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Welcome to my blog! I'm a mom of 3, a wife, and the daughter of a first generation Italian-American mother. On my blog you'll see posts about mom-life, crafting, home decor, diy ideas, organization, cleaning, and of course homemade recipes inspired by my Italian heritage and growing up in the Pacific Northwest! I hope you enjoy and find a little piece of home while you're here!

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maker crate by kiwico monthly creative subscription box

A Fresh New Year of Self Care and Crafting for a Busy Mama of 3

After the craziness that was 2020 (anyone else glad to say that year is behind us?), I really realized how much I wasn’t taking care of myself during that year. It was easy to forget about what I needed, and what would make me a happier and better mom, wife, daughter and friend.

Basically, I wasn’t taking care of my health (mental or physical). I gave up on eating right, excercising, my skin, hair, wardrobe, and worst of all: I gave up on my hobbies and passion for being creative. I put it all aside. I kept thinking, “Eh…I’ll start back when things are back to normal.”. We ALL know how well that worked out for me. Seriously though, when ARE things going to get back to normal? Even with a vaccine now available, it’s not clear when or IF we’ll ever really feel a sense of true normalcy.

I decided to start a list for myself. Focusing on what I needed to do for MYSELF. Putting my own needs on the TOP of the list, before anything else.

This last year, I had a VERY unexpected and great holiday season in my Etsy shop, which had only just launched on November 1st. I realized that even with the huge amount of orders I had received. The deadlines. Late nights of making and packaging orders. All ON TOP of working a full-time job. Helping my 1st grader with online distance learning. Not to mention the regular day-to-day demands of being a mom and wife (and let’s face it an adult in general). I TRULY enjoyed the hustle. Being busy. The late nights alone in my office packaging and putting together the hundreds of orders I got, all while binging Netflix.

“All of a sudden, it all clicked.”

My husband even noticed the differences in my daily mood. I obviously NEEDED to have this creative outlet. It made me feel better. It soothed my soul. Even when it was stressful and overwhelming, at times. Being creative and having time to myself was an outlet for me to do something I loved.

I made time for myself.

Once my Etsy sales and holiday orders had died down, I decided to look into other ways to help foster that creativity in me more. I hadn’t really done much for almost a year, and honestly felt lost on where to start.

After some research on social media and Google, I ended up finding a couple of amazing subscription boxes. Each one gets mailed to me monthly. I don’t have to THINK it at all. What I’m going to get and make is a total surprise. I simply get the box, open it and make whatever is inside it. There are no client deadlines. They aren’t things I’ve done before or sometimes even know how to do. It’s simply a fun and easy to manage project with everything I need to do it provided to me. All I have to do is make time to sit down and create.

“The hardest part of starting a new creative project…is starting.”

I wrote this blog post, because I wanted to share with you, what I’ve started doing for myself. What companies I’m using and why I love them. An honest review.

It has been 3 months so far, and I have just felt so inspired by these few investments. I want to share these amazing boxes with you. Maybe you are looking for a way to invest time in yourself, be creative or have a little “me time”.

Okay, here we go…

p.s. This is when you should grab a pen and paper, or your mobile device to take notes.

Maker Crate – by Kiwi Co.

This is the 3rd Maker Crate Box I have received, and I’m obsessed with this box. Litterally, I have to say its my #1 favorite box so far. Most people know Kiwi Co. as the scubscription box for kids with fun creative and STEM type kits that get mailed out monthly. BUT did you know they have a Age 14+ box, that is all of these amazing and trendy creative crafts? They send you ALL the supplies and tools you need. The projects you get to create are totally on trend and can make perfect gifts or additions to your home/personal collection. The materials are super high quality and the results and video tutorials are so good, and FUN to watch.

BOXES I’VE RECEIVED:

  1. Needle Punch Pillow
  2. Paper Pulp Paintings
  3. Block-Printed Convertible Backpack (shown above)

MY REVIEW:

RATING:10 / 10
GRADE:A+
WHAT I LOVED:Trendy projects, easy to follow video tutorials
gorgeous, high quality end product and great tools!
NOT INTO:Not sure I have any negatives…not yet at least…

Get 50% of your FIRST Maker Crate!

Annie’s Kit Clubs

I currently get 2 different kits from @AnniesKitClubs. I couldn’t decide and I kinda wanted both. Since getting these 2 subscriptions, I’ve seen a couple others I’m into. Including a Golden Girls crochet pattern! But, I want to finish what I’ve started so far first, before adding a new box to the mix.

BOXES I’VE RECEIVED:

Crochet Afghan Block of the Month Club

This box comes every month with 3 new “blocks” to complete and learn a new crochet pattern/stitch. It starts off very simple and basic, and each block gets a little more complicated as you progress. I’ve received 3 months worth so far and have completed 5 blocks. I did procrastonate on this one a bit the first month. But then I actually got my Mom a subscription as well as a Christmas Gift and now we both get together 1x a week to work on the next block or more together while we watch ABC’s The Bachelor, and order delivery from our restaurant of choice using Doordash. It’s made such a difference, and now we are both working on this fun thing together and finding a way to spend time together when we can’t do anything else right now with COVID-19.

MY REVIEW:

RATING:8 / 10
GRADE:B
WHAT I LOVED:Slow step-by-step process to create 1 BIG
project. Learning a new stitch for every
single block you do.
NOT INTO:I truly feel bad saying this – but I’m not a fan
of the instructor or her tutorials. I feel like
she moves SO fast, especially in the FIRST
stitch/block video, and I found myself restarting
at least 10 times before I finally did it – and was
almost finished and realized I was still doing it wrong/different from her, and I didn’t even want
to bother redoing it. HOWEVER, after my first
block it got SO MUCH easier – but I did look at
a couple Crochet YouTuber’s for the first 2 blocks
to get a slower visual example of what to do.

Farmhouse Style Kit Club

So far I have received 2 of these kits, and completed 1. These are some fun and simple DIY decor projects for your home, and if you are like me and are obsessed with the Farmhouse style (aka your Magnolia Farms/Fixer Upper style – thank you Joanna Gaines for making me obsessed!), then you’ll love this box. The first one I got was a Lavendar Soap making kit (and I have NOT done that one yet, but plan to very soon). The second one I got was these cute wooden framed magnets that have adorable pictures/sayings. I loved making them, and it was quick and felt like such an accomplisment to finish it. Plus they look super cute on my Metal cabinet.

Example of the farmhouse framed magnets kit I received and made.

MY REVIEW:

RATING:8 / 10
GRADE:B+
WHAT I LOVED:These were super cute! I loved how easy and
fast it was to make.
NOT INTO:The Rub-On designs were actually a little
harder to get off and I lost a few corners, no
matter HOW hard I rubbed onto the wood.
The stain is also a little stinky/sticky but
they give you gloves to wear and it was not a big deal.

Get your first Annie’s Kit Clubs box!


Final thoughts…


You can follow me along on Instagram and TikTok to watch me work on these projects and some of my own projects outside of these kits. But I do have to say that these kits have made me feel so inspired, and I also just feel a sense of accomplishment after each on is done.

It’s a much needed renewed sense of self and feeling like I’m doing something, and accomplishing something, and for myself. Even better, I’m learning something new, and find new things that interest me that I’ve never tried before.

If you try one let me know, comment below and tell me about what projects you’ve done and loved. I’d love to try new ones too! If you know another subscription box you recommend or another similar type service, please let me know! I’d love to check it out!

Devan McCabe

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