Hello World!

scan0469Hi there!  I’m thrilled that you have decided to stop by my blog, From Food Stamps to a Future.  I hope that you enjoy your time here.

So, I suppose that introductions are in order.  My name is Krista, and I am one of the oldest 34 year old women that you will ever run across.  I have lived a lot of different lives, and I have held numerous titles throughout the years.  I am a world traveler, and have had the opportunity to learn a lot of valuable life lessons from others.  I am an old soul, and I don’t believe that I would want it any other way.

I have spent a good share of my short time on this beautiful place we call Earth as a single mother.  So, needless to say, I have experienced more than my share of difficulties and struggles.  Rather than having a pity party, I have chosen to focus on all of the multitudes of blessings that have come into my life over the years.  I know now that all of my experiences in this crazy life have prepared me to help others get through their days, and to know that things do eventually get better.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope that you decide to stay for a while.  Happy Reading!

signupimage

Purpose of my Blog

I have been entertaining the idea of starting a blog for about 4 years now.  Time has always been an issue, and everyday life has always gotten in my way.  When I created my 5 year plan (explained in more detail on My Creations page) in December of 2012, creating my blog was included in my checklist.  So, what are my reasons for wanting to start a blog?  Well, for the past 11 years I have been compiling a list of ideas/topics that I want to write about.  These are things that I have learned during my travels that I know could benefit others.  By having a blog, I will finally be able to bring my handwritten notes out of hiding and share them with the world.  Others will be able to learn from my life experiences, I will be able to encourage my readers to follow their dreams, because it is NEVER too late to make a fresh start, but most of all I want to inspire those who feel trapped like I have been all of these years.  I will be discussing a wide range of topics which include:

  • Life lessons I have picked up
  • Surviving single parenting
  • How to have and maintain a successful relationship
  • Interesting life hacks that I run across
  • Following your dreams
  • Success tips and tricks
  • A wide range of craft tutorials and DIY’s
  • Managing your super busy life

and SO much more!

These are the main categories that I intend to cover, but I know my mind, and there is no telling what I may decide to post about from day to day.  It will be an adventure to say the least.

HOW OFTEN DO I POST NEW CONTENT?

I am planning to post new content to my blog on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday each week.  My weekends are spent working on my Etsy creations, as well as posting these new items in my shop.  There may be times when I am unable to post due to my hectic schedule, but this is my goal.  My Tuesday post will be devoted to my “Tell All Tuesday’s” series, which will consist of a single question being directed at my readers.  I want to know all about you, and this is a great way to begin our friendship.  I ask a question, and you put in your two cents.  Wednesday and Friday’s posts will vary by topic depending on what I feel that week.

Birthday Success

I just wanted to share that my son’s birthday party was an absolute blast! He had SO much fun, and declared it the “BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!

12th Birthday

Our menu consisted of (at his request):

  • Cheese Enchiladas
  • Chicken Quesadillas
  • Refried Beans
  • Chips, Salsa, and Homemade Guacamole
  • Butter Cake with Homemade Chocolate Icing
  • Vanilla Ice Cream

He wanted planets to adorn his cake, and despite my numerous hours of scouring every single shop in town, I came up with only stars. Couldn’t even find any aliens! What is that?! Do not EVER just assume that your local party shop will have exactly what you need…you will be sorely mistaken!

On to the entertainment…

I began the fun by presenting my boy with an envelope that said, “Are you ready to have some fun?” Contained within the envelope was the first clue which would kick off his scavenger hunt. The clue read, “It has 4 legs, but does not run. What is it?” It took a few minutes of searching under every chair and table in the house before he actually looked under the table he had been eating at. I had strapped a gift under the table with a TON of tape. I couldn’t risk it “accidentally” falling prematurely! On the front of the package (Flamin’ Hot Cheetos) was his second clue. “What loses it’s head in the morning and gets it back at night?” This would be my poor pillow; I never give her enough attention. Propped against it was a GIANT (1 Gallon) jar of pickles. Kids request the strangest things, don’t they?! Nah, I love em too! Slapped on the front of this fancy package was the next clue…”What has a net but can’t catch?” Thank goodness the rain let up long enough for our game because his next gift/clue was hidden out by our basketball hoop. I had pulled out the jumbo umbrella just in case. This particular gift was a jar of glow in the dark neon green slime (which was one of his favorite gifts by the way) and the clue attached read, “Rub a dub dub, there’s a clue in the…” Well, who in their right mind couldn’t guess that one, right?! He takes off running to the tub and returns holding a cylinder shaped package that’s covered on both ends with silver curling ribbon. His eyes light up when he pulls 16 candy sticks from the Cracker Barrel out of the wrapping paper. This next clue had everyone stumped for a few minutes. The clue read, “I start with an “E,” I end with an “E,” but I usually contain only one letter. What am I?” The consensus was EYE until I told them they were putting too much emphasis on the phrase “letter.” They finally concluded that it was an envelope. So my boy takes off to discover his newest package, only to holler back, “I can’t find it!” He was looking for a wrapped gift rather than an actual envelope. Who would’ve thought?! I go and save the day, and he returns to the group with his envelope in hand. On the front of the card is a dirty sock puppet with google eyes, and the card’s sentiment read “Son, no one else could fill your shoes…and no one would even go NEAR your socks!  Anyway, Happy Birthday.” Inside the card I wrote..”Birthday boy, Make sure to wear fresh socks on Tuesday. We have a special birthday surprise for you!!!”

Sock Puppet

His big birthday surprise was a trip to our local Family Fun Center. A co-worker of mine gave me a Groupon Coupon that equaled $40 of fun and games for FREE. You CANNOT pass up an opportunity like that! The catch was, you had to use it ONLY Monday-Thursday. Well, Mondays and Wednesday’s I work around 10 ½ hour days, and Thursday my little guy has a dentist appointment, so therefore we were left with Tuesday. He was SO excited when we pulled up, and I can’t tell you how many “Thank You’s!” I received before the night ended. A moment that will always stand out in time!

Birthday Celebration

So, back to the hunt…

Inside the card was a slip of neon green paper which contained the clue, “I grow up big and tall, but lose my clothes in the fall. What am I?” Without a second thought, he took off outdoors. I had originally planned to drag out the ladder and tuck this next package in among the branches so he could get his wish and climb a tree for the clue, but there had been a consistent rain earlier that morning, and that was the last thing I needed was an emergency trip to the hospital because I had created a slippery situation for my kid. I wedged it into the base of one of our smaller trees, and he knew right where to go. Great minds think alike I suppose! The tree revealed another long cylinder shaped package. This one contained about 100 pieces of interconnecting glow sticks. What kid doesn’t adore glow sticks? Plus, it KINDA goes along with the space theme. This gift held the clue, “What has a tongue that can’t taste, eyes that can’t see, and a sole that will never die?” They figured that one out immediately. He just had to figure out WHICH shoe I had his gift/clue hidden in. He finally decided it was most likely the shoe rack in his closet, which of course was correct. There he had a box of tasty runts, and the clue which read, “Alive without breath, as cold as death. What is it?” He was obsessed with the answer being the freezer, so he searched them both inside, outside, up, down, and all around. Mama threw out possible solutions, but she was unaware that we had recently adopted a few small fish. Sitting beside our little fish tank was the new Avenger movie, Civil War, and the next clue. It read, “Take a walk and step outside, this is where you go for a ride.” He swore up and down it was in my car and proceeded to search each crease and crevice of it. I thought he was just pretending to be confused because he had been outside beside his bike when he was waiting for his party guests to arrive. I had another card for him, tucked in the spokes of his bike tire. Apparently he hadn’t been paying attention after all.

Monkey Card

Once we were back together as a group, he opened up this latest card. He caught a glimpse of the monkey with pooched lips on the front and said, “Really Mom?!” The sentiment read “It’s your Birthday…so close your eyes, pucker up, and kiss another year good-bye!” I added this little bit…”We have super exciting news for you!!! Your name has been added to the EXCLUSIVE Lego Club. With your membership you will receive the club magazines. and you will be the first to know of upcoming events. There are TONS of other perks! (Username/Password were included) Your first magazine will arrive in a few weeks.  Love You!” Tucked inside this card was the handwritten clue, “What is long and skinny, but soft on it’s tip?” A few guesses were thrown out, but Q-tip was finally mentioned. Hiding behind the Q-tips was a box of berry flavored Sour Patch Kids, and the final clue…

“Roses are red, violets are blue. If you put me in this, I’ll look like new!”

Washing Machine!!!” he screams, and takes off running. When he looks in, sees his package and starts pulling it out, he repeatedly comments on how BIG it is. He knows that he has finally reached the grand finale. On the front of the alien gift wrap is a piece of bright blue paper folded in half that says, “Happy Birthday Kolin!” and inside it says, “We love you SO much!” He rips into the package, sees that his HAD TO HAVE birthday present was inside, and starts ripping the paper faster. Inside was the new Lego Dimensions set for the PlayStation. Oh what a glorious day!

Later in the evening, before picking up my oldest from work, we stopped by the store so he could spend his birthday money. He loaded down his buggy with a TON of Lego Dimensions characters, so I asked him how he was intending on paying for all of these sets? He said, “with my birthday money Mama.” What he failed to realize was that he had almost $1,000 worth of product in the cart, and only about $200 to spend. He widdled down his choices, and then we made sure that he would have enough money to cover everything. Before we headed to the front I asked him one single question (just like I ALWAYS have before the children make a large purchase), “Are you sure THESE are the ones you want?” He looked at me and said, “Mama, why do you always have to give me a guilt trip?”

WHOA!!! Didn’t see that one coming!

Apparently that was how my younger 2 had always interpreted that question. I simply wanted to make sure that they wouldn’t regret their purchase decisions, because a lot of the things that they have bought over the years are not returnable. How in the world they had twisted that absolutely baffles me?!

So, needless to say, the party and all of the birthday celebrations were a complete success! I hope that you have enjoyed the overview, and hope that it has sparked some creative ideas for YOUR next party.

Gotta ask…Have YOU ever planned a scavenger hunt before?

Disclaimer: The clues used in this scavenger hunt were found in various locations online. I DO NOT claim credit for them.

Tell All Tuesday Series: Long Lost Friends

Q-What friendship do you genuinely miss?

Missing...

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

A-While living over in Germany, I developed a very close friendship with my downstairs neighbor, Diana. We did EVERYTHING together, from traveling to playing games all night. She would even come in and drag my ass out of bed when I was homesick and take me out on the town. We tried to stay in contact when our tours ended, but our busy lives and lack of internet service at that time put a wedge between us. I have searched for her since and have come up short every time. I have even tried to find her husband and her son online. She was such a good friend to me; a soul sister if you will. I hope that one of these days we will cross paths again, as great girlfriends are hard to find.

I would love to hear your story! What friendship do YOU genuinely miss?

Featured Image -- 2087

Do You Wish For A Perfect Body?

Love this!!!

Mind and Life Matters

I usually do not share videos on my blog, but it would be criminal to not share this. This video will resonate with most women, I guess! Women like you and me, perhaps, who look into the mirror daily and spot the various areas of our bodies that are imperfect and needs to be ‘fixed’!

If you were asked to describe your body in a word or a sentence, what would your answer be? Go on, tell me, what was the first thing that came to your mind? I am pretty sure it was not something positive. It wasn’t for me either! Chances are that you thought about what you could change about your body. I am guilty of that too, I look in the mirror everyday and think of all that I can change about my body, wishing I could become a little thinner, and maybe even taller! What must these thoughts/wishes be…

View original post 120 more words

It’s Party Time!

It’s amazing how FAST time flies! Just yesterday my babies were in diapers, and now my youngest will be entering his last official year of “childhood.” He will be a full fledged teenager next year. It’s SO disheartening; they weren’t supposed to grow up this quick! To commemorate this very special birthday (the final “Kid” celebration), I am putting together an unforgettable party. Life has been hectic lately, time has gotten away from me, and I definitely got a late start in the planning process, but I have faith that I can pull it off.

Birthday Celebration

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

My boy had originally requested a Space theme party, so that was the direction in which I had allowed my imagination to go in, but then he told me that he wanted a riddle filled scavenger hunt like I had done for his sister on her birthday. He was hoping that I could sweeten the deal and hide a clue up in our tree so he could climb up and get it. I informed him that DEFINITELY wouldn’t be happening, because if I even ATTEMPTED to climb a tree now, I’d either get stuck, or I’d fall out and booger myself up. That’s the last thing the family needs to deal with, and the way our year’s been going…

I actually might end up surprising him since I have a ladder now (I’ll make sure to have a spotter JUST IN CASE). He’d be thrilled to death; my little monkey!

I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been stretched so thin lately, but trying to combine these 2 concepts has been a bit difficult for me to do this go around. I generally don’t have problems when I sit down to plan a party, as my brainstorming sessions normally result in an overabundance of fun ideas, but here I sit, trying to work my magic at the very last second. Anyway, I’m gonna scram so I can get the house decorated, the cake made and decorated, gifts wrapped, clues hidden, and the birthday dinner prepared. I hope that you have an unforgettable weekend; we will.

Love you bunches!

Reflection

Hi all! I hope that you’ve had a splendid day! Just got home from a 10 hour shift…super tired! I have a question for you though…

Resolution

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Reflect on your life. What is one problem that you are facing, and are in desperate need of a solution to?

Can’t wait to hear your answers!

Tell All Tuesday Series: Friendship

Q-Would you be friends with you?

Close Friends

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

A-I would, and I’ll tell you why. Despite the fact that 98% of the time I’m swamped (working and tending to the kiddos) and have no extra time to devote to a friendship or a fun outing, I am a VERY dedicated friend to those who are close to me. I have only had a handful of friends over the years, but those relationships have received my full, uninterrupted attention. Only in these past few years has my attention been diverted in different directions. But, those lovely few in my world completely understand and support each one of my endeavors. If I were my friend, I would be stimulated (both intellectually and creatively) daily, as I am always entertaining a new, creative thought; never a dull moment with me!

So, would YOU be friends with you?

The Happy Thoughts Collection

It’s been a SUPER busy weekend my lovelies, but I am proud to announce that there are now 7 NEW Inspirational sticker sheets from my Happy Thoughts collection available in my Etsy shop, Krista Kemp Designs! These are only a few that I have been working on, I have TONS more in the works.

The Happy Thoughts Collection

Inspiring Quotes to Brighten your Day!

 

While putting these together, I discovered that there is a limited supply of beneficial printables available for Bloggers/Entrepreneurs/Etsy shop owners. So, I’ve added yet another project to my list. Are there any particular items that YOU have been in the market for???

I trust that each of you have had a fabulous weekend! Here’s to an awesome week!!!

Creative Punishments

Back in my teenage years, I was a bit rebellious. I got my first tattoo at the age of 16, and my first piercing followed just 2 weeks later. These were the first of many, which I now regret, but what do you do?! One day I’ll get them removed. Every time that I was presented with an opportunity, I would test the waters in hopes of a reaction. Fortunately, I never seriously damaged my future.

Punishments

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

In the early days of dating my ex husband, I “accidentally” fell asleep at his apartment. I made sure to wake up early that next morning so I could sneak home before my mom realized that I wasn’t there, only to discover that my car was missing from the parking lot. I was frantic, trying to figure out why in the world someone would steal my “almost” antique 4 door Honda Civic. After realizing that I was left with no other option, I dialed my mama’s number. I said, “Mama! Someone stole my car!” Her reply to me was, “I know. I did. Now get your ass home.CLICK!

Anyone that knows my mama can tell you that she’s ALWAYS happy (or at least appears that way)! She always has a vibrant smile on her pretty face, and she is ALWAYS a delight to be around. This particular incident (momentarily) changed all of that. I knew I was in for it!  You know, looking back, I can only recall 2 times that I royally screwed up. This just happened to be one of them. The other time was when I had my know it all attitude at 13.  I started laughing at her while she was beating me for being disrespectful. I guess she didn’t find that comical.  She ended up throwing a suitcase into my chest and told me to get the “F*@! out of my house.”  I TOTALLY deserved it!

Now that I am entertaining the growing pains of Motherhood, I have learned a WHOLE new respect for my Mama. I’ve been hit coming and going! I’ve been confronted with situations that most parents didn’t even realize existed.  Mind you, 98% of the time, I couldn’t have asked for better behaved children, but like each of us, they’re not perfect. Being a mother would be SO much easier if there was a guidebook that had explicit instructions on how to handle each and every situation! You want to teach them correctly, but at the same time, you want to make sure that you don’t cause irreversible psychological damage that requires extensive therapy to heal from.

Anyway, several years ago, my youngest decided to test the waters. He started stealing and ended up destroying someone else’s personal property. So, I grabbed him up and escorted him to the police station. I told them what his infractions were and told them to lock him up. Unfortunately, they aren’t “allowed” to do that anymore. Apparently, some of these dingbat mothers pursued this effective option and later filed complaints that the officers were “too harsh.” Forgive me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t that the freaking point; to put the fear of God in them?! Some of those parents just need a good beating I tell you!

I’ve tried just about every punishment known to man! What works for one kid, doesn’t phase the next. The Iron Chair (exercise) was effective with my oldest, the simple threat of a spanking terrified my daughter, and my youngest… I still have yet to figure him out. He’s had whippings from his Principal, had absolutely everything taken from him, I have prevented him from taking part in our Christmas traditions (which he loves!) and I have even gone so far as to have him pack his bag, and then taken him on a drive informing him that we were on our way to a boy’s school since he didn’t want to behave for me. Perhaps I’ll discover what works one of these days.  Fortunately, we’re in the clear at the moment.

Over these past 17 years of parenting, and 12 years of working in childcare, I have realized that girls are a WHOLE lot easier to raise than boys are. They’re more expensive, yes, but SO much easier!

Now, it’s your turn. What are some of the creative punishments that have occurred in your life, either from your upbringing or from your personal list of trials and errors as a parent? I’m anxious to hear new ideas!

How I Manage my Finances

So, SUPER stressed out this week! Two weeks ago I missed 2 days of work, which resulted in a scary low paycheck. I had anticipated the approximate amount, but when you physically hold your check up and compare it to your budget sheet, it just makes you want to cry! I was ONLY about $500 shy of having this week’s bills…pocket change, right?!

My Weekly Bill Tracker

So, the point of this post isn’t to discuss my financial woes with you, rather to share how I personally keep track of my bills. It’s simple and detailed, and small enough to tuck into my “purse.”

How to Create a Weekly Bill Tracker

  • Step 1: Grab a sheet of paper
  • Step 2: Write down each week (by date) in columns-as many as you can fit on your paper (From Monday to Sunday)
  • Step 3: Fill in each week with your bills (Include day, date, company, and the amount due)
  • Step 4: Highlight Monday’s bills so you won’t “Forget” which day it’s due on
  • Step 5: Mark off each bill as it’s paid
  • Step 6: Fold it up and keep it with you so you can stay on top of what’s due when and how much it is

TIP: Refer to your budget sheet each week for the following week-stay ahead and (in the long run) save money by avoiding late fees.

You could also plug in Birthdays or appointments in each weekly slot. Personally, I have an additional sheet that contains the appointments, as that works better for me.

If you haven’t yet downloaded your FREE eBook on How to Manage your Busy Life, then you should definitely pounce on it. It is full of little tidbits like this that could prove beneficial to you!

So, how do YOU keep track of YOUR finances?