Sawdust Savvy: DIY Kits for the Busy but Crafty Mama

Sawdust Savvy DIY Kits

{I received a complimentary DIY wood sign kit from Sawdust Savvy as well as a code for readers to use to receive $5.00 off an online purchase. All opinions about Sawdust Savvy are 100% my own. Thank you for letting me share my experiences with you!}

This October marks three years in our little brick house. We spent a majority of this time making our home our own by remodeling the attic, bathroom, and improving the landscaping. To be honest, we still have a few boxes in the basement that we have yet to unpack. And I have been saying that I am going to paint my middle child’s room for two years now. The projects will never end, and I suppose that is all part of the adventure of owning a home. But I am beyond thrilled to be at a point where we can take a break from major improvements for the time being. Our house is cozy and comfortable, and it’s been refreshing to enjoy more quality time as a family on the weekends.

We have settled in nicely here. The kids’ rooms are filled with toys, books, and their own artwork. Each family member has their “designated” seat at the dining room table. The bathtub is adorned with colorful bath toys. Our backyard produces fruits, veggies, and beautiful blooms. The kids have some amazing neighborhood friends that they can spend hours outside with on quiet Sundays like today. While we have settled in here, I have to admit that I am a little embarrassed that I have yet to hang anything on our walls. I have a Pinterest board filled with ideas for decorating the walls in my home, but I can never seem to pull the trigger and go for it. It’s overwhelming, and the last thing I want to do is put a hole in the wall. It seems like such a commitment! But, I finally found a solution to my problem: Sawdust Savvy.

Sawdust Savvy is located in Stillwater and offers instructor-led wood craft workshops, made-to-order wood signs, and to-go DIY crafting kits that can be shipped to you. I’ve been wanting to add more personal touches to our home, and while the thought of making a cute wood sign has crossed my mind many times, I simply don’t have the time these days to plan ahead for these types of projects. However, the wonderful thing about Sawdust Savvy is that you can make that cute sign you pinned on Pinterest years ago without all of the effort of getting the materials and tools together. The delightful ladies at the local shop do all of the prep work for you so you can enjoy the best part of making something beautiful for your home. The only prep work I had to do was to make the difficult decision on which sign to choose. Taxing, I know.

I couldn’t help but pick something for the Christmas season. How endeering is this “Noel” sign???

{Sawdust Savvy NOEL DIY Wood Sign Kit}

I stopped by Sawdust Savvy to pick up my sign instead of having it shipped to me. I was so curious to see what their workshop looked like. It’s a cozy space in the heart of lovely downtown Stillwater. The walls were full of inspirational projects, the employees were friendly and helpful, and the workshop was bustling.

Once I had my sign kit in hand, it took a few weeks to get the courage to make it. I didn’t want to mess it up, because in all honesty, I kind of suck at following instructions. Luckily, Sawdust Savvy has tutorials available to watch on YouTube that make it super easy to follow along and know exactly what to do when assembling the project.

 

If I didn’t spend so much time taking pictures of the fun process, I probably could have finished my sign in less than 30 minutes. Really, it was that simple!

While I do hope to attend one of the workshops at the studio in the near future, I love that I was able to order a project that I could complete on my own time at home. I’m a busy mama, so I was really excited about accomplishing a crafty project during the little one’s naptime! Now I just need to find the perfect spot to hang my new sign…

Sawdust Savvy is a local, women-owned business. The workshops are great opportunities for getting together with friends or celebrating special occasions. But for the mamas who don’t always have the time to get out on their own, DIY kits are great options for getting one’s craft fix in too. Check out upcoming workshops and the online shop here!

See something you like? I have a special code for you to receive $5 off of your purchase! When you checkout at Sawdust Savvy, be sure to use the code “blogger5”. Happy crafting, mama!

Adults Only Night at the Minnesota Children’s Museum + Ticket Giveaway

{I am an ambassador for the Minnesota Children’s Museum, and I received two complimentary tickets to the event in addition to two complimentary tickets to share with one of you. All opinions about the museum are 100% my own. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you!}

What was your favorite thing to play as a kid? When I watch my kids play in the backyard with their friends, I can’t help but feel nostalgic as I think back to my childhood days. I lived in a neighborhood that had five or six families with kids all around the same age on one block, so we would spend our weekends and evenings playing kickball in the street and running from one yard to the next. I remember some of those moments like it was yesterday. I can feel the warmth of the late-afternoon sun on my cheeks, the gravel in my knee after a trip and fall, and the stickiness of a Popsicle that had melted and dripped down my arm. I can taste the salt of my tears when I was upset that it was time to go inside for dinner. I can hear the steady squeaks of the neighbor’s swing set and a barking dog. I can see the faces of my childhood friends, their houses, and the chain-link fences that separated our yards. And now I watch my kids play with their friends outside, and I am thankful that they get to have this experience too because those years on Banfil Street with the neighbor kids were some of my favorite childhood days.

Do you still enjoy playing? Do you still make time to play? I think it’s safe to assume that we all work hard. Whether you have a job to support your family or you stay at home to support your family, we all work hard. We have many tasks on our to-do lists, and the lists never seem to get shorter. Our lives are scheduled. We have meetings, activities, drop-off and pick-up times, events, family gatherings, birthday parties, sports games, etc. It’s difficult to make time to play, and sometimes it feels like we have to try to pencil in playtime with our own kids. “Sorry kids, mom can’t play right now because she has to make dinner.” You know how it goes. Sometimes we stare at the clock while we are playing with our kids wondering how much longer we have until it’s time to switch the load of laundry from the washer to dryer. Even when we do have time to play, it’s not always easy to feel relaxed enough to play without worrying about all of our adult responsibilities.

Wouldn’t it be great to take a break from adulting to play for a whole evening? Wouldn’t it be fun to do this with your best friend, your spouse, or a group of friends? Play is important for kids, but it’s important for adults too. We can get so caught up in what we have to do and easily forget that we are not tethered to work. One reason why I love the Minnesota Children’s Museum so much is because the exhibits encourage parents to engage in a variety of playful activities with their kids. The museum gives adults a space to imagine, tinker, and create right alongside their children. And while I have always visited the museum with my children, I am super excited that the museum is offering an adults-only night coming up on September 28th!  Let me clarify, the event is 21+ because there will also be adult beverages available at the event!

The Adults@Play 21 + Museum Takeover event will feature a cash bar, interactive improve with The Theater of Public Policy, and make-and-take art projects with Can Can Wonderland. And of course, guests will get to explore the museum without having to keep track of their kids because the adults get to be the kids for the evening (just don’t forget your socks for the slide)! The event is coming up on Thursday, September 28 from 6 – 10 PM at the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul. Come and make a date night out of it, or get some friends together to relive some of your favorite childhood memories of playing without a care in the world!

You can purchase tickets for the event here. I am also giving away TWO FREE TICKETS to the event, so make sure you enter the giveaway below! I’m going with my college roommate, and we are so looking forward to a night out! I hope to see you there too!

 

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Dandelions and Writing: A Simple Wish for Time

I watch my son pick a dandelion from the front yard by the birch tree. I know what he is going to do next. He can’t resist. It’s in his nature to stir the stillness. Without hesitation, he lifts the dandelion seed head to his mouth and casually blows on the white, feathery seeds. The bristles float in all directions, covering several feet of grass as they land. My husband can’t stand this. He knows that this will only multiply the dandelions in our lawn –making it look exceptionally flawed in comparison to our neighbor’s perfectly manicured emerald carpet. But there is something beautiful, almost magical, in watching a child unknowingly propel new life into the air with a simple breath. And although my son is not one to make wishes on the seeds that he sends into the air, I certainly am.

***

Twenty months. For the past 20 months I have started and ended every single day with the same wish. I wish to have time to write. I wish to have time to work at my laptop writing in the morning, drinking a hot cup of coffee before everyone wakes. I wish I could ignore the daily household chores while the baby naps and take that time to write outside on the front step with a pen and notebook. I wish I still had energy left in my body and soul at the end of each long day to spend a couple hours drafting the essays that I write in my head while doing dishes, folding laundry, and playing with my children.

Time. There just never seems to be enough time in a day. There is always something else that could have been completed, or started. But time sets limits to what we can do, and many days, all I can see are my limits. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Shower, watch children, and go to work. Laundry, dishes, and cleaning. Emails, bills, and appointments. Planning, planning, and planning. These items are all priorities. My family needs to be fed. Our bills need to be paid. We need to take care of our house. The list goes on, so I continue to tackle “the list.” But the list does go on, and it always will.

I’ve spent the past 20 months making every excuse not to write, and my biggest excuse is time. There are so many priorities in life, especially when you are raising a family. Your first priority is supporting your family with their basic needs. That in itself is a huge task that entails making money, operating a household, and giving your love and attention to each family member’s beautiful soul. And as a mother, I often lose sight of other priorities that need my attention too. I look at my day and plan out everything that I need to do in order to take care of my family, but I forget to do the same for myself.  And even though I am in the thick of motherhood, I am human, and I need to allow myself to make my needs a priority too. But how do I find or make the time to do this?

Time. There will never be enough time. There will never be enough time with my kids. There will never be enough time to work on the house or garden. There will never be enough time on this earth. Time places limits; it’s a form of measurement that fills our days. And many days, all I notice is the time. Is it time to wake up? Is it time to leave the house? Is it time for lunch? Is it time for the baby to take a nap? How much time do I have while she naps to accomplish all of the items on my to-do list? Is it time for my husband to get home from work? Is it time to get the kids ready for their evening activities? Is it time for the kids to go to bed? How much time do I have left before I should be going to bed? What time do I need to set my alarm for?

There will never be enough time to write, especially if I continue to measure my days by looking at the time in this way.

***

My son picks another dandelion, this time near the row of hostas leading to the backyard. And I know what he is going to do next. I’ve witnessed it countless times this summer, and countless times the summer before. I pick a dandelion, too. We breathe in, exhale, and release the dandelions’ seeds into the air. They float for a few seconds before landing in the grass. Over time, dozens of more dandelions will be waiting to be picked next. They will be waiting to be chosen, to be given life with a new breath of air. And the words will float and fall onto the page all in their own time.

Scary Mommy
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