The not so crafty mama gets her sock puppet on.

Okay so this one isn’t going to win any awards or anything. But it’s a classic.

I was tired and they were begging for a craft.

If you need directions, well, then you need more help than The Life of Reilly can provide.



read more

Blog Better (Boston) or not ever again?

Hmmmmm…Sometimes I think not ever again.

I’ve been so uncommitted to my blog for a while. There are days that I think I should just stop promoting it, take down the 4HB posts (my biggest source of traffic, sadly. I know, I can’t believe it’s not The not so crafty Mama gets her (Father’s Day) tie on either!) and just let it be my family blog.

Blog Better Boston

Yesterday was one of those days, and ironically I was at a blogging conference, Blog Better Boston. You’d think I’d be all gung ho afterwards and come here and post away like I did last year. I sat there, my knock off spanx all pinching my thighs, looking at all these pretty young things thinking “Am I kidding” myself here?

The conference was organized by two very young hip gals. They did a great job, truly. Most of the attendees appeared to be fashion bloggers. I say appeared to be becasue some of the fashion was questionable to my very old tired eyes, but maybe that’s what’s fashionable now. I DON”T KNOW. This is my point.

It seemed like all these PYTs were very focused and jazzed up, and the panelists at least – very accomplished. I know, I know “Comparison is the thief of joy”. I know! But I couldn’t help it. I accomplished getting out of the house without any kid mess on me that morning. That my friends, is an accomplishment in my book.

My reason for this blog is manyfold (is that a word because I like it). In the beginning it was my business blog, then I extracted the personal posts and it became a personal blog. It’s a documentation of my life, a form of self expression through writing, photography, and video. Then it became a small (very small) business writing reviews and doing giveaways. It’s has always been a way for me to keep my skillset sharp and network for the day that will eventually come when my kids are in school and I want a J O B.

My determination to be really good at something that I do, combined with the mental injuries of Cool Dog not doing as well as I hoped, added with my utter exhaustion at the end of the day has left me defeated. I can’t put my all into something again because it isn’t really my all. My all goes to my kids. My blog, and before that my business got my what’s left over. A coming down from latte overload, tired, unshowered version of myself.

Back to the conference.

Monetize your Blog – For me, this was by far the best panel. Lots of good stuff here. The most interesting bit that was revealed (to me) is that I could have another revenue stream by helping others with videos for their blogs. Also creating motion graphics for their vids. Good stuff right? But do I dive back into another business venture? Ugh.

Working with Brands – Mommy Niri. Oh, our good friend Niri. So smart. Know you’re worth something. Don’t pimp yourself out. Figure out what you’re getting from the relationship. Sounds like life, no?

Traffic & Community – I didn’t understand that this panel would be discussing offline community. I wouldn’t have gone. I don’t have time to keep up with my actual community – my friends.  I am not building an offline community, I’m just not. However, I loved these ladies. Smart, funny and yes fashionable. Takeaway – Be authentic. Always. Find what you’re good at and go deep.

It was a good conference in its inaugural year, and next year, I think it will be even better. I wished the panels were a bit longer and breaks a bit shorter. Maybe two food stations to help with the lines. Oh, and bigger cupcakes :-)

life of reilly latte

This post is fragmented and a little bit swirly, but that’s kind of the way I feel right now.

So to recap I like to blog, I’m not very good at it, I like to go to conferences, I’m tired, and my spanx are hurty.

See, now this is the part in the post where I am supposed to ask a question like Why do you blog? or What keeps you blogging? or Do you wear Spanx too? Meh. Also, you’re welcome for the PYT earworm.

Time for more caffeine I think.


read more

Not so crafty mama makes Valentines

I searched for a bit to try and find a Valentine that both my 5.5 and 3.5 year old could make together. I gave them a couple of choices and they decided on these ones from Martha Stewart.

They were real easy to make. I could have let the 5 yo do some cutting but thought it would be faster if I just did it. Faster, yeah right.

You will need:

Construction paper

Fold the construction paper and cut out hearts about 2 in tall.
You’ll need 4 hearts for each Valentine.
Paste the hearts together to make a flower and let dry.
Punch a hole in the middle and insert lollipop.
Write the names on them.


After we decided I found these from Design Mom. Every one of them is so cute. SO cute. Maybe next year.

read more

Super Secret Surprise Craft Boxes

Yeah I’m surprised too. Surprised that we made these, that we use them and that it’s me writing this post :-)

This is the craft that keeps on giving! It won’t just gather dust somewhere on a shelf. You’ll actually use it. I love it becasue the craft has to stay small to fit inside the box.  And for the kids it’s like opening up a present every time!

I have no idea where I got this idea from, so I can’t credit anyone. These cereal boxes have been sitting in the pantry for ages just waiting to become the super secret surprise craft box is all I know.

And in true non crafty mama form – they are super easy to make.
You’ll need:
Cereal boxes
Paper bags
Markers & crayons

 Cut the paper bag so it fits around the box, decorate and tape on. Really could it be any easier.

Go on with your crafty selves :-)


read more

The Non Crafty Mama gets her (Father’s Day) tie on

My kids aren’t doing any camp or organaized activities this summer except for two weeks of swim lessons. They’re for all of 35 minutes. So we’ll have some time together. A lot of time.

I need to get over my craft loathing fear. I do not like gooey, painty, glittery messes. I didn’t really like it when I was a kid and I don’t like it now. You know this already. But you know what? My kids do.

So I’m jumping in.

We start with a verrrrrrrry simple Father’s Day craft, just to get my confidence up.


Fathers Day Tie Craft 1

Fathers Day Tie Craft 3

Cut it out with card stock. Decorate, sign, and tie :-)

Thanks to my friend Teri for the inspiration. It takes a village to get this mama to craft people,
a freaking village.

read more