OLDJOY is live

HEY! just wanted to pop in to let y'all know that www.oldjoy.com is now live! .. There are some things here that i plan on moving over when i have time! but, i will not be deleting this blog because i want to take a stroll down memory lane whenever the mood strikes.

I just wanna say "thank you" to everyone who has followed along here at moon schooling eleanor. i had no idea when i started this blog that so many people would read. like it still blows my mind. i feel so grateful for the continued love and support. thank you so much.

love, kristen.


eleanor is nine!

today we celebrated eleanor's ninth birthday! last year's theme was toy story and this year it was trolls ... 1990 style. it was a really sweet day. 

showing rufus her new gremlin doll. they are obsessed with that movie right now.

her cousins and friend from school brought their american girl dolls to the party, so of course eleanor placed little plates, forks, cups and pitchers of lemonade on the table for them. they also made teeny t-shirts for their dolls.

gramma is teaching him how to blow bubbles.

today she got new roller skates, tomorrow we are going ice skating. 

this may be my new favorite photo of her.

i always find the messy table after the party so lovely. a beautiful sign of a happy time. xo.


super easy lavender scrub

so today instead of parking my butt on the couch during quiet time, i decided to whip up some lavender scrub because my skin is sooo itchy and dry. #thankswinter. you guys, this stuff is seriously so easy to make. like, it takes five minutes. it also makes a really sweet gift for someone. like a "i made you this because i care about you" sort of gift. 

okay, so ...

mix together two cups of sugar, half cup of melted coconut oil, two teaspoons of lavender buds and ten drops of lavender oil. easy peasy! 

i have already used it on my hands twice today and can't wait to slather it on my legs during my next shower. yessss. 

p.s. i bought the lavender at trader joes and hung it to dry. 

p.s.s. oldjoy.com is happening really soon! should be live by the second week of february ... it will basically be the same sort of thing, just a little more organized maybe? a wee fancier? i don't know. anyway, xoxo. 


nine years

my eleanor isobel is turning nine years old on the twenty ninth of this month and i could literally cry buckets of tears. from the day she was born, she has been the light of my life. she has taught me more than anyone else could ever teach me ... she taught me how to be a mother, a friend and a better human. like, she has been everything for me. 

today her and i went on a little day date to the thrift store and then had lunch at tropical smoothie (her favorite place to eat). it was just a simple, short, little getaway, but it was so good for our relationship. since her brothers were born, finding one on one time has been pretty tough, but we make it happen when we can because it is so, so, so important ... she had three dollars saved and big hopes of finding a porcelain doll. she named her emily because we are in the middle of reading a little princess and emily is the name of sara crewe's doll. i love that. 

anyway, i can't believe my girl is nine. her birthday party is the twenty eighth and we have been making lists and planning our little hearts out. the theme this year is classic trolls and american girl because she couldn't choose and i'm like, how bout both! ... can't wait. xo

my thrift store finds. 


motherhood affirmations / how to stop comparing

when i was a little girl, i never once asked myself, "i wonder if my mom compares herself to other moms?" like, i knew that every mom had their own way of doing things, but i guess i never questioned how that made my mom feel. why would that even be something that she would worry about? anyway, maybe she didn't compare (I've never asked her) and maybe not all moms do, but i feel like some do .. and i feel that even though comparing your motherhood to someone elses is totally damaging, i also think it's probably pretty normal.

when i became a mother, back in 2008, i was basically a kid myself. i knew very little about what to expect and honestly, was a little aloof to the whole being a mom thing. i didn't compare myself to other moms because i didn't know any other moms in real life and the social media beast hadn't swallowed me up yet ... things were easier back then for me. sure, i made sooooo many mistakes, but i was confident. i knew that i loved my baby and that was the only guide i needed. so now i ask myself, what happened to that confidence? why do i overanalyze every mom move i make? why do i scroll through social media and think things like, "i wish i could be more like her?"

basically my point here is to put an end to that and start fresh again. here are some things i have been jotting down in my mind to help get me there.

1. it doesn't matter whatsoever what time another mom puts her baby to bed and where her baby sleeps. it doesn't matter at all.

2. it doesn't matter how another mom gave birth and where she gave birth and how long the birth lasted and how much her baby weighed. it doesn't matter at all.

3. it doesn't matter if her baby only eats avocado and your baby has a popsicle for breakfast. it doesn't matter.

4. it doesn't matter if all of your babies were born via cesarean and don't you dare hesitate to announce that. (me)

5. if you hang around a mom friend who is constantly making comparisons out loud by saying things like, "oh well my kid .."  shut that shit down (politely, of course).

6. if you follow a mom on social media that gives you feelings of self doubt, unfollow. it is totally okay to do that and you will feel so much lighter.

7. stop thinking things like, "she's more beautiful than i am" and start thinking things like, "she is beautiful and so am i."

8. don't look at another mom and immediately find something to judge her for. look for something to be inspired by instead.

9. remember that it is just as easy to lift yourself up as tear yourself down.

10. it doesn't matter if her kids are in all the activities and yours are not. it doesn't matter.

11. it doesn't matter that another mom's house looks like something out of a magazine and your couch has permanent marker scribbles all over it and you can't afford to replace it. (me, ha ha) it doesn't matter.

12. lastly, you love your children more than anything and you are doing an amazing job. give yourself a little more credit.

can anyone relate? xo


2016. a journey.

the year began like any other. we were living life comfortably and going through the everyday motions. of course there were daily stressors, but all was well and safe and happy. fast forward to august ... the business where my husband was employed lost their contract, and my husband lost his job. his really well paying job that he had been working for nearly eight years. i will never forget that phone call. i was lounging in a beach chair, talking to my mom, sand in my toes. my kids were in front of me splashing in waves and the phone rang. it's funny though because even though a lump formed in my throat and i knew what i had just heard wasn't good, the panic didn't come for many months later. even at that moment, it just didn't seem real or possible. we had been more than okay for such a long time.

we knew right away that our house had to be sold. we knew that pouring our savings into a really high mortgage was just not smart or doable. this was when things started to sink in. we had just moved into this house we love and eleanor was so happy at school. i began to worry for her. i began to worry for us. but i was still hopeful.

my husband applied for jobs everyday. and he applied for jobs all over. anything that interested him or he had experience in or that degree would cover. he worked so hard trying to find work.

our house sold quickly. like almost too quickly. in fact, the day we moved out, he still didn't have a new job and we had no place to go. we squeezed our belongings into a u haul and parked it at my brother's house. this is when the frustration and sadness and true anxiety began to settle in. we refer to those days as the "dark days." but even with our situation, we tried to remain hopeful and positive and thankful. living with my parent's was not ideal, but oh my god, were we thankful for a roof over our heads. we were thankful for our savings and for our health and for supportive people in our lives.

almost as soon as we moved into my parent's house, he got a call from a job in vermont, so we bought two plane tickets and went there. we learned the area and possible rentals if he gets the job. we loved it there and were excited about the possibility of relocating, but it would have also been so intense not being around family at such a hard transition in our lives.

anyway, while we were driving the backroads of vermont, french music in our ears, he got a call. he got a call from a radio station about thirty miles from where we lived. they offered him the job and he took it. i remember walking into my parent's house and my grandma was there and i told her the news and she held me and cried. finally a job. a job! that was everything. that was EVERYTHING... it may have been a lot less money, but it was insurance for our babies and it was a fresh start and it was sign that we are going to okay.

fresh home from vermont and the house hunt in a new town began. but we found out quickly that there are few rentals available in a small town in october. basically we fell short and then the fear began to sink in again. at the time, we were driving eleanor to her old school everyday which was about forty five minutes. and as soon as they found out she no longer lived in that area, she would have to change schools. we were hoping that we could go ahead and open enroll her in the new town, but they were full. so i was sweating. big time.

finally after exhausting ourselves trying to find a place to live, my husband walked into a realtor's office and said, "it's worth a try." he came out with a big smile on his face. there was this house that had been on the market for over a year and the owner lived in NYC and said he would rent it to us until the end of the school year. YES! we were almost at the finish line and we were elated. we got the keys and moved in the next day.

when we first walked into the house we said we could just buy this house and make this our home and stay put! the idea of not moving again and staying  put was so comforting... well after moving in, we quickly learned that this house costs a lot and needs a ton of work that we cannot afford and that this house would only be temporary. but temporary or not, we will always be thankful for this mint green house that kept us safe and warm, even if just for a short time.

so in conclusion, the house hunt has begun again. we are looking in the country and close to my family because ultimately, that is where we want to plants roots and cozy up and raise our babies. and we are being really picky this time around because we are NEVER moving again. at least not for a really really long time. we want to be somewhere super affordable, so that way if for some reason we are jobless again, we could make it work. no more living beyond our means. also, close enough to our current town so that way arick has a small commute to work and eleanor doesn't have to change schools. *fingers crossed*

life is crazy, man. and sometimes super hard. but there are lessons in super hard. we are learning and growing everyday.

so that's what has been happening with us. it's been a ride, but we have our health and our hopes and we are thankful... and ready to be somewhere and call a place home.

and lastly, we have each other and there is love and that is LIFE. 


basic donuts

okay, bear with me ... there are literally children climbing on me right now so this is gonna be a real quick post with probably a million typos ...

anyway, donuts! my mom got me this pan for christmas and today i used it for the first time. well, wolfgang and i. lately we have been bonding over food. he is all about cooking and baking and i am all about letting him help. his tiny voice and little helping hands are to die for.

okay, moving right along. i found this super easy recipe on pinterest, of course, but i tweaked it a bit.

1. preheat oven to 350. spray pan with non stick cooking spray.
2. in a large bowl whisk together one egg, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, one cup water and one box of dry cake mix. we used strawberry, but you could use any. next time we are going for chocolate.
3. spoon mixture into muffin pan ... this batter will make eighteen donuts (three pans worth)
4. bake in the oven for about tenish minutes. maybe a little longer. just poke em with a toothpick.
5. immediately move to cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before frosting them!

okay, frosting:

1. melt two tablespoons butter.
2. in a large bowl, mix 1.5 cups powdered sugar with the melted butter.
3. slowly add milk, one tablespoon at a time. i used four tablespoons ... you want the frosting to be a little runny! thick frosting will not work. i mean it will, but wouldn't be as pretty.
4. take your donut and dip it into the frosting, bottom side. so the soft top will actually be the bottom on the donut. make sense? ... after you dip the donut, lift it up and turn it from side to side, making sure to evenly coat it.
5. that's it! add sprinkles or whatever topping you want!

... you could also add a little food coloring if you want colorful donuts.

i hope this all made sense, my kids are cray right now and i gotta go! :)

seriously, these are so easy and delicious. they are basically just cake in donut form, but so fun and would be so easy to prepare a lot of them for a birthday party or whatever! xo