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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Messy Home Tour Our YouTube Channel

58th Day of Summer

As promised, I was able to edit and post two videos today so here is the second one!  This is actually a follow up video to the last video, I did a second tour around 12:30 am after I finished cleaning the house.  There are a few clips of the kids playing that follow the tour!  This far into the summer I started to realize that I had a lot more of the day to share and started adding in additional footage at some point along the way!  These videos definitely worked exactly the way I had hoped.  It went from walking around showing off our mess to recording the kids playing, showing off the garden, showing off our CLEAN HOME!  Woah, haha!  Me actually yup, you know what I am going to say next…  I started vlogging, for real vlogging, with my face alone on the camera.  I know, I am as shocked as you are.  Then comes “Summer’s Corner” games, karaoke, more playtime.  And, dare I even mention I end up doing karaoke all alone, like for realz singing by myself in front of a camera.  I mean, it isn’t pretty, I can never get through a song with all the right words or stay in key but I did it!  AND, I am really going to post those videos too, for real.  As soon as I get there, in editing.  UGH CURSE YOU ICLOUD!!! But just know, we have so much more fun coming up!!!! SO (please) SUBCRIBE AND STAY TUNED!!!  🙂 THANKS GUYS!  (AND GALS!)

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Dear Diary Family Time Reflections

The Stages of Grief

I think the most important thing to always remember is to never give up.  No matter how many times you have tried to change, tried to become a better person, wake up early, be a better employee, wife or mother.  Whatever it is in your life that is holding you back or constantly feeling like a failure, if you give up on it then you will fail, forever.  My life is a mess right now.  I have felt like I was teetering on rock bottom for weeks.  We have never struggled harder. Unexpectedly becoming a stay at home mom isn’t at all a dream.  It has felt mostly like a nightmare from the very beginning.  First desperately trying to make money from inside the house (denial).  From there I began lashing out on everyone while giving up on my small business to accept taking on the stay at home life in all it’s glory (anger).  Next, convincing myself and my husband that we could afford this life just by living simpler + cancelling out our debt (bargaining).   And then came the depression and…  here I am.  Depressed.  I thought I would never type that actual word….  Sadness.  Sadness is ok.  But to admit depression feels so clinical.  Sure, I have probably been depressed most of my adult life and all of my late childhood.  Sure, if I went to a therapist they would say yeah you are in denial, this is depression.  But to admit that to myself, no I just can’t do it. Now please, if you are depressed, if you have a psychiatric disorder bless you.  Strength and perseverance to you, life is worth living.  I mean that from the bottom of my heart, I believe that life is worth living.  Because I believe that and because I have struggled for so long, because I have seen the glimmer, the light.  Because there have been periods of time where I can say yes I was happy then.  I just know that I don’t want to be medicated, the last thing I need now is to be numb.  I saw what it did to my mother, my aunts, my grandmother, I am trying to start my life now not end it.  I am more focused on breaking the cycle than adding to the number.  So lastly, I am searching for acceptance.  I am searching for myself, my soul, my happiness.  One day I know that I am finally going to look back at this and say I did it.  I finally did it after all these years of trying and failing.  That I am finally finishing all the things that I start.  That I am finally proud to be myself and can say that I am an adult deserving of respect.  I will get there, I will persevere, I will not give up. My 6 year old daughter looked sad today during her soccer game and I said, “Summer why do you have that frown face, you look …READ MORE

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Creative Writing: Songs + Poems Dear Diary

Choose Life

Life is hard, the struggles are real We’re all suffering, we all feel The air is heavy, we bare the weight It happens when we procreate My children deserve more, my husband too I can’t continue being so blue Today was hard, another mistake I feel defeated, more than I can take I can’t stay down here on my knees The world is ticking by I have to pick myself up, before I start to cry There has to be a light out there The struggle has to end I have big dreams I cannot see, I’m always on the mend I’m searching for the rainbow The sparkling gleam of light I’m crawling round the darkness, in the middle of the night The years are short The days are long I need to finally end this song Stop wallowing, stop crying, stop praying for change You are the only person who could possibly rearrange This shattered life, the pain and strife, the chains that bare us down The example that you set, every time you choose to frown Stop holding on and bust this frame, there’s nothing left to loose The only rock that’s left unturned is a life that you must choose   ~ Danielle Johnson ~ 05/25/17 ~ 2:25 pm ~

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Dear Diary The Daily Dress

A Dairy Free Life

A stomach virus ravaged my house for the past three weeks slowly passing from one of us to the other.  It ruined my birthday.  My husband was the sweetest thing bringing me home this beautiful special ordered carrot cake, he said the only cake he’d ever seen me eat was carrot cake.  His heart really was in the right place.  The problem was, my husband is the kind of guy whose ability to cook stops with toasting his bagel in the morning so he had no idea the cake was loaded with cream cheese and butter cream frosting.  It was a devastating blow to my very fragile state but, I healed and pushed through it.  By Wednesday last week after being sick for five days I finally woke up feeling full of energy again and ready to go.  The kids and I went to the beach Wednesday, the zoo Thursday, and back to the beach Friday with my little niece. The girls had a cute little sleepover Friday night and then we spent Saturday hanging around the house.  It was a great, very busy week.  Then Saturday at about two o’clock in the morning I realized I had never brought the kids to go have their picture taken with the Easter bunny, it broke my heart.  Mark was really upset too, we have a picture every year from the time that summer was an itty baby.  Last year we have one of Summer holding itty bitty Mason. So missing it this year makes me so sad.  But at the same time, Mason really doesn’t like masks or strange people.  This was his reaction to Santa…. I mean lets be real here, I already have a picture of him screaming on a strangers lap.  Yet still, I am bummed.  So much that I considered renting a bunny costume just so we could take the picture ourselves.  But when I brought up the idea to Summer she said, “Mommy, I really don’t want to do the picture this year”.  She didn’t want to “do” the picture with Santa this year either, it was like pulling teeth.  Is our tradition over?  Excuse me while I go wipe my tears, I’m crushed.   It has been over a month since I decided to give up dairy as a two week experiment to see if it could help to clear up my skin.  I have cystic acne.  Adult hormonal cystic acne.  Or at least that is what the dermatologist I saw told me.  He also told me to load up on these crazy drugs that were going to change my hormones.  I was like, hell no!  I mean why would anyone be so obliged to make such a drastic decision without at least trying to adjust your diet?  We are what we eat people!  When your inner body is not digesting something correctly, if you are becoming inflamed from eating some (like dairy) especially when you are intolerant (lactose) to it, your insides aren’t the …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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Breakfast Recipes

Freezer Scrambled Egg Wraps

One of my favorite things is a quick meal, even better if it is made ahead and ready for a heat through and serve.  I recently put together these super easy scrambled egg wraps.  They came together so fast I wish I had thought of them years ago!  They freeze great and warm up fast in the microwave.  It has been awesome having these on hand for a simple breakfast on the go!  There are a lot of mornings where I just don’t have the time to cook for myself and make sure the kids are fed and happy!   These even make a great low fat snack for any time of day which is also great for me and this little bit of baby weight I’m still working off! So the process is simple.. First start with eggs, milk, tortillas, cheese & sausage (optional) Then scramble your eggs and milk, cook. While your eggs are cooking, set up your tortillas. I took my cutting board and lined up the tortillas, then placed a single slice of American cheese on each. Once I was done with that I cooked my sausage according to the directions on the package. Then I cut up my sausage into small chunks.  By now the eggs were done so I added the sausage to my eggs. Now I took the sausage & egg mixture and brought it over to the tortillas. Now all that was left was to take a spoonful of the sausage & egg mixture and place it on each tortilla.  I tried to spread out the mixture as even as possible.  And, I tried to keep each spoonful in the center of the tortilla, right on top of the cheese. Once I had spooned out all my mix, I wrapped them up with parchment paper and popped them into the freezer!  My thought here was that the parchment paper could be microwaved which works great when reheating.   I used small pieces of white duct tape to hold the parchment paper closed. Then I put together this cute little directions tag for my husband because, let’s be real here..  I’m not a morning person. I put all the wraps in a favor bag because, that’s what I had on hand but a gallon zip lock is great too.  And vuallah, breakfast for the week.  So simple. This is how they looked fresh out of the freezer.. And the best part, they are super yummy and taste fresh every time!!  #winning Print Freezer Scrambled Egg Wraps Ingredients 6 eggs 6 slices american cheese (optional) 6 soft tortillas 4 breakfast sausage (or bacon, slices of ham, diced sweet peppers, etc) splash of milk salt & pepper spray cooking oil Instructions In a large mixing bowl, scramble your 6 eggs and splash of milk. I used whole milk but any fat content will do. Spray cooking oil onto medium sized fry pan and warm over low-medium heat, be careful not to burn your oil. Slowly pour your eggs into pan and …READ MORE

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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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Kids Hair Parenting

Kid Friendly Heat-Free Overnight Curls: We’re in Love!

You guys, I have to share with you these awesome overnight heat-free curlers that I found!  Lately my daughter Summer has been really loving all the attention I’ve been giving to her hair.  She wants, all the styles.  One thing we hadn’t been able to play around with much was curls.  And I have to confess, I love curls.  Especially cascading from my adorable little daughter’s head!  Of course, she doesn’t want a hot curling iron anywhere near her and really, neither do I.  Aside from fear, her sleek silky hair would NEVER cooperate, we have tried.  So I found these magical little curlers and tried them out.  To my amazement, they work.  I mean, really work.  It was pure curl magic.  There is a slight learning curve but with a little patience you’ll get it quick and you’ll be so glad that you did! Inside the package you will find your curlers and your hook, there are three parts that need to be snapped together.  The curlers are hollow and have a grippy edge at each end which holds the hair in place.  Start with damp hair and then slide your hook through a curler.  Take the hair in small sections, twist the hair tightly at the scalp and place it into the hook.  While holding the hair in the hook slowly pull the hair through the curler.  This is where I had some trouble, the directions in my package don’t stress the twisting part but really, the twisting is key.  If you don’t have a tight enough twist the hair gets snagged inside the curler and won’t pull through.   The twist keeps the hair in a tight section that makes it easy for it to be pulled through the curler. Once I got use to the process I thought the curlers were great, easy to use and super kid friendly.  I love the fact that I can set them at night and she can wake up to beautiful morning curls!  I worried they might be uncomfortable for her to sleep on but she didn’t seem to mind at all.  In fact, she kept them in for hours this morning because she wanted to be “extra curly!”  Taking them out was really simple, just pull at the end and the hair is free.  My favorite part?  No hairspray needed!  These springy natural looking curls held tight all day!  I honestly still can’t believe it.  As a person with natural wave who frequents the curling iron for fancy nights out, I am really looking forward to trying these bad boys out on my own hair!  No more sweaty curling iron, no more trying to squeeze in the time to use the sweaty curling iron, no more sticky hairspray, I am pretty excited with all the possibilities here.  In fact, I may just have to try these on for fun tonight! I ordered mine from Ebay but now I am wishing that I had checked Amazon first because I am finding a …READ MORE

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