Monday, May 11, 2015

Home Sweet Home

I made this sign for my best friend. It was a gift for her boyfriend. I was asked to do an anchor and somehow incorporate yin-yang signs without making it noticeable. He loved it!


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Farm Fresh

I was asked to recreate a Farm Fresh Sign. I don't have a picture of the original, but I changed it a lot, and added the state in the background. This sign is 2 feet by 2 feet.

See something you like? Visit me at www.facebook.com/leahinspiredcreations or follow me on Instagram @Creations_by_Leah_Inspired


Sunday, April 19, 2015

In Beer and Bacon We Trust

Here is one of my first real paintings I did recently. I was given the top picture and asked to recreate it how I think it would look good. So you can see they are pretty much completely different. What do you think?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Starting a New Chapter

First, I want to thank everybody for reading my blog and supporting me. Second, I am writing this because I am changing my blog to Creations by Leah Inspired to promote my wood art. I don't even know what to call it yet! It started out as name signs on wood, and I have recently stretched myself and it has become something I love, and feel like I can do more with.

I found my happy place! Between working for Lifebushido (AKA Best Agent Business), homeschooling, and working on my new art on wood adventure, I just don't have time for my blog.

Again, I appreciate you all sticking with me through my inactivity. I would love if you stayed with me while I change. Here is a link to my new Facebook page http://facebook.com/leahinspiredcreations and here is a link to my Etsy page https://www.etsy.com/shop/LeahInspired1?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Please stop by and visit me. If you see something you like, let me know. I love feedback!  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Chef's Wife


Do you know a Chef?  Do you know a Chef's wife?  It sounds like the best job a husband can have! And the wife, well she should be thrilled to have a husband who cooks delicious food, and has a great job!

Think again!  

I am a Chef's wife. Let me tell you, it is a hard job! Yes, my husband cooks awesome food. No, I do not get to taste it very often!

I have a great husband, and this is in no way an attack on him, but let me tell you a little about being a Chef's wife. First of all, a Chef cannot just "ask for a day off." Not how it works. They are the head of the kitchen, and if there is business, they cannot just "take the day off". So what this means for friends and family of a Chef: don't get upset that they can't be at your party or event. The wife will be there with the kids to show her support. 

As head of the kitchen the Chef is responsible for filling in wherever and whenever needed. Calls at 4am, 7am, 9pm, or anytime really is NORMAL, and to be expected by a Chef's wife. And don't be surprised if when he hangs up the phone the words "I have to go in" comes out of his mouth! Be prepared to cancel any and all plans you made for his supposed to be day off.

Holidays do NOT get celebrated on the actual holiday. My husband and I have been together for 14 years and I can count on one hand how many holidays we actually celebrated on the right day. People like to eat out on holidays, so he has to be there to support his staff, show them that he will work right beside them, and that they are not the only ones who are not with their families on the holiday. If the restaurant is closed for the holiday, you might see him, but he might have to go in and do inventory or prepare for a party the next day.

Your kids will want to be Chefs. This is not a bad thing, but a fact. Our boys are constantly "making fish orders" on their pretend phones, cooking up awesome cuisines, and my 2 year old told my 6 year old yesterday "pass me the chicken stock" when they were cooking at their play kitchen. They know kitchen terms, and the correct names for kitchen appliances and tools. The boys go to work with daddy to help with prep and wear their chef's hats and aprons to be just like daddy. They will definitely know the meaning of hard work, and will have no illusions of what being a chef really means.

Expect to never see your husband. If it is the busy season he might go 3 weeks without a day off. And it isn't a 9 to 5 job. Depending on the restaurant, he might go in as early as 9am and not get home until after midnight. This is normal! And don't expect multiple calls throughout the day to chat with him or tell him about your day. This will not happen, and most times I don't hear from him until after the dinner rush around 10pm. He really can't chat or text when he is elbow deep in fish, or with a line of tickets in front of him. As for days off during the off season...well he might get one a week. The way it works is that he needs to cut his staff in the off season, and because he is on salary, he needs to pick up the slack and work the stations that he no longer has staff for because he had to cut them for the budget. So no matter the season, you might see him 1 day a week, but don't make any major day-off plans because he might get a call at 4am from his fry cook.

Being a Chef's wife isn't an easy job, and being a Chef isn't either! So if you like going to events by yourself, having only the kids to keep you company during dinner, having to cook everything all the time, never seeing your husband, celebrating holidays on non-holiday days, getting woken up at all hours of the night by the phone, and not being able to make any real plans, then a Chef is the perfect husband for you!

So if you know a Chef's wife, maybe come over her house for dinner sometime so she can have some company; come over for coffee and some conversation one day; or just give her a call so she can talk to somebody besides the kids! The next time you invite them to an event, don't be upset that the Chef couldn't make it. And remember next time you go out to eat that the people in the kitchen have probably been there all day so that you can have a good meal. Go easy on them.

Anybody else a Chef's wife? Ever want to start a Chef's Wives Support Group?  What can you add to the list?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Homeschooling Your Way!

I am totally new to this homeschooling thing being I've only done it since September. I have been having a lot of doubting thoughts like Am I doing it right? Am I doing enough? Why is my kid not doing this or that yet? Do I have to force subjects on them they don't want to learn right now?


I talked to a good friend of mine and she gave me some good advice. Make up your mind to not compare yourself to other people and their kids. 

At first I was thinking "I don't do that!" And then I thought more about it and realized I do it without even realizing it!  It's hard to stop wanting your kid to be the best. It's hard to feel like you aren't meeting up to the "standards".  

But you know what? You are the only one who knows yourself and your kids. You are the only one who can set their standards. Of course, depending where you are, you will have required educational standards. But that doesn't mean you need to go above and beyond those. Nor does it mean that just because your friend's kid is writing cursive, and dissecting frogs that your kid is ready. Or that your kid even wants to do that. 

Remember why you are homeschooling. One of my reasons is the freedom to teach him what he wants to learn about. Right now he wants to learn about the moon and butterflies. I bet there are some kids his age who don't have any interest in that. The same way he doesn't have any interest in biology. Every kid is different, and every parent teaches differently.

None of those ways are wrong!

Have faith in yourself, and think long and hard about where you want your kids to be, and make it happen.  You are the one in control, and it is ok to make mistakes, and to not be sure where to go from here. You are not alone in that boat! I don't think anybody knows everything.  And that is OK!!

I hope you find your Homeschooling Way, and look past everybody else. You and your kids are the ones that matter, and you decide what is best for them without comparing yourself and them to others.

What is your favorite part of homeschooling?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Kindergarten Homeschooling

In September I kind of threw myself into the world of homeschooling. I jumped into a small co-op, field trips, and anything I could find. I have since realized I need more structure in my days and my priorities needed to change. 

From September to December my days were filled with a whole bunch of nothing. I felt like I was doing 1000 things but really not getting anywhere. I didn't have a written lesson plan, no goals, and since I was told by many people "it's just kindergarten, it's more important that they just play", I wasn't making school a priority. 

All of that changed over the holidays. I was talking to a friend of mine and I was telling her how I felt like I wasn't doing my son any justice and I didn't know if I should follow the "it's just kindergarten" input I've received. She said "think of it this way, it's not JUST kindergarten, it's his first year of school."  You know what?  She was totally right!  

Why am I going to essentially hold him back?  He's excited about learning, he absorbs everything, and he's smart. Who am I to say "it's just kindergarten?" 

I am not saying playing isn't important, but us doing all if our lessons, minus crafts and games, takes about a total of 30-45 minutes out of the whole day. And that is doing language arts, math, Spanish, a unit study, and added reading throughout the day. And intentional playing is just as good as unguided playing. They get plenty of both. 

I am learning a lot about my teaching style and his learning style. I am learning a lot about how much is too much for us, and how to pick a topic and stick with it. I want him to learn so much, and he's so interested in everything that it is hard for me to pick and stick with something. 

I have found that they both love for me to read out loud to them. I'm talking real and informative books. We started "The Story of the World" not too long ago and they love it. They want it read after dinner, during bath, and pretty much any time they are playing quietly. And it's a history book!  

I find that if I use the read aloud time to read other topics other than what we are studying it helps his curiousity and still gives him good, true facts. 

A friend of mine, who just graduated her oldest son, suggested a simple weekly schedule. Cover the bases you want to cover, decide how often you will have school, and don't put specific days on your schedule. I put a date range, a week, to keep me on track but it is nice not feeling like I missed things because I didn't do them that day. Life happens, interests change, and we try to make everything a learning experience. 

I am still tweaking things, but I think I am on the right track!  What does your day look like?