June 29, 2012

Fantastic Friday {time for a bloggy makeover?}


In the short couple of months that I have been blogging I am astonished to see {i can read stats} that I have had well over 1000 {yes, one thousand} visits to my blog!  That may be "peanuts" to some bloggers, but for me it's a pretty decent deal. 

{Maybe there are a couple of lone souls who continuously visit me out of pitty...hopefully not!}

Regardless, I am humbled...Thank YOU!

Seriously, I would LOVE to know where all you "visitors" are visiting from...leave me a comment if it's not too much to ask.  Please...

That said I've really been thinking about giving my blog a "face lift", since I do believe I'm going to stick around for a while.  The blogger templates are nice {ahem...fine...adequate}, but a girl like me needs a little bit of "punch"...something a bit more.

Honestly, I have no clue how to do my own custom blog design...I'm sure with {a lot} of time {which I don't have}, a few mistakes, and a couple of {choice} words I could figure it out.  But, rather than go through the pain I've been thinking about finding someone else to do it for me...

One option I came across is Melissa Rose Graphic Design Studio.  She does custom designs, but she also has a number of awesome pre-designed blog templates along with many other products.

I'm kind of keen on this one...

She also happens to be doing a "giveaway"...for her one year blog anniversary.  Which of course I entered...and have crossed my fingers...and my toes...and those of all of my children...hoping that I win!!!

Interested in a chance to win for yourself?  {I can't believe I am decreasing my chances of winning by sharing this...just kidding!}  Hop on over to her blog 20 going on 80.  You can get there by clicking here.

Good luck!!!

June 28, 2012

Fire Cracker Hair Bows {a mini tutorial}

The other night when I stopped at the dollar store for organizing bins, spools and spools of ribbon caught my eye.  They had 6 yard spools of ribbon for only $1 {imagine that}.

I picked up a few spools to make hair bows for my girls.  I decided to "copycat" a hair bow that I had bought a while ago at Gymboree {I'm ashamed to admit that I paid $8 for}.  It was simply a hair elastic with multiple  pieces of ribbon attached.

I've turned to making hair "stuff" for the kids because they are notorious for losing their ribbons, bows, and headbands, or simply giving them away to friends...wouldn't you know the $8 Gymboree bow is of course one that is MIA.

These were super simple to make.  I finished three of them in 15 minutes.  {one escaped before I could get it in the photo...kids!}

Here are the supplies you will need:
hair ties {ponytail holders}
needle & thread
fray check {I suggest using for the ribbon ends}

I started out cutting a number of strips of ribbon each 12 inches long.  I did about 7 to 8 strips for each hair bow.  The more strips of ribbon, the more "full" it will be.

I divided my ribbon strips into two piles, and found the center of each pile by folding it in half.  

I then simply laid half of the strips across a hair tie {ponytail holder} and hand sewed around and around to attach the ribbon.  Then I took the other half of the ribbon strips {turning them to make an x with the other strips} and hand sewed to attach them as well.

After attaching all the ribbon, you're done! Now if we can just keep them in our possession until the fourth...

I appreciate you stopping by!

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June 27, 2012

Crafting with the Kiddos {freezer paper stenciling}

My little "chickens" love doing crafty stuff.  I love that they're so creative!

This summer, once a week, I plan a "special" craft for them to do beyond their buckets of crafts and ideas.

The project this week...freezer paper stenciling! 

If you recall from this post, I recently freezer paper stenciled for the first time and loved it.  It was easy enough so I thought it could be a blast for my 6 and 7 year old.

I picked up some cheap shirts at Walmart for $3.47 each.  I already had the freezer paper and fabric paints.

The original plan was for the kids to draw out their design ideas on paper and then I would make them on the computer or "tweak" them a bit.  But, I decided why "tweak" them or try to make them look "neater".

The girls each drew their design on the freezer paper.  {They chose to make 4th of July designs}

I did the cutting out of the design as well as the prep work.

I gave them the quick "low down" on stenciling...set them up with paint and brushes...and let them go to town.

My opinion is that they turned out really cute {I especially like that they're very "kiddish"}.

They've already asked to do it again sometime.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by!  I'd love for you to "follow" my blog along!

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Nesting {a year late?} Linen Closet Organization

My hubby is out of town for work this week {which is not abnormal}.  Typically when he is traveling one of two things happens...{1} I go on a late night sewing "frenzy" once the kids are in bed, or {2} I clean and organize like a mad woman!

The latter of the two has happened this go round.  I had every intention of working on several sewing projects.  However, after not being home lately and being on the constant run with all the kids I decided enough was enough and that I needed to catch up on house work.  Plus I've really felt the need to tend to the organization "bug" that has been scratching at me.

Maybe it's because I never had the opportunity to "nest" with my fourth child, or that I never got to really organize after our move???

While {attempting} to put towels away after doing {9!} loads of laundry I came upon this mess...I'm pretty embrarrased to even show it!  I also think that certain little {independent} children are to be blamed for a fair amount of the mess...
{sorry for the quality...taken with phone}

A sudden urge rushed over me {since the littlest ones were sleeping}, and I had to do something at once!

I operate/live/breathe much easier when everything is organized and clutter free.  Am I crazy or alone in this?

I emptied the entire closet.


Threw {and threw...and threw...oh how I L-O-V-E to purge things!!!}.

Made a quick trip to the dollar store for some inexpensive {plastic/bathroom safe} containers.

Found a home for everything.

Breathed a sigh of relieft once all was in place...

Here's the after...it's not going to hit the pages of Better Homes & Gardens, but at only $5 and a little bit of time, it already brings much joy to my eyes.

The waaay tippy top shelf...things I definitely don't want a child to get into...

Next down...a place for everything {labeled with dry erase marker so the hubby has no excuses}...

Towels...neatly in a row...
mommy's - wash cloths - kids

Swim diapers, Hand towels, and tooth brushes at child "access" level...

Hair "stuff"...

 And...our monthly diaper supply...

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Do you have any great and inexpensive ways you like to get and stay organized?  I'd love to hear about them.


June 25, 2012

i won the lottery!!!

I'm not usually one to gloat, but...

I won the lottery!!!

OK, maybe it wasn't the lottery, but it sure felt just as awesome as I could imagine winning the lottery would be. Actually, in my world this pretty much DOES compare to the lottery.

Recently I started following this fantastic blog...I really cannot get enough of her.  I love her posts and creativity, and I just imagine she is one of those women that is so kind and is sweet as pie. 

Well it turned out she was doing a giveaway on her blog for a Shabby Apple gift certificate. I don't know about you but I absolutely L-O-V-E Shabby Apple!  I just adore ALL of their clothes.

I hardly ever enter giveaways, drawings, etc. {because I never win and always sometimes feel disappointed}, but I decided to enter this one...a girl can dream about winning, right?  So I entered...and then truth be told kind of forgot about it {with all the entries I probably wasn't going to win anyway}.

A few days ago I found myself up feeding a baby in the middle of the night.  By the time I got my little guy to go back to sleep I was wide awake, so I decided to check my email since I hadn't since early in the day.  Can you imagine my excitement when I saw an email from Delia saying that I had one the Shabby Apple gift certificate???

I was absolutely giddy!!!  I was on cloud 9!  So much so that I had to wake my husband to tell him...{I don't think he shared my excitement or appreciated me waking him considering he had NO clue what Shabby Apple was}.  Fortunately he had no problems falling back to sleep.

So, in addition to all of the busy-ness, excitement, and fun I have been having with all the little munchkins lately, I have been searching, viewing, trying and trying to decided what I am going to be getting from Shabby Apple.  Can I just get it all???

Thank you so much for stopping by!  If you've been visiting and enjoying my posts, I hope you will sign up to follow me.

And...if you haven't already I encourage you to check out Delia Creates{she has some great sewing and craft projects, along with lots of other fun stuff} as well as to go "swoon" over all the adorable clothes at Shabby Apple.


June 22, 2012

Coffee Table Re-do {uber budget friendly}

Welcome.  Happy Friday!

I'm happy to share with you my most recent project...a coffee table re-do.  I am really mostly happy with how it turned out.  {We'll see if I actually keep it this way or re-do it again...my style seriously changes as quickly as the seasons!}

The best part of it all...{drum roll}...the entire "thing" cost under $20! {so cheap that I won't feel bad if I re-do it again next month.}

I ran into a couple "hitches" with this re-do {hence why I may be changing it}.
  1. my paint colors weren't quite what they were intended to be. {my bottom coat was supposed to be a deep brown/gray but turned out a medium gray, and my top coat was supposed to be a really light, creamy tan/linen color that came out nearly white!}
  2. while I do really like the table, it has now made me really dislike my sofas...{maybe recovering them could be in my future???}
So...here is the piece that inspired the whole direction of this project and the direction of our living room scheme.  

Here is the table before...REALLY not MY style at all.  I really didn't care for the tinted glass.  {I completely understand some people really like this style and finish of furniture, it's just not for me.}

Here is the table after...{sorry for the NOT great pictures...I really need to get in for my camera classes}

The process was quite easy and quick.  I started by cleaning it and sanding it down.  

Next, I used a primer and paint in one and did two coats {sanding in between each coat} of my dark gray {bottom color} that I wanted to sand down to {for that aged/worn down look}.

Then {much to my husband's confusion}, I went over it with my light linen nearly white color.  Once dry with the coverage that I desired, I lightly sanded corners, edges, and a bit of the top flat surfaces to "reveal" the gray until I got the desired effect.

The glass squares in the top threw me for a bit of a loop. I went through a few different "ideas" and "tests" before I finally wondered what would happen if I Mod Podged onto the pieces of glass.  I decided to just go for it.  I found a roll of wrapping paper that I liked and Mod Podged that onto the glass.

My Mod Podged glass tiles...

Of course a photo shoot in my house wouldn't be complete without being "photo bombed" by one of my children...

What do you think?  Too light...too white???

Thank you for stopping by!

June 21, 2012

Mod Podge {i've got a secret}

Today I'm a Mod Podging fool.

"Big deal", you say.  People have been doing it for years.  Right?  Even my own mother told me the other day about things she used to Mod Podge back in the 70's.

Well, I did it for the first time. {I'm pretty sure it is turning out...whew!}  I had NEVER Mod Podged before...don't tell my husband.

I decided to Mod Podge {without bothering to practice first} on my coffee table project.  My husband happened to be home and curiously observing when I was doing this, so I had to play it really cool and act as though I completely knew what I was doing. {He was a little skeptical of the whole "make-over" in the first place.}

Admittedly, I was Googling for Mod Podge tips WHILE doing my project.  I found this awesome blog with tons of tips and ideas, it's called Mod Podge Rocks!  Maybe you've heard of it or been there before.  If not, I recommend checking it out.

The whole table is coming along really well.  I am hoping to have it all put together for a reveal very soon!

The best part...  The entire cost of the project is coming in at less than $20!!  Yes, that is TWENTY dollars!

Next I need to get back to working on the tutorial for my easy breezy summer top found here.

Don't you just love projects that are budget friendly?

June 20, 2012

A Sneak Peak...

I'm switching things up a bit.  

I'm still working on my "wardrobe", but I have a new focus project right now.

Here's a sneak peak at the latest challenge I have taken on...

When we sold our home {moved} I was fed up {bored}with most of our old furniture, so I sold most of it.  

Buying the pieces that I am absolutely in love with {1} don't fit or work in the space we are in right now, and {2} mostly aren't in my budget right now.  

When we moved into our current home we were given {free} a set of end tables and coffee tables from an acquaintance.  I welcomed the pieces unseen via verbal description... {ummm}...the description wasn't quite accurate.  No big deal!  

When my husband went to pick the table set up he texted me before arriving home saying "I'm pretty sure you're going to be painting these". Oh, he knows me too well!

Sadly, six months later I am just getting around to working on the coffee table.

So, for the last couple days I have been armed with an idea in my head, sandpaper, paint, and more paint.

I hope this turns out!  There's always more ideas and more paint should I not like it...right?

June 19, 2012

Maxi Dress to Skirt {re-fashion}

The sewing for myself projects continue... I'm not quite sure this one can be considered a "project". It's actually a re-fashion that took all of about a half an hour {including distractions}.

I L-O-V-E maxi dresses and skirts!!!  LOVE them!  Cannot get enough of them!

They are so comfy, cool, and easy to wear in the summer. {They're pretty much the closest thing to feeling like I'm wearing my pajamas all day long without looking like a lazy bum.}

I had a knit maxi dress that I bought last summer.  After washing it the first time I noticed that it had dozens of small holes just below the bodice where the skirt connected.  Aside from the holes it had a fairly deep V in the bodice that was a little too deep for my comfort after having four children...{if you know what I mean}.

So in my closet this poor dress sat until I decided to cut it off into a maxi skirt.

This is a gray {less plunging bodice} version of the dress that I cut off.

I went out and bought the necessary amount of 2" wide elastic to go around my waist.

I cut the skirt off just above the seam connecting it to the bodice of the dress, trimming the excess fabric away so that I just had the serged seam left.  {By doing this I was able to keep the original gather of the skirt so that I wouldn't have to completely re-gather it when attaching my elastic}.

Next, I pinned the skirt to my elastic {having to gather it up just a bit more}.

I then zig-zag stiched my skirt to the elastic and was done!

The skirt is a little more full than I would typically make or prefer.  But, it works and was a very quick and easy re-fashion costing close to nothing. {I also no longer have it just hanging in my closet unworn}.

June 18, 2012

Life List {100 things}

Do you have a life list? It's kind of like a bucket list but not so morbid sounding...more like life goals. The list can be attainable, achievable, far fetched, or beyond your wildest dreams.
I didn't have one until now. Here's how mine came about...{bear with me as my mind and thought process sometimes work more like a pin ball machine or the "If You Give A Moose A Muffin" story}.

As I was driving home from dropping the two big kids at day camp the other day, the weather {dark clouds} had me thinking I wouldn't be able to go for a jog when I got home {I just VERY recently started jogging}.

THAT got me thinking about how I want to keep this jogging/running thing up and not allow it to be a quick "fad" with me.

WHICH had me remembering that back when I was 25 I stated I wanted to run a marathon by the age of 30. ***newsflash...it didn't happen! I did however have three kids by 30, so that's kind of comparable to a marathon, right?

THAT had me wondering what other "goals" or dreams I have had but have just forgotten about.

Crickets...I was drawing a blank and couldn't really think of any. I knew I should have some {or should I say I want to have goals and dreams}.

So THAT is how I got to this list that I am openly sharing with you today.  I didn't just "whip" this up in a matter of minutes.  This took time {days} to write and am certain I will have more to add to it.

This is MY list {ridiculous or not we're all different}. I'd love for you to share a couple of your wildest goals or dreams!
  1. run a marathon
  2. spend three weeks visiting my best friend in Australia
  3. live on a tropical island
  4. design a bridal boutique
  5. sell my design for a children's bookstore (see said design come to life)
  6. sew myself a swimsuit (that I like when all is said and done)
  7. get back into shape/physically fit
  8. start a blog  {started!}
  9. have 10,000 blog followers
  10. be asked to be a guest blogger
  11. take my family to Disney World
  12. write and illustrate a children's book
  13. design and own a children's boutique
  14. swim along side a whale
  15. be a contestant on wheel of fortune
  16. win a boat
  17. serve on a mission with my family
  18. serve on a mission (without my family)
  19. spend a summer in Italy
  20. watch my children grow old and happy
  21. raise kind, loving, respectable children
  22. fly an airplane again
  23. go on a hot air balloon ride
  24. vacation in Fiji
  25. live in New York city
  26. own an ocean front east coast home
  27. host an ultimate 80's party
  28. host a 20's/flapper themed party
  29. learn to play the piano
  30. learn to speak fluent French
  31. learn to speak fluent Spanish
  32. design a piece of clothing and have it worn by a celebrity on the red carpet
  33. walk in the rain on the streets of Paris
  34. visit Ireland
  35. go to a weekend spa retreat
  36. spend an entire weekend alone praying, reflecting, meditating
  37. teach a painting class
  38. learn to bake and decorate extravagant cakes
  39. swim under/near a huge natural waterfall
  40. learn to take amazing photos (no Photo Shop required)
  41. make enough money to retire my husband at a young age
  42. throw a huge surprise birthday for my husband
  43. spend a summer in Cape Cod
  44. refinish and sell pieces of furniture
  45. shamelessly have a nanny one day a week so that I could craft and sew
  46. design a wedding dress and have it worn by a bride
  47. renew my vows to my hubby on a beach
  48. have a New Foundland dog as a pet
  49. own a convertible
  50. speak to thousands of people at a conference or event
  51. take a road trip/drive the Route 66
  52. be a guest on a tv show
  53. have lunch with Princess Kate
  54. spend a Christmas in a private lodge on a snowy Colorado mountain
  55. live in a historic, quaint small town
  56. celebrate New Year's at Times Square
  57. dance with the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes
  58. attend the Kentucky Derby {extravagant hat and all}
  59. own horses
  60. boat down the entire Mississippi River
  61. get a small, very discrete tattoo
  62. visit Dubai
  63. learn to cook really awesome healthy meals the whole family loves
  64. grow a large vegetable and fruit garden
  65. ride a horse on the beach at sunset
  66. attend the summer Olympic games
  67. write travel reviews
  68. go to law school
  69. anonymously pay for a patron's dinner every time I went to a restaurant
  70. give/do a charity donor pledge "match" for a ridiculous sum of money
  71. take my children to meet my grandmother in California before she passes
  72. watch 4th of July fireworks from an airplane
  73. selflessly serve others
  74. go on an African safari
  75. hear the words "well done good and faithful servant"
  76. learn to tango
  77. make a difference
  78. be in a parade
  79. gut and remodel an old home
  80. tithe
  81. keep a daily gratitude journal
  82. make and have a collection in an art gallery
  83. read a book a week
  84. take a long trip via train ride
  85. fly the high trapeze
  86. visit and tour a castle
  87. design and sell a line of textiles
  88. spend a month in Hawaii
  89. get hair extensions
  90. sing in an 80's cover band
  91. refurbish an old "silver bullet" camper
  92. invite a homeless person to dinner
  93. earn an award
  94. be a bridal gown model for a photo shoot
  95. take my children to Sea World
  96. let my mother know often how fantastic she was and is!
  97. go on the Grand Canyon glass overlook walkway
  98. volunteer twice a month
  99. raise my son to someday be a loving, gentle, serving husband
  100. ... {this one is written in "invisible ink" - it's there, you just can't see!}
Thank you for taking the time to visit me!

June 15, 2012

Sewing For Myself {Project 1}

I've been sewing for me!

I made this shirt yesterday to wear to a baseball game that we were going to with two other couples. I know, I know, it was just a baseball game. But, even my "casual" wardrobe has been looking a bit sad.

I made up the pattern on my own, using a sweater that I had for "fit inspiration". I really like how it turned out, it's very comfy.

I'm already thinking of making another one....maybe a tutorial as well?

My "photo shoot" didn't go so well.

First, I tried to bribe my 7 year old with fruit snacks to take pics for me, but she just wasn't having it today.

So upon reading posts, tips, and suggestions of other bloggers I decided to try the self/mirror method.

It felt rather odd and awkward...

I couldn't manage to get my whole self in the shot 90% of the time.

Then I realized how awfully smudged my mirror was...right at a certain two year old's height {I think I know my culprit}. If you hadn't already noticed the smudges look below my hips down to my feet...
I was then "photo-bombed" by said two year old...

Still feeling AND looking odd and awkward...

Maybe it's the bad hair day? Throw in a pony...realize how bad my roots are looking.

It got a little better but certainly not great.

Do you have any self taking photo tips you would like to share? Or blogging photo tips in general? I would love for you to share them with me!

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