Archive for May 2013

A few weeks ago my family showed me their appreciation for being the Mother around here.  The kids and I headed to Pittsburgh to spend the day with my mom, and when we got back from the trip I found a brand new box of SIDEWALK CHALK!!!  Yes, I know, amazing, right!  It’s one of the new Crayola boxes with 48 different colors.  It really is a thing of beauty, and I was surprised and excited to get this and a nice hefty Jo~Ann’s gift card.


I hadn’t had much of a chance to chalk since Mother’s Day, so I was excited when my day opened up and the weather cooperated on Friday.  Here’s who came to visit:

One of the neighborhood kids asked me a few weeks ago if I’d done Scooby Doo.  I hadn’t, and he seemed like a good way to start the day.


After Scooby I was feeling like I needed to chalk a little something for myself.  I do love to do them for the kids, but I also like things that aren’t kiddie related, so I thought this image for my FAVORITE musical would be fun and different.  These ladies were actually a little more difficult than I anticipated since Elphaba’s face is smack dab in the middle of a huge black ‘blob’.  Since I use the lines as my guide when I draw it was tricky to get her just right.  But, I think it worked out well in the end, Wicked little minx!


After Elphie and Glinda I thought I was done, but then I saw a picture on Instagram that a friend had posted of Stitch.  I was struck with inspiration and had to get him down on the drive!  I think this guy is my favorite so far.  I just love the blue!!


While I was chalking Stitch, the kids had gathered around the driveway like usual.  K’s bestie lives across the street, and her birthday was the next day.  I asked her if she wanted me to chalk something for her on her driveway, and she requested Ariel.  I thought it would be fun to see the before and after color, so I’ve posted that next.


That was a busy day of chalking, and I paid for it the next day, but it was totally worth it!  I do love to have all the kids gather around and talk to me about what I’m chalking.  I think it’s a great way for them to express their creativity on a huge scale.  I’ve been on walks recently and seen a lot more chalking than normal.  I’m not completely convinced that it’s my doing, but I like to think it has something to do with them seeing what else can be done with sidewalk chalk.  I also heard that people were driving by the house yesterday while we were out and taking pictures!  That is really exciting to me since I do the chalking to make everyone smile.

It rained last night, so most of the chalks have washed away.  It’s one of the downsides of working in chalk outside.  But, I think of it like a cake artist.  The pieces are made to be enjoyed for a short time, and then cleared away…although chalk isn’t nearly as tasty as cake!

After I posted my photos to my personal Facebook a friend suggested I try out a website called Fiverr and offer to draw stuff for people.  I’ve had some people request characters in the past, and thought it might be a good idea since I don’t always have ideas for characters, and chalk isn’t free 😀  So, I set up the Fiverr account, and posted my first Gig over there.  If you’ve got something you’d like to see in chalk, and $5 you wouldn’t mind sending my way, then check it out!!

Thanks for stopping by to see what I’ve been up to.  I love to share these chalkings with you, and if it’s inspired you to get out and chalk something let me know!!  I’d love to see it.  Stay tuned, I’m sure there will be lots more to come.


It’s been a few weeks since I’ve updated on my Curves Complete journey.  Not because I’ve fallen off the wagon, but, because friends, I’m totally ON the wagon.

Since starting Curves on April 8th things that were never a part of my life have become my new normal.  I go to the gym as soon as I drop the kids off, I plan basically everything I’m planning to put in my mouth and swallow every day, I’m making smart choices when it comes to food decisions.

This week I’ve started Week 6 of a 24 week program.  New things I’ve noticed now that I’m 1/4 of the way done: I don’t crave sugar all day long, I don’t want to sit still all day long, I don’t have to eat huge portions of food to feel satisfied (although my brain still wants me to!), I do like the veggies more, I do feel like I’m not slouching all the time (although as I had this thought I straightened my back!), I can chase a minion without getting completely winded, AND I can’t fit in my Fat Jeans anymore 😀  I pulled an older pair of jeans out of my drawer the other day, a pair I hadn’t worn in over a year (but they are Gap, and I was NOT getting rid of them), and put them on!  I didn’t even have to lay down on the bed or hop around my room to zip them up.  I could also breathe and sit while wearing them!  I was so excited!!!  True, they are still a little snug, and they are definitely not my goal size, but they are 2 sizes smaller than my Fat Jeans.

I know I’ve still got a long way to go.  I also know that I’m human and I can’t stop eating every delicious-bad-for-you thing on the planet.  I’ve come to love my evening sugar-free chocolate pudding.  Not going to lie here, last week was my husband’s birthday and Mother’s Day, so bad food choices were made.  Not a lot, not every meal, and not every day.  I felt pretty crappy after those poor choices, but I also think that’s a good thing.  When you get into the habit of eating healthy and feeling great you can forget what the big deal was about that Value Meal or that 32 oz Diet Cola.  You forget that it makes you feel like you need a nap as soon as you start metabolizing it.  You forget that it makes you MORE hungry.  When you consume it you remember, quickly.

And, just so I can keep it real here, I’m going to share my numbers with you.  My before and after my first month.  I have a weekly weigh-in, but I have a monthly measurement too.  So, here’s what Curves Complete has done for this gal in 5 weeks:


Please take a moment to feel my frustration over my “Birthing Hips” when looking at this chart!

The numbers don’t lie, folks.  And although I still have a long road ahead, I’m happy with the way things have gone so far.  I hope you’ll keep up with my progress, and if you’ve been thinking about doing something about your weight I hope I’ll be able to inspire you to go for it.  Please let me know, and if you’re blogging your journey; I’d love to follow you.  If you’re still just thinking about it, or wondering how to get started I’ll leave you with this:


I’m not really an outside person.  I’ll go out there if I have to, and sometimes I enjoy being in the sunshine.  But, mostly, I’d rather just stay inside.  I really don’t like going outside so I can supervise the minions.  Biggest and Middlest are old enough that they don’t need me by their side, but Littlest is at that age where she WILL go where the other kids go, even if it’s past the stop sign!  So, in an effort to keep the peace, I go out there so she can play and I can make sure she’s not wondering off into traffic.

In the cooler months I’m able to sit outside with a crochet project to keep me busy, but now that I don’t have much to work on since wool creations aren’t so popular in the summer, I needed to find another way to entertain myself out there.  Some suggestions would be read a book, play with the kids, weed the garden, etc.  Well, I’ve tried reading books out there, and it’s no good.  I’m too busy listening to shouted voices and deciphering if they are happy or bleeding.  My kids don’t want to play with me, which, honestly is okay.  And I don’t have a garden.  So, what am I to do with my time out of doors???  

One hot day near the end of summer, while standing on the sidewalk kicking pebbles and looking for something to keep me occupied as the minions frolicked about, I was struck by the huge, blank piece of concrete that is otherwise known as THE DRIVEWAY.  There is was, right under my feet.  I dug out the bucket of chalk pieces from the garage, and thought about what to draw.  I’ve always enjoyed drawing.  I’m not great, but I do okay when I’m looking at a picture and copying it.  Oh, and it MUST be a cartoon.  I’m no good at all when it comes to real people or very detailed drawings.  I’m also kinda crappy at sizing up my work space, so the driveway is perfect because it’s huge!!

Last summer, was my first go at the chalking.  I used our small bucket of chalk chunks that had probably been left out in the rain more than once (or twice….or three times).  I used a page from Biggest’s Tangled coloring book and chalked a big Rapunzel and Maximus.  It was so fun, and took up just enough time that the kids were about done playing outside when I was done drawing.

After I’d limped through that chalking with our old chunks I NEEDED to get my own chalk.  I went out the next day and bought the biggest box I could find.  I also got a few little boxes so the kids would keep their paws off of mine!



The mother of all sidewalk chalk boxes!!

Isn’t it beautiful?

Now that I had my big box of pretty colors, Middlest requested something more “boyish”.  So, going off of his request, and Super Hero Squad coloring book I chalked him Iron Man.  I really liked this one, and he was excited to show all his friend.

Part of the fun for me now is listening to people walk past.  I love making people happy, and when things I do make them smile or stop and look at the chalks I’ve done it makes me happy.  

So far I’ve done Rapunzel, Iron Man, Strawberry Shortcake, Powerpuff Girls, Millie from Umizoomi, Samurai Jack, and Perry the Platypus/Agent P.  I’ve gotten a much earlier start this year so I hope to do lots and lots of chalks.  I’ve also started coloring in my drawings, which takes up A LOT of chalk.  But it looks a lot cooler, so when I can I’m going to color them in.

Oh, and, FYI, that big box up there only has 1 piece of black chalk.  Seriously, 1 single piece.  I made quick work of that stick, and searched for more.  But, you can’t buy just black, so I made my own 🙂  It’s really simple, and I found easy instructions HERE.



I hope you’ll find some inspiration here, and go to chalk town this summer if you don’t have anything else to do.  It’s great, messy fun that keeps the kids in ear shot, amazes their friends, and makes one of the coolest moms on the block.  But, I don’t do it to be the cool mom, I do it because I like it and my kids like it.  And that is what matters most 🙂  

Thanks for stopping by, and here are my chalks thus far:



Once upon a time I wanted to be a teacher.  I wanted to sit in front of a little circle of tiny faces and read them colorful picture books.  I even headed that direction when I started out in college.  But, things change, and I didn’t take that road.  I am still very fond of the people who have made it their life’s work to mold my children, and like to make a little extra effort to thank them for this.

As you might already know, Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6th – 10th this year.  Thanks to Pinterest, I found LOTS of great gift ideas!  I came up with something I think is fun and original.  Something that lasts all week and not just one day. 

Along the lines of this clever idea from Skip to My Lou, I decided to go with a  jumbo pill reminder box and stuff each “day” with a treat.  The kids and I headed to our local party supply store to choose different pieces of loose candy that would fit in the boxes and that I could make up little sayings for.  Being a lover and user of sign language I was excited to find “I Love You” sign language erasers so I got those and some fun pencils, too.  

Since the pill boxes are clear I wanted to cover them up to make each day a surprise.  We found rainbow duct tape at Jo Ann’s that I wrapped the boxes with.  We also got heavy stock scrapbook paper to write the daily sayings on, and some scrapbook stickers for added fun.  I made 4 gifts for around $20.00.  

Here’s what we got to stuff the boxes, and what I had them write:

S: Chocolate Ball – You make learning a BALL!

M: Big Swedish Fish – You’re o’FISH’ally my favorite teacher!

T: Hershey Hugs and Kisses – A HUG and a KISS for a great teacher!

W: Big Lifesaver – You’re a LIFESAVER!

Th: Smarties – Thank you for making me a SMARTIE!

F: Hershey Nugget – Thanks for the NUGGETS of knowledge!

S: Brach’s Strawberry – You are a BERRY good teacher!

I also wrote my own little thank you note, and tied it up with a poofy ribbon.


I’m happy with the way this project turned out, and I hope the teachers like them too.  My kids really do have amazing teachers this year, and I hope this will show them just how much we love them.

If you don’t have time to make something for each day, or don’t have time for a homemade gift that’s okay!  My good friend and teacher said that she loves to receive tissues and small bottles of hand sanitizer to keep in her purse!!  I think the important thing is that you send in a little something just to let a teacher know that you appreciate all they’ve done for your child and all they’ve done for you.  I know they’ve made my life a whole lot easier!!

THANKS, TEACHERS!!!  Without you this post wouldn’t have been possible 😉

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 311 other followers

@Chalk_n_Awe on Instagram

There was an error retrieving images from Instagram. An attempt will be remade in a few minutes.