DIY Easy Garden Starters Using Paper Cups

(This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on them and purchasing featured items can earn me commissions)

I am so excited for spring this year! I have been trying to start a garden for a few years now. I always manage to get hung up somewhere along the line though. 3 years ago I was actually successful in planting a garden but then we ended up moving in July so we had to leave it behind. The last two years I have tried various methods for DIY garden starters. Neither was super successful and ended up dying before it was time to plant them. I am determined to make it work this year!

I have seen so many different ideas on how to make your own garden starters. Here is a great post from the preparedness mama. Most take quite a bit of preparation or saving of materials ahead of time. I wanted a cheap, minimal prep way to start some seeds. So I settled on paper cups and it has worked out great!

What I like most about using paper cups is that you can write on the cup what seed you are planting. In previous years I had to get creative on how to mark each starter. This was super easy!

Here are a couple options I found on Amazon. I love that the peat pots come with little markers. (These are affiliate links)

Steps

1. Pick what you want to plant and how many

This year I bought some seed packets at the dollar store for 25 cents a packet. I also bought a few at the hardware store for 2-3 dollars each. Amazon also has some great options that I considered. I am not doing starters for herbs though. They grow pretty quickly so I will just plant them from seed outside.

2. Poke holes in the bottom of each cup(if you decide to use cups)

garden starters

3. Fill cups with soil and water them

garden starters

4. Plant the seeds!

General tips for garden starters

Since starting my seedlings I have learned a few things about keeping them alive.

Don’t over water

When you are waiting for the seeds to germinate it is good to keep the soil pretty moist. But once they have sprouted it’s ok to let the dirt dry before watering. Otherwise, some fuzzy mold can grow. I learned that this isn’t a total deal breaker for your little plants but it does impede them a little bit.

Don’t overcrowd them

Pick a container that allows the plants to breathe. If you don’t do this it can also lead to mold because the moisture can’t get out as easily. My plants are pretty packed in my container but I don’t have anything else to put them in. I’m trying to go easier on the watering and hoping for the best. I’m also thinking about switching them to a cardboard box instead.

Minimal direct sunlight

The seedlings need sunlight, but not direct sunlight because they can overheat and whither. I had them in a window where they got a little direct light in the morning and evening but I thought it was ok. I also put them outside early on in the season when it wasn’t too hot yet. Then I made the mistake of putting them out on a warm day. Some of them whithered after this. Luckilly most are still ok.

Don’t give up!

If your seedlings die, don’t get discouraged! Start early so there is time to replant. I am replanting some of mine that didn’t make it. If you follow these tips, you’ll probably have better luck than me though! Happy gardening! Stay tuned for more gardening tips as I go!

Getting to Know Moms in Scrubs: I Was Nominated For The Liebster Award!

Moms in Scrubs was nominated for the Liebster Award 2018! I am very honored by this nomination! The community of bloggers is AMAZING. I started my blog as a way to earn extra income but also because I wanted to help others by sharing my journey of “becoming better”. A huge part of blogging is community and networking. I am just starting this phase and it is a bit overwhelming but also exciting. The possibilities with blogging are seriously endless(I know it sounds cliche).

Thank you so much to Jess over at Live Breathless Moments for this nomination! I encourage you to go check out her blog. She shares lots of inspiring posts that are centered around living “in the moments that take your breath away”. I think we could all learn to do this better!

What is the Liebster award?

The Liebster Award is an award given by bloggers to bloggers. It’s a nice way to recognize and support up and coming blogs and grow your audience/connections. It is also a way to share more about you.

Here are the rules of the Liebster Award 2018.

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  • State 10 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer their questions about yourself.
  • Write your own questions for your nominees.
  • Nominate between 5-11 blogs that you feel deserves this award.
  • List these rules on your post.
  • Notify the bloggers that you have nominated them for the award.

Ok, here goes: 10 random facts about me:

  1. I am shy and have social anxiety
  2. I love camping and being outdoors
  3. I love marching band! Through high school and college(as well as something called drum corps), I was in 5 different Marching groups. Yup, Band Geek for sure!
  4. Spring is my favorite season
  5. I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(aka Mormon) when I was 20 and even served a mission
  6. My husband calls me the “snack queen”. I love chips and candy, lol.
  7. I am definitely a night owl
  8. One of my nicknames is “Bird”. Given to me by my dad because I ate like a bird when I was a baby.
  9. I have never broken a bone, but I did get 7 stitches in my chin at 2 years old after falling off a slide
  10. I have a small family but my husband has a huge family! I just have one older sister. Starting in June we will finally live in the same city for the first time in over 10 years. I’m super excited!

10 questions I was asked by Jess

  1. What is your favorite meal? Tacos. Crunchy tacos, soft tacos, fish tacos, street tacos…Lol, I love tacos!
  2. Where would you like to go on vacation? A warm beach. I’ve seriously never been. Only been to the Oregon Coast and lakes. 
  3. What is your favorite dessert? Ice Cream!
  4. What is something that makes your day better? Finding humor in everyday life, music(helps me get motivated to clean), and my kids(most of the time, haha)
  5. What is your favorite holiday to celebrate and why? Christmas for a lot of reasons besides getting presents. Although I do love to be surprised. I love that people seem more jolly and that we get to focus on making others happy. I also love to celebrate Christ’s birth and remember what is truly important in life. 
  6. Where is the most interesting place you’ve been? Man, this is a tough one(I’m so boring, lol) Depends on what the definition of “interesting” is I guess. It’s a toss-up between Victoria, B.C. and Yosemite National Park. 
  7. What quirks do you have? I hate it when people pop their knuckles. I learned from my husband that I blow out when I laugh(I seriously don’t notice at all). 
  8. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Fanny packs! I actually know some nurses that use one. They are so handy, right?
  9. What is your favorite song? Ok, this was the hardest question of all! I seriously went through about 30 songs in my head. And then there are a lot of songs I don’t know the title to. I honestly can’t pick a favorite but I can give you my top 5(at least right now). “let it be” by the Beatles. “the middle” by Jimmy Eat World. “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica. “Let’s see how far we’ve come” by Matchbox 20. “Peaceful Easy Feeling” by the Eagles. 
  10. Who inspires you to be better? Since I am religious, the first answer that came to my head was Jesus Christ. He is the only perfect person to ever live. But some non-perfect people who inspire me are a lot of church leaders and members of my church. There are also a lot of other bloggers out there who are inspiring me to keep going on this journey as well. 

My Nominees

These sites are AWESOME for being as new as they are. (seriously better than me)

mommyrunsoncoffee.com

chasingyourpassion.com

wiselittlehoots.com

livinglifelovingus.com

realityreframe.com

My Questions for my nominees

  1. Why did you decide to start your blog?
  2. Who inspires you to be better?
  3. What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
  4. What is your favorite holiday and why?
  5. What modern day luxury could you not live without?
  6. What is something that a lot of people are obsessed with that you just don’t relate to?
  7. What is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to you?
  8. What is something special about the place that you grew up?
  9. What book has impacted you the most?
  10. What is something that you think everyone should do at least once?

I look forward to hearing your responses! Thank again to Jess for the nomination! Hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better!

Here are a couple of other posts about me(If your not bored of me already, haha)

Why I chose to become a nurse

Realizing I needed to set goals: Motivation behind my blog

Follow my blog with Bloglovin 

6 Reasons Why Home Exercise is Awesome

This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on them and purchasing items can earn me commissions. I only share products that I own or would purchase myself. 

I’ve always known that exercise is important. However, it has been very hard to ever get into a daily habit of it. Life is constantly pulling me in a million directions and I often don’t make exercise a priority. I started exercising daily in February though and it has helped me so much(mentally and physically). I want to share my experience with you because it has helped me so much and it has been so easy because I exercise at home!

Back in February, I was feeling very down and depressed. Besides work and taking care of the kids’ basic needs, I was barely surviving. I spent my free time binge-watching Netflix. The house was constantly messy unless company was coming. Life was just blah. I decided something had to change.

I decided to start exercising daily. I knew I could find free workouts on Youtube so I decided to work out first thing after feeding the kids breakfast and reading some church material(another goal of mine). The first few days were a bit of a challenge since it wasn’t a habit yet. I found some great low impact fun workouts that made it easier though.

What is holding you back?

Motivation was the biggest thing that was holding me back before I started exercising. I was so tired and unmotivated that I pretty much just sat on the couch all day when I wasn’t taking care of the kids. Now, I do work part-time swing shift as a nurse, which is very tiring. It was easy to use this as an excuse. I work super hard when I’m on the job. Also working until midnight makes getting up in the morning hard. Luckily I do get a lot of days off in a row to re-adjust but I always end up staying up late anyway.

 

Why Home exercise is awesome

1. It’s Simple

All I have to do is change my clothes, put on some shoes, and grab my laptop. No driving to the gym. Or having to get the kids ready to go to gym or on a walk. I need exercise to be simple otherwise it is easy to make excuses or run out of time.

2. It’s private

A lot of people don’t like working out around other people. I don’t love it either. It is nice to not have to worry about people seeing me work out. I don’t have to worry about looking silly doing new moves that I am unsure how to do.

3. It’s FREE

I am the ultimate frugal DIY person. Paying to workout is a silly idea to me. There are thousands of free workout videos on youtube. I have done a lot of different types of workouts in the past so it is easy for me to modify workouts to my skill level. The hardest part about free videos is finding the right workouts. That is why so many paid workout programs are offered as well. I think that if you have specific goals in mind a paid workout plan may be worth it. For me though, I just want to get some fun cardio in for 20-30 minutes.

Here are 2 of my favorite workout channels on youtube:

Jessica Smith T.V: She has a ton of different types of workouts. Yoga, “power-walking”, strength training, and cardio. She almost always shares modifications to make things low-impact. There are all different lengths of videos ranging from 10  or 12 minutes all the way to 45 minutes. I personally love 25-30 minute exercises. Just enough time to feel energized but not worn out. She also has a dvd workout set you can buy and couple of websites: jessicasmithtv.com and walkonwalkstrong.com

Body Project: This channel was started by a British couple. They are super funny. They also have a lot of low-impact simple workouts. My favorite is the H2O series. It is a series of 5 20 minute workouts that are super fun but challenging too. They also have a website where you can pay for a personalized workout plan. Bodyproject.com

Now, I did spend some money buying exercise clothes and some hand weights/equipment. Here are a few good finds from Amazon to enhance your home exercise. I included the puzzle mat because it would be a softer surface to workout on that the kids would love too.  For most of my clothes, I went to Ross(pretty much my favorite bargain store). I honestly couldn’t find any clothes I would buy on Amazon.

4. It can be fun!

But really it can! I still go to the gym sometimes with my husband, but the gym is so boring(unless you go to group workouts)! I have always liked dance like workouts but I am not super coordinated. Zumba is even too hard for me. There are a lot of aerobic exercises that are to Zumba or dance moves but aren’t as hard to follow. Most of these fall into HIIT (high-intensity interval training) but there are tons of “low impact” versions. I love these! With some music going it is kind of like dancing! I have even found some actual EASY dance workouts too.(Jessica Smith does have a simple Zumba style workout that I like)

5. I’m seeing results!

Ok, so I have always been “skinny”. My biggest body issue is what I call my “mommy tummy”. I have diastasis recti, meaning my abdominal muscles have split apart. This means my tummy pooches out. I seriously look 15 weeks or more pregnant all the time. I am constantly sucking my tummy in because I feel so self-conscious.

Working out these last couple months has helped bring my abs back together some. It is a very slow process but even the little progress I have made is exciting(sorry no before/after pics). I have also lost some extra mommy fat so I don’t feel as self-conscious about my tummy sticking out.

If you want more information about fixing diastasis recti Natalie Hodson has a great program. (It does cost money)

6. I’m definitely happier!

My main goal of working out was to get out of my mental slump. Working out has helped me have more of a morning routine. I seem to have more motivation throughout my day to accomplish my goals. I adjust to adversity and stress better. Overall, I am so much happier! Here is another post about how exercise is helping me fight depression and be happier.

So what are you waiting for?

I am so glad that I decided to make the commitment to start working out. Home workout was definitely the solution for me to stop making excuses and get started. You may have another type of exercise that is more appealing. There are so many different ways to exercise. Even going for a simple walk is better than nothing. So find what works for you and get to it!

 

Count Your Many Blessings: Thoughts on Keeping a Gratitude Journal

I recently started keeping a gratitude journal. Well actually, I just write what I am grateful for each day in my daily planner.It is something that is very simple, takes very little time, but has greatly improved my happiness and outlook on life.

Throughout any given day there are ups and downs. What we focus on determines our happiness level. Thinking about something good that has happened on a day that may have originally seemed to be only bad can help us overcome our trials.

Changing our perspective

Finding the good in a seemingly bad day can help change our perspective on life. We can become more optimistic. There are days where I sit down before bed and try to think about what was good and struggle to do so. The longer I have done it though, the more ideas seem to pop up. Some days I am simply grateful that remained happy despite dealing with difficult situations and people at work.

What I have found though is that every day is filled with blessings! Even simple things like making it through the day are blessings. I am a religious person, so I believe that each blessing is given to us by God. Taking the time to think about our day can help us see the hand of the Lord in our lives. The following quote is from one of the hymns that we sing at my church.

blessings

Why is it easy to complain but hard to be grateful?

I know this has been true for me and still is at times. We are quick to anger and to complain but slow to remember what is most important or to see a lesson from something that has gone wrong.

This why a gratitude journal is so helpful. By taking time either at the start of your day or end of your day(or both), you are changing your attitude little by little. If you are religious this means that you are seeing God’s hand in your life more easily. Even if you don’t believe in God though, looking for the good can still help you with your overall happiness.

Be happy TODAY

A lot of times I find myself saying that I will be happy when…(a certain thing happens). For me, these certain things include:

  • when we can move to a nicer house
  • when my husband is working more instead of me(my husband is in school right now)
  • after we have paid off our debt

And I’m sure I could keep thinking of more things that I am waiting for so I can be happy. But this obviously is not helping my happiness.

I am working on being happy with my current situation. Keeping a gratitude journal is helping so much! Here is a list of a few things I am grateful for. This is an ever growing list! And I’m sure I forgot some things, these are just the basics in my life I am grateful for.

  • Having an awesome family
  • Having adorable, sweet kiddos(even though they are also challenging)
  • Living in a house, with a yard(even though my house is small)
  • Having a good job(even though it’s stressful)
  • Having a reasonable income
  • Getting to be home every morning(I work evening shift)
  • Having great co-workers
  • Having a lot of days off due to my random nurse schedule
  • Not needing a babysitter(since my husband is home)

I am seriously, SO lucky. Yes, there are things that could be better. But that is why we are on this journey called life. Each day is such a blessing. Your list of blessings may look different or may start off shorter. But I promise that as you look for the good in each day, you will find it!

Here are a few other posts to help with our overall happiness

4 ways to stop comparing yourself to others

5 ways to overcome your negative thoughts

How I’m fighting depression with exercise, and increasing my happiness

Other faith-related posts:

An answer to all the hope that is within

Free to choose: How our choices determine our destiny

Need a gratitude journal? I just found all of these on Amazon! They all look awesome and are under $10! I seriously can’t decide which one I want, haha. (These are affiliate links and clicking on them and ordering products can earn me commissions)

Learning From Our Parenting Mistakes and Moving Forward

I want to talk about parenting mistakes. We all have made them, whether or not we like to talk about them. As I am trying to establish my blog, I have been trying to offer parenting advice. As I search for resources on parenting, I have been overwhelmed by the amount of advice on parenting there is. All is intended to be helpful. But it often ends up making us feel bad about parenting choices or make us realize a mistake that we didn’t know we made. This has been very true for me.

Being a blogger has had its ups and downs. It has been filled with lots of thoughts about what I have to offer the world. There are times when I feel inspired and excited to share my insights. There are other times when I feel like a total wannabe. How could my feeble attempt at advice and super basic DIY projects possibly make an impact? There seems to be an endless supply of awesome opinions and advice on the internet.

As I was trying to write a post about early bedtimes for kids I came across some posts about crying it out and circumcision(random I know) that made me feel like a total failure as a parent. I’m sure we have all had these moments. It is one of the worst feelings in the world I think. I felt like I had single-handedly ruined my kid’s lives.

It is in moments like these where we have to stop being so hard on ourselves though! Even if the decision we made does affect our kids, there are a lot of other factors that make a person who they are. This one mistake could have varying degrees of effect on that. In most cases, it is impossible to know exactly how much the decision really affected them. And no matter the impact of our mistake, wallowing in it will not help anything.

We live in a world where parents lives seem to be under the microscope. Everything we do seems to be observed by the outside world. We often hear about others parenting mistakes in the news. Abuse and neglect of children is a very real thing as well. There are times when we judge other parents. Doing so seems to help us feel like better parents. We couldn’t possibly make that mistake. But there are also times where we make a mistake and we hope that people won’t judge us.

While we know that no one is perfect, for some reason we expect ourselves as parents to be. We spend hours reading about particular topics so that we can make the best decision for our kids. Even after hours of research, it is still possible to make the wrong choice for our particular child.

My mistakes

As I mentioned a couple of my parenting mistakes stood out today as I tried to write a blog post. The first was letting my daughter “cry it out” when she was a baby. The second was circumcising my son.

Letting my daughter “cry it out”

For me, “crying it out” was the only option because our daughter would not sleep while being held and would cry immediately upon being laid down, every single time. I knew she needed to sleep so I had to let her cry, even though I hated it. So now, years later, as I come across all of these negative articles about crying it out and the damage it can cause, I went into near panic. Could all of this crying have caused my daughter’s developmental delays? Was there something else I could have done to make her sleep?

The reality I am faced with now is that maybe letting my daughter “cry it out” did contribute to her delays. But, then again, maybe it didn’t. What I know is that I can’t go back in time. I have to move forward with the knowledge I have gained. But I know that at the time I made the decision, I was making what I thought was the right choice. And I didn’t make the choice with the intention to cause her harm.

Circumcising our son

Circumcision is apparently a hot topic lately.  Psychology today has a lot of interesting information against circumcision. Here is one post I read from Lillian Dell’Aquila Cannon, PhD. I am sad to say,  prior to reading this, I was pretty oblivious to all of the new research. While I know that sharing this information with you puts me in a position to be judged, I want to share my experience with you anyways.

Having read all of these facts about circumcision that I just sort of stumbled on tonight, I felt pretty dumb. It made me regret the decision of circumcising my son. Again, I felt like I ruined my son’s life. That I made a decision that I had no right to make, that it may affect him later in life, that I caused him unnecessary pain, etc. etc. While all of this may be true, dwelling on this mistake will not change what has already happened. It is also possible that being circumcised vs not, will not be a big deal for my son. And that even if it is, he will not blame me for it.

Since it is also impossible to see the future, I can’t let this poor decision cause me increased anxiety. My biggest regret is not being more educated before making such a big decision. At the time, I just thought it was what was best. What I have learned from this mistake is that I want to be more informed on all of these important decisions and help others make informed decisions as well.

learn from parenting mistakes

Conclusion

We are all imperfect. We all make bad or uniformed decisions at times. These bad decisions do not need to take over our lives and drag us down. We need to learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward. Scrutinizing our every mistake will not make that mistake go away. Learning from them will help us to make better decisions in the future. No matter what mistake you have made, your kids will be ok. We must focus on today, not what we want to change about the past. We can hope for a better future by focusing on what we can do better today. So keep moving forward!