Saturday, October 27, 2012

Reaching out against Domestic Abuse

October is Domestic Abuse Awareness month. Domestic abuse is something that 75% of women have experienced, yet few and far between actually talk about or seek help for. I will admit, I was one of those women, silently suffering, hoping that some miracle would happen to rescue me from the situation, and luckily, one did. Few know about my experience, but those who do don't know how to react. Oftentimes, people feel awkward, over-protective, indignant, etc. These feelings may be warranted, but they are not beneficial for the abused. Below are some ways to reach out to the women close to your hearts that are trying to mend their own hearts. 

1. Be a listening ear. Its what the abused woman needs the most. Really opening up about the abuse is a rarity, don't squander the opportunity. Hear her out, listen more than you speak. She has a lot of pain, anger, hurt, sadness and confusion that has built up. Let her release it. Listen, and don't talk unless she asks you. Chances are, she isn't looking for a fix-it man, she is looking for a companion and a comforter.
2. Be non-judgemental.She has gone through more than anyone should have to. Don't add insult to injury. Hug her, smile at her, and tell her you love her. There are many stages of grief and recovery, and she is going through feelings and emotions that you aren't. While you think she needs to "leave that scumbag," she might not be in that mental place yet. Give her time, and if she doesn't do things the way you feel they need to be done, be patient. Love is the best director.
3. Help her with day to day life. Small tasks seem daunting when your life is crumbling. Getting out of bed is like climbing Mt. Everest. When she's sleeping she isn't getting rest and when she is smiling, she is crying on the inside. Help her in any way possible. If she has children, take them out for a fun event (they will need some fun in life too) and give her some time to cry. Do the dishes, sweep her floors, and run to the grocery for her. Anything to ease some of her burden. Don't ask her, just do it! Give her the number for the Domestic Abuse Hotline. Let her know that there are resources available to her. Do the research and present your findings to her. She might not have the strength or the will to do it herself.
4. Love her unconditionally. When a woman is abused, she feels unlovable. Prove to her that she is lovable. Show her that she is special. Renew that feeling of self worth in her. Tell her specific things that you love about her, and let her know that she means something to you. I can't stress the importance of this enough. Let her feel your love.
5. Encourage her. This goes along with showing her love. Tell her that she is strong. Tell her that she is courageous. Tell her that this is hard, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Let her know that you have her back. She isn't alone and will always have your support.
6. Be understanding, but understand that you will never fully understand. The pain of domestic abuse is haunting. Some people fail to realize the pain, while others think they fully know the pain. Neither way of thinking is benificial for the abused. Unless you have been abused, you won't be able to fully comprehend the anguish.
  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
  • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
  • Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
  • Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.
  • Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help.
  • The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.
  • Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hand bound journal!

Wow! I am embarrassed to say that my last post was about 5 months ago! Newborns keep you preoccupied to say the least! I wanted to post pictures of my latest mini-project: a homemade, hand bound journal! I absolutely love it! I made it for my best friend's birthday, but I think I will end up making many many more. I do have an obsession with stationary and journals after all! 

It was fairly simple to make, although it did take some time. I regretfully didn't take pictures of the process :( I simply folded printer paper in half (hamburger style) and sewed about 5 papers together using a running stitch. I did this to 4 sets of papers. I then used a whip stitch and sewed those 4 packets together. I cut out cardboard for the outside of the journal and covered it with fabric (using heat n bond as adhesive) then I hot glued the paper into the journal. Super simple and super cute!! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mattress Hunting

Well, hubby and I finally decided that it is time to see our mattress go. We bought it only two years ago (right before we got married) but we obviously had no clue what we were doing. After two years on the mattress, the center is nothing but a hole (despite turning and flipping the mattress), it creaks and groans, and has no support. We wake up smushed together in the center (which isn't always so terrible :p) with aching backs. With my growing baby belly, getting in and out of the "grave" is impossible! I am doing a lot of research on mattresses this time to ensure that we don't buy the wrong one. The one we currently have was very expensive, and we don't want to make the same mistake twice!! 

Here are some things I have learned:

  • Spend at least 10-15 minutes on each mattress before buying: this gives you a better idea of what is to come
  • Anything over 390 coils is excessive and your body won't be able to tell the difference
  • Get a mattress that is around a 6 on the firmness scale (Medium-firm mattress). It is the most beneficial for achy backs
  • You can haggle the price! Most mattresses are marked up 50%! That's why they are so darn expensive!
  • Find a store with a good return policy, so if you end up with a mattress you don't like (like us unfortunately) you can return it within a certain time frame.
We are going this afternoon to shop around. Let's keep our fingers crossed that the outcome will be good! We need a couple nights of rest before Lindsay comes and keeps us up all night! :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Busy Busy Busy!!

Whew!!!! I am about worn out! Mark and I have had a lot of things going on recently! We powered through Thanksgiving relatively unscathed, then were given a beautiful baby shower by some of my family! The entire shower was absolutely gorgeous. I am so blessed to have such a caring family. My aunt and cousin from Ohio planned the shower with another aunt (who was in the process of moving from Washington state to Tennessee). As you can tell, I must be very loved to have people sacrifice so much! :)  A couple of days after the baby shower, I was given a SURPRISE baby shower by everyone at Boston Avenue Charter School. It was amazing as well! The party was a blast, and completely took me off guard.  I am feeling particularly spoiled these days :p

In only one day, my parents will be coming to visit from Tennessee for Christmas! I have a TON of things to get done before they arrive. My biggest project the past few days has been getting Lindsay's nursery in shape. I bought 230 hangers from Target, and ran out!! I have SO MANY CLOTHES for her! I know she will be appreciative :) I am using hot pink ribbons to separate the hung clothes into different size groups, and have bought extra poles, etc to give the closet more storage space. Its such a time consuming project that I might just have to take a picture of it when its finished.

The inside of our house is relatively ready for Christmas, and Mark is currently feverishly working on Christmas lights outside. I'm so excited about this Christmas! Hopefully on Christmas day I will still be able to bend over to pick up presents!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls

One great thing about being pregnant is the variety of cravings I get on a daily basis. Yesterday it was fried chicken, Chinese food, and chocolate cake (Don't worry, I only indulged in one!). Today's craving: Cinnamon Rolls. yummmmmm I dug through the refrigerator looking feverishly for frozen cinnamon rolls... no luck. I then rummaged around for ingedients to make my own and... SCORE!! I didn't have any yeast, so I found a yeast-less recipe! I changed up many of the ingredients and quantities to meet my own taste and supplies on hand. (I did not have much cream cheese, so I improvised by making Confectioners Icing, and added the small amount of c.c. I had) Here's what I came up with!

No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls (aka the Pregnancy Roll!)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBS cinnamon
1/2 ts salt
2 TBS butter, melted
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 ts baking powder
1/2 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt

1 cup milk
6 TBS butter
3 oz cream cheese, softened
4 TBS milk
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 ts vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 425. Combine filling ingredients in a small bowl, then mix with a fork until well blended.
2. In a another, larger bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3.Whisk together buttermilk and 4 Tablespoons melted butter in a separate bowl, then pour into the middle of the dry ingredients. Stir together until dough just comes together (do not overmix or it will become too hard.) Kneed slightly with your hands until the dough forms into a ball, then slice it in half.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a 12×8″ rectangle (slightly longer than a sheet of paper.) Press half the filling mixture into the center, leaving 1/4″ of the dough clear on all 4 sides, then roll like a sausage. Pinch together seam, trim ends and cut into 8 slices. Repeat with the other dough half, then place rolls in a lightly greased cookie sheet with sides.
5. Brush cinnamon rolls with remaining 2 Tablespoons of melted butter and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
6. Meanwhile, to make the icing, mash together softened cream cheese and powdered sugar with a fork until smooth. Mix in milk, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until creamy, then add vanilla. Drizzle onto hot cinnamon rolls and spread evenly!!

These Cinnamon Rolls are amazing!! They are so buttery and fluffy... yum!! Today's craving was definitely a success :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beachy Shabby Chic Hutch!

I am finally finished with my china hutch project! I bought this hutch off of craigslist for $10.

The hutch needed a lot of help. The back panel was coming off, the doors were rickety, and the center section was missing glass and part of the frame. Lucky for me, my husband was able to repair all of the structural issues. We went ahead and totally removed the center wood frame. The original plan was to add chicken wire in the center to give it more of a shabby country feel.
I gave the hutch 2 coats of paint. This picture is after 1 coat. 

I then painted the hutch interior a deep teal. The interior paint color was matched directly to my lamps in the adjoining living room. In these two pictures, the hutch blue looks much darker than the blue on the lamp, but they are really the same color ;) We were able to buy a sample portion of paint for the interior, saving us money. I used about 3/4 of the sample paint, I will have to find somewhere else to use the rest now!

After painting, it was time for the fun to start! My mom made a trip down to visit, and we had a blast decorating my new hutch. And wow!! What a difference this cheap thing from craigslist made!

When we had the hutch decorated, I decided that adding chicken wire to the center would be too much. I didn't want to clutter up the hutch to the point of insanity! I love the crisp lines of the hutch coupled with the frilly and "organized mess" of the accessories!

$3--Blue sample paint
$10-- Antique white paint
 All in all, the hutch cost us $23! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shabby Chic Hutch

Since moving into our new home, I have realized that my kitchen's storage space is extremely limited! I looked high and low for a cute hutch to put in the dining room to add to my storage space, but I couldn't find a single thing that fit the bill. Finally, I decided I would make my own adorable piece! I bought a hutch off of Craigslist for $10. It is ugly and falling apart, but I have some great inspiration pieces... Let's hope mine turns out cute as well!

I am going to paint the outside of the hutch white, and the inside blue, like the rest of my living room furniture. I am also on the hunt for some cute knobs to add. I think I will also add a touch of chicken wire to the hutch for more of a country feel. I will upload before and after pictures when the project is done!