Our YouTube Channel Summer's Corner

Summer’s Corner Episode 1: Summer + Mommy Learn to Karaoke

Hey everyone!  We have been making videos for our YouTube channel for almost five months now!  And, all because our daughter Summer wanted to be just like her favorite YouTube family making fun and silly videos, gaming videos, baking things + doing science experiments.  I’m not gonna lie, it was really strange getting started, I was super uncomfortable being on camera!  Honestly, even Summer felt weird about it and my husband is still getting used to it!  But, I saw it as a way to bond with our daughter and do something fun as a family.  So I set out to start creating these videos that she felt so strongly about.  It started out rough, our first series “The Messy Home Tour” was really just us getting used to having our crazy house + ourselves being filmed.  Once we got rolling, hours and hours into editing, it all started to become fun and exciting!  I now see why this family and so many others Vlog and make all sorts of videos that are then shared with the world!  I get it!  We are definitely still getting used to all of it but it really has brought us closer and given us so many nice memories to look back at already in the sort five months we have been making them! That being said, today we have a very special new video series to share with you!  We are calling this series, “Summer’s Corner” entirely because Summer decided that she wanted to call it that and I lost the battle.  The name is inspired by her favorite YouTube channel FGTeeV who have a space for their son called “Chase’s Corner”.  I tried explaining to her quite a few times that we couldn’t just “copy” their name but she insists that her “channel” needs to be just like his because she is their biggest fan.  I am figuring they have millions of subscribers and we now have 22!!  Yes, 22!!  I am so proud 🙂 because last week we had only 2!  So yeah, I don’t think having a similar name is really going to be a problem. We have made a few videos for her playlist that are coming up in my editing and will be posted soon.  There are actually a few that we recorded before this one but we were working on angles and trying out a different camcorder so the quality/ sound/ view was not very good.  Because of that, I decided to make this our first official video and it is just so silly and cute!  Summer makes me laugh with her enthusiasm and excitement for not only making the video but playing the keyboard, she truly loves all things music and arts just like her momma 🙂 I hope you all enjoy the video and look out for the rest to follow!

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Dear Diary

The Failed Blogger, Who am I and why do I blog?

After yesterdays sob fest I was up early today ready for war.  I need to get myself out of this rut.  I know that writing helps so I am going to continue to write.  This blog means a lot to me.  It is my dream.  Photography, this blog and flipping houses.  Those are my dreams.  If I could imagine a perfect life it would be photographing and blogging about flipping houses.  The fact that our finances are officially fucked and I really need any income I can get right now, right now, really throws a wrench in the gears but I don’t know maybe it doesn’t.  This has to be what rock bottom feels like.  Or honestly maybe not.  I still have a roof over my head, a nice roof at that.  I still have an amazing man who stands by my side with a smile on his face no matter what.  I still have these two beautiful kids who call me mom and show me their big beautiful smiles every day.  Maybe life isn’t that bad.  Even if we loose everything, I hate to sound cliche but isn’t it said that you are only free to do anything once you have lost everything? If you are a new reader or maybe you’ve been hanging around awhile, even so I would like to re-introduce myself.  My name is Danielle, I have been blogging for 12 years and I like to refer to myself as “the failed blogger”.  I say this because, I have never in my life heard of anyone trying to blog for twelve years and be here where I am still at the beginning.  Here is how I failed at blogging so maybe you won’t make the same mistakes that I did…. When I began blogging I was nineteen years old and working full time at night in debt collection.  I was alone in an office building every night and lonely.  I was also dealing with some personal issues that come along with being nineteen years old living on your own with your boyfriend.  I had very little contact with my family, we were struggling financially, everything was all just so hard and we were so young.  I found a site called Xanga and I thought it would be a great way for me to continue journaling and maybe make some online friends in between phone calls. For years I blogged on Xanga, I even taught myself some HTML and started coding my own health and fitness website called Thinspirationsinc.com.  I was excited and obsessed, I loved coding and growing my site, I would just get lost for hours in it!  But somewhere along the way I started going to school for Graphic Design and lost site of my goals.  I married my boyfriend, we bought a house, I got pregnant and switched my major to nursing thinking I was being more realistic and practical.  I stayed with the medical billing company for nearly eleven years working my …READ MORE

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Kids Crafts Parenting Uncategorized

10 Adorable Kid Friendly Easter Crafts!

Summer was itching for Easter crafts so this morning we searched the internet and came up with a list of our favorites!  We started with a Candy Filled Easter Chick we are in between paint coats at the moment but I will definitely update when we finish.  The cartons we have are a bit different from the ones that she used in her tutorial so I don’t think ours will look exactly the same but still cute for sure.  I would love to try all of these in the next few weeks we have until the big day!  Summer is so excited for the Easter bunny, she is always so anxious about upcoming chances for gifts!  I have adorable little chests planned for Easter this year instead of baskets.  I hope she appreciates them for what they are and isn’t upset by not having a traditional basket this year.  I never know anymore how she will react to things, she is getting so big!  Here is our list that we made of Adorable Kid Friendly Easter Crafts for this holiday! Candy Filled Easter Chicks from onelittleproject.com Bunny Rabbit Handprint Craft by craftymorning.com Spring Footprint Art from onekriegerchick.com Foam Cup Bunny by iheartcraftythings.com Peep Houses from yesterfood.blogspot.com Sock Bunnies by apumpkinandaprincess String Easter eggs from tinyrottenpeanuts.com Fun Easter egg ideas by avso.org Cardstock Easter Cubby Houses from kinderart.com Flower Crowns by enchantedlearning.com What are your favorite Easter crafts?!!  Share them with me in a comment below!

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Dear Diary

Back and Ready for Action

This is where I start over again.  This is where I say to myself this time it is going to work, this time I am going to push through all of my insecurities and pour my heart out the way I always picture it in my head.  This time is going to be different. The month of February was like something out of the shining in our house.  It was the absolute definition of Murphy’s law.  When I say everything that could go wrong did go wrong I mean it with every ounce of spirit I have left inside of me.  And, were still going here days into March but somehow I am still optimistically naive that we are almost through this. As much as I really do want to unveil the play by play here I just don’t have the inspiration right this second to pour my heart out so I am going to stick to my main agenda.  Which is, proving to myself that I am still here that this blog is not going to fall by the wayside like all blogs of the past and to celebrate that I am finally able to blog after the death of yet another laptop. I am going to write every day for the next month even if it means just little blurbs like this where I’m like hey I am alive and well dear diary or something more meaningful.  This is how I ease into becoming the blogger I have always dreamed of being.  This is how I create the habit of writing that this time will stick.  I got this.

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Family Time

4th of July Memories

In all honesty, it was a great weekend.  My husband and I are facing some really tough life changing decisions right now and we have been working through them so rationally that it has been a real eye opener and reminder of the strength in our relationship.  I am at a full out cross road and I couldn’t ask for a better life partner to help navigate me down the right path. I have been doing some major soul searching, staying up all night tossing and turning, thinking and dreaming. This is one of those moments.  I think it might be THE moment.  The one that makes you who you are.  And I am living it.  Breathing it.  I can’t escape it.  I wake up and it is there just staring me in the face, taunting me with it’s uncertainty.  This is one of those moments that changes you forever.  This moment may be the rest of my life.    And to my beautiful children.  And to my supportive husband.  These memories are for you.       I choose my heart. All my love,

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Family Time Recipes

Family Pizza Night: How to Make the Perfect Pizza at Home

I have been meal planning which I hope to share very soon because, it has really been working out beautifully.  Tonight our planned meal was pizza.  We have A LOT of experience making pizza.  There may have been an entire month last summer where we ate pizza every day so my husband could perfect his dough recipe.  We LOVE to make our own pizza but, my husband really has a sore spot for store bought dough.  I guess all that time spent working on his technique shouldn’t go in vane.  But, it has been a really long time since we last made our own pizza so I kind of forgot all about his loyalty and I may have bought a bag of whole wheat dough with my groceries this week. Shoot me. I have to be honest, the store bought dough was a bit stressful.  Store bought dough is REALLY sticky (I think because it is pre-frozen?) and my husband swears that his dough is so much easier to handle.  So there I was, trying to mediate between my super excited daughter saying “can I try?  can I do that?  can I roll it?  can I put the cheese on now?!!!!!”  While my husband held back his rage against this poor unknowing bag of dough.  Let the record show, I did offer to take over several times but, the pizza king claimed he was oh so much better at making pizza.  Note:  Do not add crazy amounts of flour, which I apparently do or at least did before he became the master of homemade pizzas. But I promise you, it is possible to make yourself a pie comparable to take out even with store bought dough.   So after a bit of dough wrestling, I was finally allowed to step in and finish pressing the dough out into the pan.  Then I was able to let my daughter “do it!” spread the sauce, sprinkle the cheese & finally cook the pie.  Really it is a simple process, anyone with a little patience can do it, I promise.  Even with the evil that is “store bought dough”. First:  Take your store bought dough homemade if you remembered to ask your husband to provide you with his expertise ahead of time.  But if not… start by following the directions on the bag (if store bought).  This dough was bought frozen, taken home and refrigerated.  When we prepped for dinner tonight we had to take the dough out of the fridge and leave it out on the counter inside the bag, allowing it to rise and become room temperature.  This is what the dough looked like when we took it out of the bag… Then you want to sprinkle a tiny bit of flour (when your husband isn’t looking) just to make the dough manageable, and roll it into a ball.  It really does help the dough from sticking to your surface, ours being our nifty Silicone Baking Mat we have used this mat for every pizza and every …READ MORE

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Blogging Parenting

Instagram Flashbacks

My best ideas seem to be born in the deep hours of night I spend lying awake in the dark while my family is fast asleep.  I spent a good hour last night entering my kids into the #gapcastingcall and then an additional two hours dwelling over the pictures I had chosen.  This is the type of insanity I am blessed with in the wee morning hours when I should be sleeping.  But after all this nonsense, I did discover that one of the new updates for Instagram lets us have multiple accounts linked to our app.  This allows you to toggle back and forth between said accounts easily without having to log in and out.  That got me pretty excited. When I created this blog I already had a long standing account with Instagram that I decided to leave the way it was.  The name I used means a lot to me and I didn’t want to change and loose it.  The other plus to creating a new account was to try and distance myself and my new blog away from my Facebook account and all of the followers that had came with it.  Sure now there have been some that have trickled into my new account but for the most part, I have been able to separate myself and leave my old account in the dust.  I love to write and take pictures and blogging is a way for me to capture that part of my life and put it on display.  But I don’t like to put myself, particularly my writing on display.  I’m just well, shy.  And, my old account was full of way too many people who know me in the real world, I felt it better to try and create a little wall.  So last night I’m reminiscing all of these old pictures and it occurs to me that a part of me regrets not just changing the name because, I miss them.  I thought of maybe starting to do flashbacks pictures on my new Instagram account but there are just so many.  Then I thought, what if I just spotlighted them here.  I could take one picture at a time and talk about it.  That to me seems like a better way to pay homage to all of my old memories. Today’s photo is my first ever Instagram.  It is of my daughter Summer, when she was about eight months old.  It was taken at a Johnny Rockets with my husband after we brought her to have professional pictures taken for the first time.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.  We discovered how delicious their food is, when your craving a little greasy splurge.  Summer tried french fries for the first time.  Our photo session was very long, we had so many pictures to sort through, it took hours.  We had all these outfit changes for her.  She was standing but couldn’t walk yet so we stood her up so she …READ MORE

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Parenting

Play-Doh Recipe

Skill Level:  Easy Ingredients: 2 cups water 1 cup salt 2 tbsp vegetable oil Food dye (one color of choice) 2 cups flour 2 tbsp cream of tartar I thought it would be fun today to pull out an old tried and true recipe for make our own Play-Doh! It was a fun way to spend the afternoon and my five year old loves helping out from start to finish. Then she spent about two hours creating everything she could possibly imagine up. It was a definite success! Here’s the process: Start with the food dye, the salt, the vegetable oil and the water. My daughter wanted red which is a tough color to accomplish meaning, you need ALOT of it. By that I mean, if you want RED you need about half a bottle of food dye. You could also add a scented oil in this step if you would like your dough to smell pretty but, it isn’t necessary. Put your dye, water, oil and salt in a sauce pan and heat it on low until all the salt has melted. Once you have a nice brightly colored fully melted hot liquid in your pan add your cream of tartar and your flour. Turn off the heat, choose a utensil (I used a silicone turner) and stir it up until it’s fully blended. Enjoy!

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