper and if I happen to beat the trash man, I will go insertStackthrough their bins and help myself to their discarded coupons.  After all, one mans trash is another mans treasure!  So, this morning, I actually found a giant stack of coupon inserts from one single recycle bin in front of a neighbor’s house (this is the actual picture of the stack I found)! I was beyond excited! I plan to visit that neighbor later today and give them one of my “Coupons Wanted” fliers so they know that I would love to collect their discarded coupons and would be happy to stop by on a regular basis for any coupons they don’t want, especially now that I know they don’t seem to use their coupons.  

‘Shopping’ your neighbors trash bins is a great way to find out who uses their newspaper coupons and who doesn’t.  If they continually throw their coupons away then don’t be afraid to knock on their door and see if they wouldn’t mind saving them for you instead.  Nothing was ever gained by not asking.  Don’t be afraid to dig through trash bins, recycle bins or other places you find coupons discarded.  I look at discarded coupons as money – each one really is just like a dollar bill.  You would never throw away money would you?  Happy digging!

Have you ever dug through your neighbor’s trash for coupons?  Leave me a comment about the best coupon you found while digging!

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November 20, 20140 commentsRead More
12 Days of Christmas – What An Awesome Way To Bless Someone

12 Days of Christmas – What An Awesome Way To Bless Someone

Seriously this is one of the coolest ideas I’ve heard of yet to celebrate Christ’s birth! An amazing lady from my church shared this wonderful idea with Kat_sonshinekidsour Women’s Ministry a few weeks ago and I think it’s such a great idea! So great in fact, that our family has decided on how we can participate in this idea for our own Christmas celebration this year! I really wish I would’ve have caught on to this idea years ago, but oh well – time for a new tradition!

The idea is that you pick a neighbor, friend, group of people, etc. who you want to bless over a span of 12 days before Christmas, ending with the 12thday on Christmas day. It’s suggested that you pick a family in need of cheering up, or a family that is currently having a hard time, or maybe a family new to the area. Then for 12 consecutive days you leave them little gifts or treats on their doorstep – but the trick is that you have to do this in secret! You do not want them to know how you are! On day 1 you might leave them 1 ornament with a note about the “On the First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me….”  On Day 2, maybe 2 cookies, and on and on up through day Day 12. On Day 12, your entire family shows up at their house with your final Day 12 gifts and you surprise the family you are blessing by personally giving them their 12th day gift. You get to reveal yourself and it’s so fun for the family to finally be let in on the secret. Isn’t that the coolest idea ever? My kids would be overjoyed to have little gifts left on our front door step for 12 straight days!  It’s like being “boo-ed” during Halloween, but so much better!

mx2Our family is adapting this idea to bless the amazing kids we met on our Mission Trip to San Felipe, Mexico last month! Our family, along with all our Mission Trip team members, have decided to send Sonshine Hacienda a huge box full of gifts for all the kids to share! We are going to wrap all the gifts according to which of the 12 Days of Christmas they are for and have the kids open up the gifts on the corresponding days. Quick background, my family and a big team from our local church, spent our Fall Break in October on a mission trip to San Felipe, Mexico to help out at home for abandoned/ abused children. You can read all about it by clicking here.  We had such a great time and met so many amazing kids that we wanted to extend our love and gratitude to them by sending them Christmas gifts. Here is what we are going to send them (a lot of the gifts are things the missionary couple that runs the Hacienda have asked for, and others are fun things we know they all would enjoy):

  • Day 1: One Advent calendar
  • Day 2: Two framed pictures of our group from when we were out there in October
  • Day 3: Three different ready-to-make ornament crafts for all the kids to make
  • Day 4: Four new board games like Jenga, Spot It, etc
  • Day 5: Five bottles of bubbles
  • Day 6: Six new shower curtains
  • Day 7: Seven bottles of body spray
  • Day 8: Eight new Spanish Bible Story books
  • Day 9: Nine packages of Spanish sticker books
  • Day 10: Ten new coloring books
  • Day 11: Eleven loofas and eleven super-hero wash cloths
  • Day 12: Ready to make cups for ALL the kids to make their own cupmx3

The list of things we are sending to them may sound silly, but to the kids that live at the Hacienda, this is going to be exciting! I wish we could be there to see the kids open their gifts each day! You can see that your list of things you might choose to bless a family with can be flexible and can suit that particular family.  Just have fun with it! Be the hands and feet of Jesus and really show how much you care this Christmas! You will be blessed in return!

Leave me a comment if your family have ever tried this idea before or if you plan to try it this year!

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November 19, 20140 commentsRead More
Why Do I Care What You Think of Me?

Why Do I Care What You Think of Me?

me_sadWhy do we care so much what others think of us?  Why do I compare my Facebook post that not very many people comment on with my ‘friend’ who has a bunch of people comment on every thought she posts?  For that matter, why do I care what my Facebook friends think of me?

Why do I catch myself wanting to change something on my website just because one person online wrote their opinion of something I said.  Needless to say it wasn’t a glowing opinion of what I said.  But why do I care what that one person thinks of me?  I don’t know them anyways, so why do I let it bother me so much?

Why do I care when a ‘friend’ whom, I thought I was speaking to in confidence, went ahead and told someone else about my concerns?  It hurts when you can’t trust your ‘friends.’  Doesn’t it make you want to walk around with tape over your mouth and never, ever say anything to anyone at all?  being betrayed is awful.  On the flip side, I know that I’ve also betrayed my friends before… but why does it hurt so much that they betrayed me?

I tell people all the time — I’ll introduce you to your next best friend.   It’s this talent that I have, I’m an out-going person, I know a lot of people, and it’s like second nature to me to connect people with other people.  Sometimes those people really have a lot in common and become really good friends.  It’s something I do without really even noticing – but I hate it.  I’m always the one left without friends in the end because as soon as in introduce them to someone else, they leave me in the dust.  And then I wonder why they don’t like me – but again, tell me why I care?

I know why I care.  I’m human.  People’s opinions hurt sometimes – actually they hurt a lot.  I want to be liked.  I want a best friend who knows my heart and keeps my confidences.  I want people to meet me, know me and know that I love the Lord.  Do you ever feel this way?  Do you worry what others think of you?  Do you wonder why you care so much what others think of you?

My advice to you: remember that you are special and unique and God made YOU to be exactly who YOU are.  God perfectly knit YOU in your mother’s womb to be the only YOU there ever will be.  He loves YOU more than anyone, or any friend ever will. Friends really do come and go.  Best friends are a true gift from the Lord and consider yourself very blessed if you have a best friend.

Psalm 139:13
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

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November 15, 20142 commentsRead More
How to Generate An Income During “Naptime”

How to Generate An Income During “Naptime”

I’m sure a lot of you are asking, “What? Really? You can generate an income during my child’s naptime?  No way”  Yes, way!  You can! Let me start at the beginning though. I’m no expert, I’m not a web genius, I’ve never had a patent, and I don’t have a handmade product that I create and sell. I’m a wife, mom to three kids, and entrepreneur. I’ve always been business-minded. I have had many different types of businesses in the past – started them when I was kid – in fact as a middle-schooler I used to bake cookies for the neighbors and would sell them in batches. They were yummy too! By the time I was in high school I was running my school store and competing in business and marketing competitions. It was fun for me! God had the perfect man for me, so perfect that we spent a good deal of our Honeymoon planning our first company! Thankfully my husband is as business-minded as me and we make a great team!

Fast-forward to the present, me and hubs have been married for 12 years and the imagebusiness we dreamed up on our honeymoon was great! We fully supported ourselves and our new family on it for 7 years. As our family grew, my desire to be a mom won out over having a thriving business. I needed a break and I wanted to dive headfirst into mommy-hood. Which I did, and now with three kids (and I’m pretty sure there will be no more – at least that is the plan for right now) who are growing quickly and starting school, my business wheels are turning again and I’m starting to think about what I’m going to do when all three are in school full time.

If you are anything like me, you don’t want to wait, you want to start now! Building a business is hard. It’s hard even when you CAN devote hours and hours to it each day, and it’s even more challenging when you only have naptime to work on it. That’s me, right now. I work on my business during my kid’s naptime each day. On a good day, that can be 2 hours, but on most days, naptime is about an hour and a half. If you want to begin to build a business and all within a very small amount of time each day, here is what you need to do:

  1. Set aside a specific time each day to work on your business, like naptime.  Stick to that time.
  2. Turn off all distractions – Put down your phone, turn off Facebook, don’t even check emails.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up if your kids don’t sleep well or if someone needed a few extra snuggles – even if you only get 45mins that day to work on business – still work on it.
  4. Keep a notebook handy at all times to jot down business ideas, blog topics, tips, and thoughts all day long.
  5. Be consistent. 15mins each day adds up a lot at the end of the week. 45mins each day adds up even more – imagine how much you can get done in 2 hours each day if you are consistently dedicating the time to work on your business.
  6. Don’t give up. Keep working, keep blogging, keep posting, and keep researching. Everyone has to start somewhere.
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November 13, 20140 commentsRead More
Today Is Just Not My Day

Today Is Just Not My Day

Today is one of those days when I’m just not on top of it.  Bummed is a good way to describe how I feel.  I realized about an hour ago that I forgot to register for an important meeting for our business and now that I’m late in registering, I’m going to have to pay extra for it. Uggh. Yesterday my son woke up with the stomach flu. Talk about throwing your day for a loop. So I spent the better part of yesterday doing load after load of laundry to keep up with all the fluids he was losing. Not pretty. But on the flip side, I got to spend the day with my oldest son. He’s a sweetheart, even though he was so ill.  He is still home from school today, and it’s a whole different world when you are used to only one kid at home to now having two home and trying hard to keep them apart from each other so they don’t share germs.  On top of it all, I’ve lost my voice. Most people might think that’s God way of giving the world a break, but it sure makes it hard to make phone calls and ask your kids to do their chores. Plus, when I lose my voice that can only mean one thing – that I’m sick, sick, sick. And we all know when mommy is sick the whole house suffers – right? Plus it’s a vicious cycle – when I’m sick, I feel rotten, I have a short fuse, and then the kids are instantly in a bad mood because I’m in a bad mood, and then I forget things I need to do and the whole cycle starts again. Not a fun way to go about your day huh?


But on the flip side, today is the day the Lord has made. I know what you all are thinking…”good one Katrina”… “way to sound cliché”… but it’s true. Today is exactly the day the Lord has made for you. He perfectly designed each thing in your day to mold you into the person He wants you to be. How you choose to react to each event that takes place in your life today is your choice, but the choices you make will impact your life deeply.

As my day draws to an end, I’m choosing to reflect on God’s word – Psalm 118:24.

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

I’m thankful for the extra time I have with my older son the last two days – he’s such a great kid – I’m truly blessed. I’m also trying to ignore how much my throat hurts and be thankful that I can talk less and lead my children by example rather than by words. And as far as feeling bummed about my mistake with my business meeting, instead I’m going to be thankful that I forgot so I now know I won’t forget in the future! Take a moment to thank the Lord for your day and to remember that:

This is the day the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!


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November 12, 20140 commentsRead More
Can you Really Save Money Using Coupons?

Can you Really Save Money Using Coupons?

There is a very simple answer to this question – YES!!!!  Yes, you really can save money using coupons!  I do, every single week.  Now that we have answered that very simple pressing question, let’s give a few tips on how YOU can start save money using coupons right now!

Coupon Tip #1: Get Your Hands On Some Coupons

  • You can’t save money if you don’t actually have any coupons.  Get your hands on as many coupons as you can.  Coupons can be found in the wanted_coupon_flyernewspaper, online, in a recycle bin, and from asking your neighbors and friends.  Don’t be shy.  Start asking people for their unused coupons, you will be surprised how easy they are to find – for free even!  I personally asked all my immediate neighbors by putting a homemade flyer in their mailboxes last summer, and each week many of them leave me a stack of unwanted coupons in my mailbox.  That “Wanted: Coupons” flyer is the actual flyer I made and distributed to my neighbors last summer.  

Coupon Tip #2: Print Online Coupons – They Are FREE!

  •  Get online and print out some FREE coupons!  Online coupon sites are free to use, and you can print up to 2 coupons from each computer.  Just be sure not to copy any of your printed coupons – that is illegal.  My favorite coupon-printing site is  Also, many of your favorite retailers and grocery stores have their own websites that you can sign up to receive and print their coupons for their products.  Printing coupons is a great way to save money; you just have to be disciplined to do it!

Coupon Tip #3: Download Coupon Apps

  • Actively using coupon apps are a great way to save even more money at the grocery store and now even at many local retailers, restaurants, movie theatres and more!  Coupon apps are not just for the grocery store anymore!  My favorite apps are: ibotta and savingstar.  I use both of these every week and save a lot of extra money!  They take a little bit of work – but the savings do add up and you can usually use these apps on top of sales and paper coupons – so it’s like a triple dose of savings!
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November 10, 20140 commentsRead More
It’s Not All About Me?

It’s Not All About Me?

It’s one of those days, when you feel like no one sees you. When you feel like no one is listening or even cares to hear anything you have to say…it’s one of those days when you feel completely sorry for yourself. It’s one of those days when you post a status update on Facebook and not a single person comments on it…and the sad part is that you actually posted a question hoping that people would respond…it’s been 6 hours and not a single response. Wow. Feeling very loved at the moment – nope, not really. Yep, it’s been one of those days.

Today is a day that I’ve been trying very hard to keep all my wheels spinning…I’ve done loads of laundry, I’ve vacuumed the whole house, I’ve kept my three year old entertained while doing loads of laundry and cleaning the house, I’ve made school lunches and cooked dinner from scratch, I’ve worked on my eBook, as well as wrapped Christmas gifts, I’ve returned a few phone calls for our business, I’ve also dropped by a friend’s house, gone to the grocery store and run all the way across town to pick up my wedding ring from the jeweler. I’ve not once sat on the couch to watch TV or eaten any Bon-Bon’s. I didn’t even get to take a shower, alone. Yet, I sit here feeling invisible and very sorry for myself.

Ever have one of these days? Are you having that day today? Well, mom, I hear ya. I’m right there with you, and I understand.

Now let me be completely honest with you. These are the days that I know I’ve not been in the Word enough. It’s days like today when it’s very clear to me that I’ve not spent enough time with my Heavenly Father. When I let the day press in on me and I let the craziness of life rule my attitude, instead of focusing on the Lord and choosing to focus on the blessings He has given me. Afterall, why do I want people to notice me? Kat_Kenz_wagonWhy do I care if no one on Facebook comments? My biggest problem today is – Me. I think it’s all about Me. Why can’t I just take a step back and be thankful for my amazing daughter who loves me and cooks with almost every night, rather than annoyed that today she’d much rather watch a movie with her brothers.  Why do I need a pile of thank you’s and compliments for all the chores that God has blessed me with the opportunity to do?  Afterall, He’s given me my kids to do laundry for, and this house that I have the pleasure of cleaning, and this great school that my kids get to attend, the ideas in my head for my eBook, and the amazing friend that I was able to visit with today, and joy of living less than 5 minutes from a grocery store, and the amazing husband that gave me my beautiful wedding ring! WHY, in the world am I making all my blessings a curse to feel sorry for myself?

My only feeble answer is that I’m a tired mom who needs to bathe in the Lord’s embrace. Lord, forgive my poor attitude. Help me to be exactly who you made me to be and be thankful for the blessings you have given me. Help me to remember it’s not all about me and that it’s really all about YOU. I love you, and I’m sorry.

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November 4, 20146 commentsRead More