Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top Projects of 2010

I started this blog in conjunction with my Etsy shop back in March.  After a few orders, I realized that I wanted to spend my time sewing for my daughter, family and friends. 
However, I really liked my little blog.  
It’s been fun sharing tutorials and documenting projects, along with tidbits about the everyday goings on of my family.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite projects of 2010:

This was my first attempt at shirring.  I love this dress that I made for Hannah in the spring.


Then I did this one.  I repurposed a shirt from my closet to make a toddler shirt.


It took me a while, but I finally finished this sleeping bag.


I had a ton of fun on the decorations and favors for Hannah’s Cowgirl Birthday Party.


I think that my favorite project that I did this year was surprising my husband with a bedroom mini makeover.  Besides fresh paint and a new ceiling fan, I repurposed a lot of things that we already had in our home. 


I’ve got a lot more projects on my list for 2011. 
Check out other bloggers and their favorite projects here.

Happy New Year, friends!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010: Full Disclosure

Disclosure #1
I started out with silver mesh on my tree, but decided that I didn’t like it so I stayed up late one night, removed all the ornaments and switched it out for green. 


Disclosure #2
I had very good intentions of putting up our old artificial tree in the front room.  This is as far as I got.  All season long, this poor tree sat in the window wearing just one strand of lights with a box of ornaments next to it.


Disclosure #3
My grandma used to give me poinsettias every year.  This year I didn’t get one.  Shawn said that by looking at my aloe plant, he could guess why.


Disclosure #4
Our Christmas didn’t exactly go according to plan this year.  
Christmas Eve involved a trip to an urgent care facility, a 103 fever, a diagnosis of pink eye in both eyes and Shawn and I eating potato soup from Red Lobster on the couch in our pajamas. 
We had big plans to go to our church’s Christmas Eve service and Hannah woke up from her nap with red, puffy, crusty eyes.  We knew we had to take her in, or else we’d have to wait until Sunday.  Then we sat in the car and googled every pharmacy in a 20 mile radius to find one that was open on Christmas Eve. 
However, Christmas morning was our best yet!  Hannah was so excited to see what was under the tree for her.  I loved the look on her face as she opened her gifts.  As she opened each gift, she said, “Ohmygoodness! It’s Strawberry Shortcake!  Ohmygoodness! It’s a puzzle!”


She didn’t let the pink eye, fever or trauma of her parents holding her down to put drops in her eyes stop her from having a good time.  She is such a trooper!  Even when it is obvious that she is not feeling well, like in the picture below. 

After the gift opening, we discovered a leaking faucet and flooded cabinet under our kitchen sink.  Fortunately my husband has some Bob Villa tendencies and had it fixed, cleaned up and working properly pretty quickly.


By this time, I had developed some achiness, a sore throat and a fever of my own so we decided it was best to just skip the day’s festivities and stay home. 
My amazing, all-around wonderful family wouldn’t hear of it.  They brought Christmas to us!  My mom, grandma and aunt completely changed all their plans, hijacked my kitchen and pulled off an impromptu Christmas dinner at my house.  It was nothing short of a Christmas miracle.  They hauled in groceries and fixins’ and got straight down to business. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this because I was parked on the couch, being a less-than-mediocre hostess.

Christmas is over and we look forward to 2011. 
Right now, my body is achy and feverish and my throat hurts.  My daughter is coughing and “bless you-ing” (that means sneezing) and my house is in disarray.  But it’s okay.  I got to celebrate with my two favorite people and spend a quiet little Christmas in my own home. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Photos of Christmases Past And A Break

I love looking back at photos from years past. 
In 2006, Shawn and I spent the holidays gallivanting around Europe. 
It was on this trip that we talked about starting our family.


Little did we know that this would be our last Christmas as a party of two. At Christmas 2007, we had a nearly 2 month old.

As we approach Christmas 2010, I will be taking a little break from the internet to spend time with my family and focus on the real meaning of this season.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Easy-Peasy Handmade Gift Idea

A few years ago, my family cut back on the amount of Christmas gifts we gave each other.  Rather, each individual decides on a charity and makes a donation in place of the gifts we would have given each other.  And honestly, it has been such a blessing.  Last year, Shawn and I chose an organization through our church that supplies sewing machines to women in underdeveloped countries so that they can learn to not only make clothing for their families,  but items to sell to earn an income.  As you can imagine, I fell in love with this idea as soon as I learned about it. 
I sew because I love to do it. 
These women sew out of necessity.

So, while my family shopping list is pretty minimal, we love to find little ways to bless those that have blessed us during the year. 

Here’s an idea for a simple gift with a handmade touch that will show someone how much you appreciate them.

Homemade bath salts
You’ll need:
1 clear jar
(I run mine through the sanitize cycle in my dishwasher, or you can submerge them in boiling water for a few minutes)
1 scrap of fabric
Ribbon or string
Cardstock paper
Epsom salt
Baking soda
Essential Oil in any fragrance
(lavender and peppermint are my favorites)
You can also use lemon juice or vanilla extract


Mix 3 cups of Epsom salt (regular table salt won’t work – it is extremely drying to the skin) and 1 or 2 teaspoons of baking soda in a bowl.  Add 10-12 drops (more or less depending on how strong you prefer your fragrance) of essential oil and mix well.  You can also use lemon juice or vanilla extract in place of essential oil. 

Pour mixture into glass jar.  Make sure that you use a jar that seals well.  You want to keep this as dry as possible because moisture can cause the mixture to clump together.
Cover the jar with fabric and tie a ribbon on.  Attach a note with instructions to add 1/2 cup to a warm bath and relax!


 OR! If you want to make this even simpler, I found this bag of lavender bath salts at WalMart for less than $5.  You could simply pour this into jars and top it off with some festive fabric, ribbon and a note! 

Hannah’s Sunday School teachers will each be getting one of these tomorrow.  And on Tuesday, we’ll be stopping by our favorite doctor’s office to drop some of these off to some special nurses who take such good care of us all year!



Friday, December 17, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things…

Hannah says some pretty funny things these days. 
During the day, when she says something that makes me giggle, I always send a text to Shawn so that he can get in on the laugh, too.  I never want to forget these!
Hannah: (putting a scarf on) I’m going to work.
Me: Where do you work?
Hannah: New York City.
Me: What do you do at work?
Hannah: I get stuff done.  Then I come home and do Mommy work.

“It’s a good thing you’re here, Mommy.  Cuz you’re the boss!”
“Let’s ditch this nap and go to Chick-Fil-A.”
Hannah: Let’s play Jesus.  I’ll be baby Jesus.  You can be Mary. 
Me: Who will Daddy be?
Hannah: He can be Joseph.
Me: What about Papa?  Who will he be?
Hannah: He can be the sheep. 

Mommy, why does Daddy stand up to go potty?”
(After I laughed uncontrollably for a few minutes, I quickly sent a text to Shawn telling him that he must start locking the bathroom door!)

“Mommy, did God give you to me?”

Monday, December 13, 2010

Project 320 Giveaway

Pause for one minute and think about this:
How much water did you use today?
Did you take a shower?
Run a load of laundry?
Wash dishes?
Bathe your kids?

If you’re like me, you probably didn’t stop to appreciate fresh, clean water that runs to multiple sources in your home.

Now pause for a minute and imagine this:
Walking 5 miles per day for your water.
Dirty water.
Water that is so contaminated with bacteria that it kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.

Want to do something to help?  Me too!

I’m so happy to team up with the girls over at Project 320 for this year’s Giveaway Week.  All the money raised will go to charity:water to build a well to bring fresh, clean water to people that really need it.

  Up for grabs is one of my custom order pillowcase dresses, matching heart-shaped hair clip and a $15 itunes gift card.


Big Puffy Heart


The dress and hair clip will be custom made in the winner’s choice of colors, not limited to what is show above.  You’re welcome. Size newborn – girls 6.
To enter, make a $10 donation over at the Project 320 well page.  Then hop back over here and leave me a comment, including your email address.  Winner will be chosen on December 20.

Your donation is a wonderful way to help a mom in Africa bring clean, healthy water to her family. 



Sunday, December 12, 2010

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

When we were kids, my mom started “Christmas Boxes” for each of us.  Each year, we would get an ornament or two to be stashed in the Christmas Box. 
My sister and I joked about getting “another ornament for the Christmas Box,” to which my mom always said, “You’ll thank me when you get married one day.”
So, thanks, Mom.  And Grandma.  And Aunts. 
The Christmas Box has served me well.  So well, in fact, that I even started one for Hannah on her first Christmas when she was just 7 weeks old.  She’ll thank me when she gets married.  One day.

Here’s Hannah’s Christmas Box.  By the time she’s 6, I suspect that the Christmas Box will have to be a Christmas Rubbermaid Container.


This year I put a little pink tree in Hannah’s room.  I found it at Hobby Lobby for 50% off and since it was pink, I could not pass it up.  Then I found a pack of cowgirl themed ornaments that had Hannah’s name all over it.  I also added some of the decorations from her Cowgirl Birthday Party.

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Close up of the cowgirl hat…


Last weekend, we got our big Christmas tree. 
We searched until we found the perfect one…

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And brought ‘er home to decorate.  Isn’t she pretty?  Our living room feels so warm and cozy.

Video 125 0 00 10-26 
I have another tree in our dining room.  It is actually 3 little pencil trees that stay up year round.  Here’s the story:
In 2006, Shawn and I were going to be in Europe for the holidays and didn’t want to go to the trouble to get a big tree, but we also didn’t want to not have a tree either.  So, I found these little guys and decorated them in all things pink and girly.  I have a lot of special ornaments that I added so that I can enjoy them all year long.  When we moved into our house in early 2007, I set these trees up in the dining room and they have been here ever since.

102_5260 102_5261

Christmas is only 11 days away!  This time of year can be so chaotic and rushed.  At Thanksgiving, I made a promise to myself that I would slow down, relax and really enjoy this season.  That has meant saying no to certain things and declining others.  What a joy it has been to worry less about my to do list and spend time with my sweet little family!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Three Year Check Up

A few weeks ago, I took Hannah for her 3 year check up with her pediatrician.  She had a great exam and is right on track with all of her developmental milestones.  She’s still tall, around the 80th percentile and is finally starting to creep up the chart in weight percentile.  She’s been hovering around the 10th percentile since she was about 4 months old.
When we arrived, the nurse took us to our room and did something new – she gave us a little paper hospital gown.  Hannah got undressed and I put her into the gown. 
Not expecting a wardrobe change, she said,
“Mommy, did you bring a bow to match this?”
IMG00104-20101123-0933 Love her!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Laundry Day

This is what laundry day looked like at our house:


I came downstairs to find Louie, our Old English Sheepdog “wearing” one of Shawn’s shirts, hanger and all.

Turns out, a certain little someone is responsible for this game of dress up.  She drapes the shirt over him and then collapses into a heap of giggles on the floor.  


Sweet, patient Louie. 
He doesn’t seem to mind. 
In fact, I think he may actually like it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Yee Haw! A Cowgirl Birthday!

We celebrated Hannah’s 3rd birthday with family this weekend. 
Our theme? Cowgirls, of course!

 I planned and made the decorations and favors myself by spending very little and using things I already had on hand.

For example:
Tissue paper poms!  I bought a jumbo pack of pink and turquoise tissue paper and used about 9 sheets per pom, which made these pretties less than $1 each.

pom1 pom2

The cowgirl tree was made with an old Mason jar, some faux peat moss, branches from a Rose of Sharon in my backyard and scrapbook/cardmaking supplies I had in my stash.  Cute!


Each child got to take home a jar of the dry ingredients to make Bakerella’s Cowgirl Cookies!  I bought the jars at Hobby Lobby - $9 for a dozen.  I had many of the ingredients on hand and bought chocolate chips, brown sugar and M&Ms.  The pink bandanas are from Hob Lob also.  I bought 2 for $1 and cut them into small pieces for the tops.  I found the jute rope in my husband’s tool box and thought that it fit perfectly!cookies1

Tutorials for all of these lovlies coming soon!

Happy Birthday to my little cowgirl!  Love her so much!



Sunday, October 31, 2010

An Orchard, a Birthday and Trick or Treat

Last week, Hannah and I headed to a local apple orchard for some apple picking fun.  



When we got back home, we peeled, sliced and baked the apples in a homemade caramel sauce.  I’ve never made homemade caramel before, but it was quite easy.


And quite delicious!  Once the apples and caramel were in the oven, we couldn’t help ourselves from licking the remaining caramel.  Hannah was such a sticky mess that she got a bath immediately after.  The caramel kept getting in her hair, so I put her curls up into a quick up-do.  I thought she looked so cute and grow up!


With the remaining apples, I made a homemade housewarming fragrance.  I found the recipe on a blog, and I cannot remember where…
Anyways, you slice an apple, an orange and put them into a pan with water.  Add some cloves and a few cinnamon sticks.  Boil the mixture and then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer all day.  Your house will be filled with the most delicious fall scent!  You simply add more water throughout the day as it simmers down.  The oranges will fall apart and the apples get soggy, but I assure you the fragrance is incredible!


Last week was also Hannah’s 3rd birthday.  We have a party planned for her with family next weekend.  On the actual day of her birthday, Shawn and I took her to Chuck E. Cheese
for the first time.

We played a few games.


But we spent most of our time on the horse. 
Hannah is such a little cowgirl! 

And, speaking of cowgirls, here she is trick or treating.  It was no surprise when I asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween and she said a cowgirl.
cowgirl6 cowgirl7
The costume was really easy and inexpensive to put together.  The vest was Shawn’s when he was little.  When Shawn’s mom gave it to me I almost started crying!  His grandmother had made it for him, and it was special that she saved it all these years and that Hannah wore it.  Shawn brought the pink bandana, sheriff badge and pink rope back from a recent trip to Houston.  I found the cowgirl hat for less than $5 at a party supply store.  I tried to attach a pink bow to the hat, but Hannah asked me to take it off.  I guess it took away from the authenticity…
She’s the rootinest, tootinest cowgirl I know!