An Uncomplicated Life Blog

Monday, September 24, 2018

It's Not Popular Opinion, But

Do you ever adamantly disagree with something that's popular opinion? I do. Here's where I think the general consensus gets it all wrong!

There are some things that are simply popular opinion. The likability of something, the popularity of a product or service, how well something does (or doesn't) do it's job is all subject to the court of popular opinion. Generally, it's right. But there are some things I think popular opinion gets outright wrong! These are some of the things I have a contrarian opinion about. It's not popular opinion, but...

When you're the friend or relative who thinks outside the box and carries a different opinion than everyone else

Garlic is nasty.
Everyone seems to love adding copious amounts of garlic to things. Garlic bread, pizza, sauces, Asian food, you name it and it's in there. Watch the Food Network and cooks and chefs boast about how much garlic they add. Well I think it's nasty. It tastes gross going down and it makes your breath smell TERRIBLE. It makes your sweat smell weird the next day. I didn't love it or hate it before I had kids, but now my tastes have changed and I do everything in my power to avoid this stanky substance. Can we all stop raving about garlic?

I don't mind rush hour.
My freshman year of college I went to a school in a town so small, there were only two freeways and absolutely zero traffic ever. I hated it. It felt lonely and isolated! I moved back to Minneapolis to finish college at the University of Minnesota - which is walking distance to downtown - and was so happy to be amongst people again! Rush hour just reminds me that I live near a whole bunch of people. In Dallas, the traffic is never really that bad because our freeways are so massive, and there's toll lane options you can jump into if traffic is bad. I dunno, call me crazy, but I just roll down the windows and crank the tunes, relish the fact that I live near so many people and enjoy the ride. Total city girl right here! Rural areas stress me out. What if you need help - where are the people?!

I love toddlers.
Scroll Facebook for two minutes and you'll see several memes about how "savage" toddlers are. Mom blogs will warn you, "If you think the baby stage is hard, just wait for the terrible twos and the threenager stage!" Well guess what? I call BS. Toddlers are a hoot. They can feed themselves and start to know how to use the bathroom themselves too. They've got personalities. They want autonomy with clear boundaries set. All of this is SO much easier than the baby stage, and so much more fun, too! Neither of my kids had the terrible twos. Henry wasn't a threenager at all. Otto is just on the cusp of turning three, but it's already clear that when he gets whiney, he just needs to be held and cuddled and reassured. Y'all can keep your babies; toddlers are awesome.

The only reason I love fall... Is because I live in the South.
Ok, that's not the only reason - Halloween is my favorite and it's my birthday and it will also be my twins' birthday. Pumpkin carving is fun, pumpkin patches are fun and I love seasonal decor. BUT! All of this is made far more fun because fall for me is 80 degrees. I'm not facing down a brutal winter. It's not the "last hurrah" before I have to scrape ice off my car every morning, dig it out of snow, or struggle to breath is subzero temps. It's just a nice break from the heat with fun activities! Fall in the South is so much more tolerable than up north.

Sushi is rather gross.
Back on the food train, but that's because I'm currently 34 weeks pregnant and it's about to be lunchtime here. Just like garlic, I can no longer stomach sashimi. I used to love it! Now eating a hunk of raw salmon or tuna or yellow tail completely grosses me out. Even many rolls gross me out! Pregnancy has made me completely lose my love for sushi. I honest to Pete used to eat it every week! Now... My favorite roll is a vegan shiitake mushroom roll. I just, I don't know. Raw fish is slimy. I still love pickled ginger and wasabi, just on vegetarian rolls!

Sale, discount and/or thrift shopping is the literal WORST. And don't get me started on coupons.
I know this is super unpopular opinion! I absolutely can't stand shopping a sale. It's like complete chaos in the store, everything isn't where it should be and you have to rifle through racks and bins in hopes you'll find your size to maybe save $5 or a measly 30%. No. Thank. You. Online sale shopping is better, but my size so rarely goes on sale (it's like clothing marketers know tall, slender women will pay a hefty mark up for clothes that actually fit them...) and my shoe size (an 8 if you're wondering) is the most common so it sells out first. Sales just aren't even worth looking at! Thrift stores are straight nasty. You're digging through things that haven't been washed in years, and are likely covered in moth balls or fecal matter from rodents or bugs. They always smell bad with terrible lighting. And coupons?! I hate to tell you, but coupons are a marketing dream. They pull you in to the store in promises of saving a dollar and you end up buying tons of stuff you didn't need nor want in the first place. What a joke! Sorry, I'll pay full price for a better experience and simply have LESS stuff in my home. This isn't a privilege thing either. When I was unemployed for almost a year and when I was 24 and in graduate school, I still didn't shop sales. I just bought less!

I hope I'm not alone in thinking these things! But even if I am, oh well. The majority isn't right all the time. What are some thing that are wildly popular that you just can't get into? 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

DIY Monogram Nursery Art

It's easy to make your own monogram wall art for the nursery, and so much cheaper than getting it custom made!

If you saw this post on the boys new room, you know I've made them each their own monograms that hang above their cribs. The older boys (I love that I have so many boys, I can't just say 'the boys' I actually have to specify which ones/who I'm talking about!) had a calming blue/green color scheme in their nursery that we carried over to their big boy room. I completely made over the twins' nursery with a outdoor/woodland theme. You can tell I love this theme because I hosted my sister's baby shower with it and used so many of the decorations I bought for that in the nursery! Full reveal and decoration inspo post is coming soon, but today I'm focusing on one part: the DIY monogram nursery art I made to hang above their cribs. Oh, and since I'm sharing this monogram craft, I'm also sharing the names of the twins! *Affiliate links used*

My older boys had classic wooden letters painted for their monogram but I wanted something a little more campy, a little more outdoorsy for the twins. I'm not overly into room "themes" so I wanted the art that I did put up to be cohesive and reflect the look I was going for without "over-theming" the room. (I don't think that's a word - spell check is giving me the red line - but I'm sticking with it). Anyway, I guess this theme or some version of it is pretty popular, because I had no trouble finding supplies to make their cute monogram nursery art.

At first, I just had the painted letters glued to the birch wood as the whole craft. We hung them on the wall and it just looked... Small. The room is large, and despite getting the largest birch bark I could find at the craft store and the largest letters to fit on that wood, it simply wasn't big enough for the wall space I needed it to fill. Easy fix! I bought large canvases that I covered in burlap (to keep the rustic campy feel) then attached the birch bark and monogram to the canvas. Boom, the monogram fit the space much better while maintaining the theme.

DIY Woodland Monogram Nursery Art
- Raw edge wood (like this if you want it to look like mine)
- Letter(s) of choice (like this or this - just make sure they fit on/within your raw edge wood!)
- Acrylic paint and small paint brush
- Wood glue
- Fabric canvas on wood frame
- Small screws and electric drill/screwdriver
- Optional: fabric of choice to cover canvas with staple gun or small nails and hammer

Start by painting the letter(s) of the monogram with the acrylic paint in your desired color. It will need two or three coats, and you'll want the paint to dry completely between each coat, then let dry for 24 hours before adhering to the raw wood.

Take a damp towel and wipe down the birch wood (or wood of choice). Get any wood dust or particles removed before gluing the monogram letter(s) on. Use wood glue and apply to the letter, then adhere to the birch wood with firm pressure. Use a Q-tip to remove any excess glue that presses out and into view. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

If painting your canvas, paint the canvas and allow to dry for at least 24 hours (if you're using acrylic or latex paint; longer if using oil based paint). If you're covering it in fabric like I did, cut your fabric to slightly longer than the canvas (enough to wrap around to the back side of the canvas and give you at least an inch of extra fabric to secure it to the wooden frame of the canvas). Use a staple gun (a regular stapler isn't strong enough to pierce the wood frame) or small craft nails to nail the canvas to the wooden frame.

Once your birch wood with the monogram letter(s) and canvas are ready, place the birch wood where you want it on the canvas. In order to hang straight on the wall, you'll need it to be as close to centered as possible - you'll also need to use the wooden bar across the back of your canvas to screw it in, so you'll have to think about all of that as you're positioning it. Mark the position location. Use small screws and your drill bit to screw from the backside to secure the birch wood monogram to the canvas. This way, no screws will show on the front, but everything will be very secure.

Hang in your nursery and enjoy! Remember that it's advised to NOT hang heavy art pieces like this over cribs that are flush with the wall, because it can fall onto your baby. We have several inches of space between the walls and the crib on all sides for this very reason! Should the artwork fall off the wall, it will slide down the wall and hit the floor, not fall into the crib. Also think about hanging it high enough so that it's not in danger of being pulled off the wall once your baby can stand in his crib, and grab at things.

A DIY monogram for your baby's nursery to personalize it and fit your nursery theme
Like it? Pin it!

We're getting so close to meeting our twin boys, Knox and Theodore! Tough Love Teethers was kind enough to make me these beautiful custom teethers for them, but I had to wait until we were ready to share the names! I've had the name Theodore on my short list of boy names forever. I love how many nickname possibilities there are with it. As his mommy, I will, of course, call him Teddy and my older boys already call him baby Teddy. I got the name Knox from the magazine Southern Living. Several months ago they had an article that listed old fashioned Southern baby names and fell in love with it!

Knox is my Baby A and Teddy is my Baby B. So if all goes as planned via my birth plan, Knox will be the firstborn twin and Teddy will indeed be my baby Teddy. If I have to have a c section for some reason, that will be flipped and Teddy will be the firstborn. We'll see how it all pans out! Either way, I've got this adorable DIY monogram nursery craft hanging on the walls, ready to welcome them home.