Melissa Kaylene: April 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Financial Goal Update: March/April



Yes. I know. I skipped last month's budget update. If you read this post you probably have figured out why. My husband lost his job very unexpectedly which really threw me in a daze. Things are working out okay now, but I've had to be even more creative and faithful this past month.

Luckily his unemployment has begun coming in, and even though it's half of what his income was; it's better than nothing.

Remember when I was so excited that we paid off our car early? (read here) Well, I'm even more grateful for that now. The only other monthly expense we had to cut was our babysitter - for now. So that is saving us quite a bit every month.

Unfortunately for a co-worker, she has been out of work for the past month with an injury. That means for me more hours though. Even though it's night shift, I have been able to pick up enough hours to match Wayne's unemployment so we are netting what he earned.

Things are going okay. Credit Cards aren't getting paid down as much as I had planned, and savings aren't adding up right now, but for now, we are adapting.

At the end of the day, all of the bills are paid, we have our own little house with a fenced backyard that is wonderful for the kids with the sunny spring weather.

I'm working more, but not overworking, and the kids are actually able to spend some time with Daddy.

I'm just living week to week, enjoying the moments, being thankful for what I do have --- and still dreaming of that trip to Italy. <3
 
~Melissa

Monday, April 29, 2013

Our Week

french toast with raspberries
our dinner tonight: French toast with raspberry sauce//cream




This week was a productive one. The weather in Oregon was amazing! I am getting spoiled. Little Miss Emma is too, because on nice mornings she gets to ride her bike to school with us. It's probably about a 1/2 a mile so it doesn't take long at all.
 
I worked a couple night shifts, Emma had a field trip to our high school's Ag shop, and Anika had student led conferences. Then this weekend we began tackling a backyard project that has been on the to do list for quite a while: New play structure. Well, parts of it new, parts reused. Last year, we tackled on the fence project, which I blogged about and never showed you the finished project (I'll have to put that in my mental 'to-do' list) Anyways, the fence has been moved out, leaving us a lot more room to work with. I'm excited to slowly get all these things done around the house that was next to impossible the first 5 years here because, well, it's tough to get anything done when you have babies. :)
 
This week should be a fun one. Work one night, then a dinner party with a friend, followed by computer training at work, and then on Saturday the Jane Austen Faire and Sunday my favorite man is having his 3rd birthday party!
 
~Melissa

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dragonfly Magnets

 
  Hey everyone! Today I'm posting over at Serenity You! Stop by and say hi and take a peek at my daughter's latest creation. ;)

Dragonfly Magnets
 
~Melissa

Saturday, April 27, 2013

time for hobbies.


 
It's been a busy week around here, but I'm hoping things slow down a little bit in the near future. Somehow between working evening and night shifts, caring for the kids and house and all the other things us wonder women do, I have found time to take up a hobby of mine: art. I have never been much of a painter, I prefer to scribble with pencil, but I've been having fun with it. My first picture is here and here are two more I finished as well. Unfortunately my camera on my phone doesn't do the drawings justice, (or any of the photos I post on here really). Someday I will have the camera of my dreams and you had all better watch out, because if you thought I had lots of pictures before, just wait. ;) I hope everyone has a good weekend!
 
~Melissa

Friday, April 26, 2013

bracelet heaven//giveaway

 
 



I'm excited today! In honor of my one year blog anniversary which was the 13th of this month, I've decided to host a giveaway! I make beaded bracelets here and there in my free time, because I absolutely adore spicing up a plain outfit with coordinating jewelry. If you get a chance you can take a look at my Etsy shop Here. I am going to be giving away and surprise bracelet collection similar to one of the ones you in the photos above, or in my shop. Who doesn't love surprises? Once again, thanks to everyone who has been a faithful reader and has encouraged me along the way the past year. <3

~Melissa

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Create.Simplify.Inspire #14

Welcome back. :) As always I'm happy to see what inspires you, whether it be a craft, recipe,
organization, or inspirational words. I love to see it all. There's not many rules, but I would love to
have you follow my blog along in someway!

Last week Natasha at Serenity You shared her Breakfast Box which I thought was a great idea. I do something similar with a 'snack box', but I really think the kids would love to have this choice for those busy mornings for breakfast as well. :)



Nici from Posed Perfection created this delicious looking Glazed Lemon Pecan Bread that I will have to try soon.


Thanks everyone for sharing !

Okay, here we go in 3....2.....1.....
 
Create.Simplify.Inspire. #14


Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
  
<a href="http://www.willamettevalleywonderwoman.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss203/anikalene/Untitled-2.jpg" alt="Willamette Valley Wonder Woman" width="250" height="250" /></a>

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Little Loves


 

 

photos c/o Melissa Myer

Going through all of my old facebook photos tonight and falling in love all over again. I need to get all of my photos organized from the kids over the past years...its fun to see how much they have changed over the past year.
 
~Melissa
 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Local Event//Jane Austen Faire


If you live or will be in Salem, Oregon on May 4th,  there is a local event happening called the Jane Austen Faire. It's a small craft fair with a vintage flair held at the IKE Box CafĂ© located downtown. The IKE box is a non-profit coffee shop with a beautiful ballroom/stage. The event is Free, with refreshments and regency inspired music, and the first 50 attendees will receive goodie bags to take with them!

I have never been to the IKE box yet, but I hear it has some delicious sweet and savory indulgences and brews local jolts of java from Sisters Coffee Company.
 
If you know me at all, I'm all about shopping local, and what a perfect excuse to have a girl's afternoon with coffee, lunch and shopping......perfect for Mother's Day which is right around the corner, and who knows you might even run into a certain wonder woman there. ;)
 
May 4th 10am-4pm
299 Cottage Street NE
Salem, Oregon
 
 
~Melissa

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mango Blueberry "Smoothie" Cocktail

vodka drinks
 vodka drinks
vodka drink

Mango Blueberry "Smoothie" Cocktail

what you need:

1 oz blueberries

1/3 cup mango chunks

1 oz triple sec

3 oz vodka

1 Tbsp fine sugar

ice

I used defrosted frozen blueberries and mango. Place first 5 ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into chilled glass with ice and garnish with mango's.

Makes two servings, or one large. ;)

~Melissa

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Kids and milestones.



These last two weeks have been super busy for me! I, who normally work on call (meaning 4-6 shifts a month on average) have put in quite a few hours this past week. I have been helping orientating someone who they just hired to fill the full time position I've been helping cover.

This week was a big one for the kiddos. Anika had her last soccer game of the season, and although she is the smallest on her team, and will never be the all star player; she has such an amazing coach that encourages all the girls. I know that is why Anika still plays! It's wonderful to have a coach that puts the time into these girls, and its great that these girls have someone to look up too at such a challenging time in their development, where they are right in the middle between being a little girl, and the verge of being teenagers. ( Her team is 4th-6th grades).

Emma also had a big evening, when I took her last night to big sissy Anika's school to sign her up for Kindergarten. It was wonderful because she saw several of her classmates from preschool there, and us, being the "Pirates", had a treasure map for all the kids to find their new teachers and collect stamps on the maps to earn a book and cookie. Emma is the shy one out of my three, but as we were walking home she said, "Mommy, I thought that was gonna be scary, but that wasn't even scary at all!". Big milestone for her.

Noah is also looking forward to this fall, because he is going to be a preschooler, and Emma's old school will then be his new school. :)

These kids are exhausting work. But they grow up so fast.

~Melissa

Friday, April 19, 2013

Art, my love.




I love art.
I couldn't tell you anything about art history.
I only know a few big artist names.
I have only taken two art classes at the community college....ten years ago.
 
What I love about art is the freedom.
I don't have to have things a certain way.
No one is telling me how to do it, for I fully believe there is no right or wrong way.
I can use whatever medium I like, and I love to mix them up.
 
I have a very limiting attention span, so when I finally get a chance to sit down and create, I want to start and finish the piece in one sitting.
 
I've never worked much on canvas before, but I was cleaning out my closet last month and found this 16x20. So Monday night I went all out. Pencil, Pen, glitter, acrylic, and yes, fingernail polish.
 
I need to create more. It inspires me. It makes me happy. I encourage you to schedule a time to do something just for you. It's worth it, I promise.
 
~Melissa

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Create.Simplify.Inspire #13

Welcome back. :) As always I'm happy to see what inspires you, whether it be a craft, recipe,
organization, or inspirational words. I love to see it all. There's not many rules, but I would love to
have you follow my blog along in someway!

Create.Simplify.Inspire. #13


Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
  
<a href="http://www.willamettevalleywonderwoman.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss203/anikalene/Untitled-2.jpg" alt="Willamette Valley Wonder Woman" width="250" height="250" /></a>

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

9 Creative Crafts

Hello! I hope every one's week is going well. This week and next week I've got extra hours at work, so things have been slacking a little bit on the home front. SO last Saturday was this little blogs one year anniversary! I can't believe its been a year since I wrote this tiny little post! Thanks to everyone along the way who has encouraged me to, well, to be me. I appreciate all of the kind words.
 
I thought since this is my one year anniversary I would highlight my favorite craft projects throughout the year. I adore creating things, I think its the only time I can free my mind.


 
In April I showed off my creative gift wrap  and  cork napkin holder project (which by the way  I still use to this day!)



wine cork napkind holder

In May the girls and I made some fun little Paper Plate Masks and I showed how I spruced up some old jars to make tea light candle holders.

craft ideas with paper plates

candle craft idea
 
In June I bragged up my adorable painted flower pots the girls made for me.
 
 
In August, I got really fancy and made this princess polka dot birthday banner for Anika's big party, and SHE painted this bean bag board as well.
 
 
 
In September we had our Backyard Blue Moon party and I created some simple tablecloths to match the casual feel to the party.
 


And in October I showed off my little trick or treat bags for all the little goblins around town. :)



And there is 9 creative things I made over the course of my first 6 months. Watch out...I may just be highlighting all of my delicious desserts in a future post.... ;)

 
~Melissa

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Man I knew For 5 Hours.



For those of you who don't know, I'm a nurse.
I graduated nursing school when I was pregnant with my youngest and have worked on call the past three years.
Last week I worked a night shift, and one of my patients who had been there for rehabilitation had apparently had a decline and his doctor was going to discuss placing him on hospice with him and his family at a doctors appointment the next day.
I was told in report he had become increasingly lethargic that day.
So I went in to introduce myself and assess him.
I was concerned because he wasn't voiding, so I sat with him and encouraged fluids. His vitals were concerning a little, because his blood pressure was low and so was his oxygen, 88% on 5 Liters.
But he was alert, and denied any pain or discomfort.

We talked.

He complied with what I told him, was verbalizing with me, and by about 2am I was thinking that he was going to be okay through the night. Every sign showed that he was as 'stable' as he was going to be.
I went in there once again to check on him and encourage his fluid intake.
I told him to try and get some rest and to not forget to call me with his call light if he needed anything, and that I would be back to check on him again later. He smiled a little and said "Okay."

I went back to work, making rounds on the other patients.

I peeked my head in the room at 3:15.

Panic set in.

I knew he was gone, but I didn't want to believe it.
I raced to the nurses station to grab my stethoscope and call his daughter.
I woke her up and told her to come in as quick as she could; her dad was about to go.
I ran back to confirm. No audible heart beat. No palpable pulse. I pronounced him dead at 3:25am.

I quickly called his daughter back.

My voice was shaking, as I told her I was so sorry, but she was too late. He had already died.
She burst into tears. She asked me what to do. I told her everything was completely up to her, though I encouraged her to come in still if she wanted to. She did.

Her husband drove her in and they paid their last respects to her father; the man I had only met 5 hours ago. She asked me about the events leading up to his death, and she seemed comforted with the fact that it happened so quickly, and that he was not in pain. She thanked me and the rest of the staff, was so happy with his care.

She hugged me.

I made arrangements with the funeral home to pick up his body, and at 5:15 am I helped them bag it up and load it onto the stretcher.

I met this man five hours ago.

Having worked in the health care field for 10 years, dealing with people passing away is nothing new. I have pronounced people before.
But I have never had to make the call to next of kin.
It never happened so sudden, albeit expected.

I was the last person he ever spoke too. I don't know what made this time so much more different. Why I can't get his image out of my head. But it is. Perhaps telling the story will give me a little closure.

I've said it before on here, and I'll say it again. Life if finite. Live it. Don't let it pass you by. <3

~Melissa

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Create.Simplify.Inspire. #12

Welcome back. :) As always I'm happy to see what inspires you, whether it be a craft, recipe,
organization, or inspirational words. I love to see it all. There's not many rules, but I would love to
have you follow my blog along in someway!

Create.Simplify.Inspire. #12


Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
  
<a href="http://www.willamettevalleywonderwoman.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss203/anikalene/Untitled-2.jpg" alt="Willamette Valley Wonder Woman" width="250" height="250" /></a>

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to Make The Classic Cosmopolitan

how to make a cosmopolitan
how to make a cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan

2 ounces vodka
1 ounce Triple Sec
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce cranberry juice
Orange peel to decorate, if desired.

Shake all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled glass and enjoy.

I used a new cranberry juice from "Synergy" with Kombucha in it, the results, a bright pink. It almost looks like pink lemonade, doesn't it? :)

~Melissa

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fashion // E-Shakti

belt and cardigan Maurices, Bracelets by myself (Melissa Kaylene Creations), Dress c/o E-Shakti
 
 
E-Shakti is a fabulous company that offers an array of beautiful clothing for women of all shapes and sizes. They offer many options in their clothing, as well as complete customization. I was so excited to try something on that didn't just have another size in it, but was actually made for me. The dress pockets were definitely a plus! Many of the dresses they offer can be dressed down for a more casual daytime look, or dressed up for a night on the town.
 
Right now they are offering first time new customers $25 off your first order when you register!
Shop HERE.
 
~Melissa

Monday, April 8, 2013

Advertising Opportunity


Willamette Valley Wonder Woman


Can you believe this month it has been a year since I began this little blog? It is slowly starting to grow into what I envision it to be. I have decided to open up space on my blog for those of you just starting out, who may like to get your blog out to a different audience. I am by no means huge out there in the world wide web yet, but here is my latest stats from last month:

 1,400+ combined followers
 
9,379 page views for the month of March, with 5,294 unique visitors.
 
Currently, my largest sources of traffic comes from Pinterest and Facebook
 
If you would like more information you can look at my Media Kit.

All income received from ads will be currently be used for advertising for Willamette Valley Wonder Woman, which in return will give you even greater exposure opportunity. :)
 
I would also love to work with any of you by swapping guest posts. If you are interested please contact me @ melissakaylene@gmail.com
 
 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Beach // Reflections



It's been a rough week.
 
I've been debating whether or not to mention anything, because as of right now only our closest family and friends know -
 
but Monday (yes, April Fool's Day) my husband was 'permanently' laid off.
 
The company he worked for decided that they would slowly get rid of their staff, and bring in a management company. Needless to say, my husband, the manager, was first to go.
 
This was a huge shock to us all, but unfortunately one that I am familiar with.
 
In 2007 something similar happened with a company my husband was working for (he is a vineyard manager) and I guess I should be a little more understanding, vineyards sell, owners change, but the last go around was a very challenging year emotionally and financially.
 
I don't want that to happen again.
 
To top that off half of the family came down with a nasty stomach bug that took days to recover.
 
Prior to this hectic week we had booked a yurt at Devil's Lake State Park. It's close to the beach, and seemed like a nice little get-a-way at the time...
 
but everything from this weeks events just had everyone on edge; my eldest daughter has a difficult time with things out of her routine anyways, and everything/everyone fell apart today.
 
We all had a little meltdown in our own way.
 
It probably didn't help that the weather was stormy, cold, windy, rainy. We had about a 20 minute gap to visit the beach.
 
Things will get better, there is no choice. It's not the end of the world, but I dread having to work more long hours and missing out on time at home.
 
I have to have faith right now, which is something I struggle with, because I want to try and fix things, solve everything, make it all okay. And sometimes I just have to learn to let it be. Let my husband do the best he can. Realize that this will set us back, again. And just have faith.
 
Faith is a scary, terrifying feeling for me. To let go of control. But I know, right now, its what I need to do.
 
~Melissa