Designing with Gemmies

Kraus House Mom

We were sent the Gemmies Design Studio and some Gemmies Activity Packs to review and if there’s anything that Stella loves, it’s a crafty kit.

She was so excited when this arrived. She immediately opened one of the smaller activity packs and went to work.

We opened the Design Studio Create Your Own Kit and it was magnificent. There is storage for all the beads and elastics. Then to top it off, there’s a light up display area where you can place your finished designs.

Kraus House Mom

The kits come with template cards for specific designs. We started to make the ice cream cone. I’m not going to lie, this is where frustration set in…for both of us.

The elastics and beads are easy to maneuver at first, but connecting them takes some finesse.

At times the directions are tricky to follow, but manipulating the beads to match the card helps.

The hardest part was at the end, trying to connect the ends together. She couldn’t get them to connect without other beads falling off, sending her into a mini fit.

We tried another design and she ran into the same problem.

Since the name is “Design Your Own” she decided to start making her own designs.

Kraus House Mom

Within fifteen minutes she made not one, but two bracelets for her and her sister and another for her doll.

Kraus House MomKraus House Mom

She is determined to make the designs that are on the templates and I am sure she will succeed.

Did we like Gemmies? Absolutely!

This is fantastic for anyone that wants to create and sparkle.

You can check Stella out here…


Disclosure: I received these products in order to facilitate this review, all opinions are strictly my own.

I Was Tricked Into a Yoga Class

Anyone who knows me, knows why yoga is not a possibility for me.

Maizie and Stella like yoga, me...not so much
Maizie and Stella like yoga, me…not so much

I went to the gym this morning, after studying the schedule very carefully (I’m known for reading it wrong). At 10:30am a Pilates Mat class was scheduled, Pilates being one of my favorites coupled with the fact I haven’t been to the gym in 5 days catapulted me out of the house in a hurry.

I made it by the skin of my teeth, no time to stop at the locker room…nothing.

I walk in, the lights are already out (why they turn the lights out is a mystery to me, you can’t see what the instructor is doing) but I walked in right behind another lady and it was technically 10:29am, I wasn’t late.

I get an extra mat, lay my mat on top, remove my footwear and get into position. The lady who walked in right as I did asked the instructor “Is this Pilates or yoga? Because I know you teach yoga.” The instructor replied that it was going to be, “Pilates with some yoga poses.”


The class starts out a little slower than a Pilates class, so I’m thinking (hoping) it will pick up soon.

Every move we do she wants us to hold for 3 deep breaths. I don’t know what kind of free diving breathing techniques they use in yoga, but I don’t use them in my everyday life, so her 3 deep breaths were equivalent to about 6 or 7 of mine.

I didn’t have a problem getting into and holding the poses, which surprised me, but having the attention span of a 2 year old my mind kept wandering and I would lean and/or fall over.

When I go to the gym I like to break a sweat, I don’t go there to relax. If I wanted to relax, I’d go to the beach or go get my nails done.

For the entire hour, I did not sweat once, I did not feel the “burn” and I felt like I wasted my time, I was tricked.

Needless to say, today’s class felt like an epic fail to me. And top it off; I left class with a banging headache.

If you enjoy yoga, God bless you, it’s is definitely not for me.

Stella’s Soccer Day

Well after weeks of asking, Saturday was the first day of soccer for Stella.

She had been saying how she needed money (especially after the Tooth Fairy visited Maizie) and she NEEDED some dollars because her piggy bank was feeling light.

You see, my dad gives her a dollar for every goal she scores or if she makes a good move, this is her motivation.

She’s not just in it for the money, she laughs the entire time she’s out there; unless this one particular kid is in her way (she just doesn’t like him).

Frankly I think she likes the attention, there are six people cheering her on.

Saturday morning, she got up and couldn’t wait to get dressed.

I pull her together and then it’s the dilemma of what hairstyle am I going to wear?

Should I wear one ponytail, two ponytails or braids, every week it’s a challenge (she has even had me redo her hair because she didn’t like a style). She went with braids.

As I was getting ready I could hear her talking to Maizie and Teddy. She was telling them what they had to yell while she was playing. She wanted them to yell, “Go, go Stelly! Kick that ball!” I then heard Teddy inform her that he was not going to be yelling that (He did).

She takes this seriously.

We get there, sort through the chaos, and then she finally picks a field (she was dying to start kicking her ball) and she starts practicing.

She kept kicking the ball into the empty goal, I think she thought they were going to count toward her grand haul (they didn’t).

I put her shirt on her and it’s like she’s playing in a dress, she doesn’t care; she got a game to play.


She ended her day with a total of two dollars, a pink frosted doughnut and a Gatorade; she was quite satisfied.

Are You Ready to #ShareYourCare?

We all know who the Care Bears are. Well, On September 9th they want you to #ShareYourCare.

share your care

How can I share my care?

It’s so easy, You are probably doing every day without even knowing it. We want you to spread some loving, caring, sharing, friendship, acceptance, happiness and fun.

See, I know I try my best to do it all the time, but I will make an extra effort on September 9th.

If you have kid’s, I came up with 5 simple things they can do in school.

  1. Be a friend to everyone
  2. Don’t let anyone play alone
  3. Immediately go up and introduce yourself to a new student
  4. Help someone if they are having trouble with something
  5. Stand up for anyone and everyone if you see or hear something you think is wrong…DO SOMETHING!!

You don’t have to be everyone’s best friend, but be a friend to everyone. You never know, you may be the only person that is nice to that person.

Never let anyone play alone, if you see someone by themselves, invite them to play with you. If they don’t want to, that’s okay, they know you offered and may accept next time.

A new student knows NO ONE, go up to them and say, “Hi my name is …” Even if you don’t end up being good friends with that person, you made an effort to make them feel better.

If you see someone having trouble with something, their computer won’t work, they dropped their stuff, they can’t figure something out, ask if they need some help. It may only take you a few minutes, but they might remember it for a long time.

Never let anyone feel bad, about anything, EVER! If you hear someone saying something mean, tell them to stop. If you see someone being mean, do the same thing, if you need to, get an adult.

If you want to know more about #ShareYourCare Day click HERE

I hope every one has a beary great day!

Flipping for Triple Flip

I received some clothes from Triple Flip for my girls to review and let me tell you, they are in love.

Have you noticed girls clothes lately?

Especially for tweens, the choices are less than appealing. They are either geared toward little girls or for budding floozies. My girls are neither.

This is when, unfortunately, many girls start to feel self-conscious about what they wear.

One of my daughters is very tall and very slim. Oh yea, and she refuses to wear jeans. So many times when she gets leggings, the are too short. Not anymore.

My youngest is always moving, CONSTANTLY! Not to mention, she a bit of a fashionista. She’s covered.

How do you feel about a company that’s mission is to encourage body confidence and a healthy self-image?

If you want this for your daughter, then you need to check out Triple Flip. They are Canada’s best-selling brand of tween activewear and accessories. Best of all, they’re available in the US.

The fit of Triple Flip clothes isn’t like ordinary styles. They’re shaped differently, to flatter all girls.

Let me tell you both of my girls are in love with Triple Flip.

Maizie received a pair of Accelerate Leggings and a Valley Tee.

Triple Flip
She even wants to sleep in them

It finally cooled down enough here to wear leggings and I don’t thing I will ever get them off of her. They are so soft it is insane. She has told me no less than seven times how great and comfortable her leggings are. She has also worn her Valley Tee constantly as well.
Stella received a pair of Full Force Legging and a Kira Tee. She loves how easy it is for her to do cartwheels in her super soft leggings. She has worn her Kira Tee a few times, she likes how it “goes out on the sides” (the fit is more a-line than a regular t-shirt).

Triple Flip
They move with her

We spend A LOT of time a sporting events, sitting around watching and waiting for games and these are the perfect combination of comfort and style.

I see several more Triple Flip purchases in my future.

Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

It’s the First Day of School

This is it, the day I’ve been waiting for since the end of July…

The first day of school!

Kraus House Mom
Our yearly ambitions

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, but too much time together and they are at each other’s throats.

But today I am free from the arguing for at least six hours a day.

Stella is thrilled to be going back. She helped me sort out the mountain of school supplies and put them in the appropriate backpack.

Teddy can’t wait to see his friends and see which of his lady friends are in his class.

Maizie doesn’t want anything to do with going. She’s never been a fan.

Stella planned her outfit, then changed her mind. Decided on something else, then went back to her original plan. This year has a lot of animals involved.

Teddy didn’t get a say. I chose his outfit. He wanted to wear his new sneakers (size men’s 10 ½) but Stella convinced him that even if he had gym it didn’t matter because it was the first day.

Maizie had trouble deciding. Was she going to wear the dress she got? Not if she couldn’t wear a specific pair of sneakers. She opted for a pair of shorts and a new shirt.

This morning I ironed everyone’s clothes so they didn’t look like skeevortizes. Teddy was a bit shocked that he ended up looking so dapper (like I would steer him wrong).

They put their pre-packed lunches into their backpacks (I was kind enough to myself to do it last night) and once teeth were brushed, we were ready to walk the two blocks to school.

Teddy and Stella were happy as clams.

Maizie, for someone that wasn’t thrilled about going, she walked awfully fast to get there.

Soon I will find out if they had a great day and hopefully a great year.

I’m Going to Be a Pinterest Mom

Three years ago I said I was going to be a Pinterest Mom, well it didn’t happen…big shock. I know I was shocked too. Maybe now that my kids are a bit older and don’t need as much attention I can actually achieve this goal? Only time will tell.


This is the year I’m going to shine brighter than all the other moms out there. I am going to be the mom that all the other mom’s talk about, strive to be, dare to out-do. I’m going to be THAT mom, the Pinterest mom.

I will finally have three kids in school and it is my time to be brilliant. There will be nasty, snarky posts about me, sideways glances in the school yard, but I don’t care. Creativity will be mine!!

I’m going to make the snazziest lunches, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, healthy and delicious. My kids will eat the rainbow at lunch alone. There will also be heartfelt notes in each lunchbox, everyday. I may even make my husband write some too.

Kraus House Mom

Kraus House Mom
Look at the balance in these meals!

There are going to be epic dinners and after school snacks, maybe a couple of fancy desserts a week. I’ll have plenty of time to go to the grocery store and prepare my feasts.

Kraus House Mom
Who wouldn’t want this presented to them?

My girls are going to go to school with fancy hairdos everyday and carefully put together outfits. Polyvore’s not going to have anything on me. Moms will be trolling my Instagram feed for outfit inspiration. I’m even going to sew some fantastic ensembles.

Kraus House Mom

Kraus House Mom
Look how pulled together they are

Organization:  a place for everything and everything in its place. My house is going to be spotless. A chore chart will be posted and adhered to; everyone will know what his or her job is.

Kraus House Mom
A weeks worth of cardboard in one cereal box, Grampa would be so proud!

After school starts, Halloween is just around the corner along with the “Holiday Season”. The snazz will be happening at the Kraus House this year, I’m giving advance warning. We’re talking decorations up the wazoo. If I pinned it, it will be!

Kraus House Mom
This makes any house look so inviting

Kraus House Mom

Kraus House Mom

Kraus House Mom
I make stunning costumes!

Birthday parties will be like society galas with themes, themes, themes. Keep your fingers crossed for an invitation, the social events of the season. Swag bags for all that attend.

Kraus House Mom
It’s Party Time!!!

Who am I kidding? This is never going to happen. Lunches? Maizie INSISTS on getting school lunch salad everyday and she has the same snack the entire year. I may have to get somewhat creative with Stella (she’s a bit of a diva) and Teddy eats anything (especially if I put it in a thermos), leftovers it is.

I have been trying for years to plan meals in advance, it hasn’t happened. I’m a look in the fridge/freezer and figure out what can be cooked the fastest kind of girl. And when it comes to baking, well that’s Ted’s job and we won’t discuss it any further.

I’m lucky Maizie even gets her hair brushed before we leave the house in the morning and she’s not big on fancy hairdos. Stella on the other hand has started doing her own hair (at 5 years old). I suppose I should really help her out in that department, but she does a pretty good job. As for clothes, Maizie doesn’t like to get too adventurous in the wardrobe department Stella’s whole motto is “Flair or Nothing”. (You should check Instagram for Stella’s creations.) I do want to sew more; I’ll have to find my sewing machine first.

Organization and cleaning, face it Ted, it’s NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. I try but the shiny things take over and I lose focus. I really do plan on trying to stay organized since my scatterbrain “condition” seems to get worse with age.

Holiday decorations? My kids have to nag me until I can’t stand it in order to drag them out and then I let them do it. Well, I do take control of the mantel. Last year Stella asked for two straight weeks for me to put the Halloween wreath on the door and I don’t even think I own and Thanksgiving decorations.

Birthday parties? I’ll have them at a place so I don’t have to do any of that. I’ll pay someone else to decorate and create a theme. I will admit I have a tendency to go overboard with the favors.

There will probably still be sideways glances and comments, but they’ll be more like, “Wow, she is a slacker.”

Maybe this school year I can find a happy medium?

Disclaimer: None of these photos are from Pinterest, I took them all.

Target Red Card…My Worst Decision

I must say, getting a Target Red card had to have been one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made.

I’m in Target every week to begin with, really who isn’t? Why shouldn’t I have one?

I try to go in for just the “things on my list” but if there’s someone out in the interwebs that is capable of that, I’d like to meet you.

If I bring my kids, especially Stella, there’s no chance of me getting out of there without any extras.

Now, I’ve been using Cartwheel for quite a while (after deleting and reinstalling because of forgotten passwords), I’m a sucker for a sale or a deal. Now with my Red Card I get an extra 5% off every time I use it.

Target Cartwheel

Do you know what that means? I can buy 5% more stuff.

How is that saving me money?

When I clean out my purse it’s stuffed with Target receipts.

Whenever I need anything I head to Target because I can use my Red Card and save money.

Who am I kidding? I’m not really saving anything. I now buy a bunch of my groceries at Target, why not? Stop & Shop isn’t offering me any deals at checkout.

Target Red Card

I even get 5¢ off for bringing my own bag (more savings).

Brilliant move Target, now I spend more time and money in your store and I’m positive there are millions more like me.

The man or woman that came up with the 5% off idea better have gotten the biggest bonus imaginable, because it is well deserved.

I’m glad I opted for the debit and not the credit, at least that way I have slow my roll and not go nuts in the underwear department.

Seriously, I’m glad I have it, not thrilled with my shopping habits.

I’ve Got What? I’m Not Old Enough!

I had a check up at the doctor a few weeks ago, no big woop.

I mentioned I keep having these insane headaches that start at the back of my head and then make my head feel like it’s going to explode. It even hurts to blink.

Waiting for him to tell me I was most likely stroking out and brains would end up all over my walls, so stock up on cleaners and scrubby sponges; he threw me a curve ball.

Kraus House Mom

He sent me for an x-ray to see if it’s…arthritis. Really? Arthritis? Am I THAT old?

Guess what? Apparently I AM that old. I have arthritis is my neck. Lucky me.

Now my doctor is big into trying physical therapy for aches and pains.

He sent me for my back a few years ago and it helped a lot. (I don’t even think I was 40 back then.)

Then he wanted me to go for bursitis in my shoulder, I didn’t. That was too close to “living in the home” old for me (my grandparents had that). Not to mention that my husband was going for a shoulder injury and his therapist was torturing him, no thank you. So I toughed it out.

I made the appointment for PT, mainly because I can’t stand the headaches.

There’s nothing like going into a medical office thinking you’re doing pretty well, then realizing, “Man, I’m just a hot mess.”

Withing three minutes of being in the room, I came to understand what a hot mess my neck really is. I could barely move it, thank goodness the therapist pointed all this out. Talk about destroying self esteem. I though I was young and vibrant, that bubble burst.

So after an exam and a painful, yet relaxing neck rub I was sent home with exercises, a bruised ego and 4 more weeks of appointments.

It sucks to be over 40.