Friday, April 30, 2010

He’s All That

He's a man's man, my husband is.
He likes steak and buffalo wings.
He likes action movies in surround sound. 
With the volume all. the. way. up.
He rides a Harley.
And sometimes I ride with him.  (But only sometimes.)


He's been skydiving.
And driven on the Autobahn.
He camps in the wilderness and sleeps under the stars.
He likes Sports Center. He wants to be Bear Grylls.
He's an Eagle Scout and an Engineer. He was a Valedictorian.
He loves technology and gadgets, 
Although not a fan of Facebook or Twitter.
He's an ace at home improvement projects.
He's fascinated by the NYC Subway.
And likes heroic war stories.
He has a softer side.
He appreciates other cultures and customs and ethnic food.
He straightens up the house every night before he comes to bed.
He's gentle and quiet.
He’s particular about his hair products.
He's been known to carry a "man bag."
And he doesn't care what anyone thinks.
He's a great husband, father and provider.
He loves his family, friends and the Lord.
He's a leader and a gentleman.
He's been my coach, my teammate and my cheering section.
And, he's my best friend.
Happy Birthday to my sweet husband!  I love you!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Two And A Half

Dear Hannah,
Today you are 2 1/2 years old.  It feels like just yesterday you looked like this:
And now you are such a grown up little lady:
pink dress
So, what are you up to these days?
You are tiny, weighing around 28 pounds.  But, you are tall – in the 75th percentile for height. 
You love to talk.  If you are awake, you are probably talking.  You tell us stories and we have real conversations with you.  You say some of the funniest things I have ever heard!
You are daytime potty trained, but still wear a diaper or Pull-Up at night.  You love your big girl pants and you call them “panty pants.”  About 20 times a day, you tell me that your panty pants are still dry.  You are so proud to use the potty like a big girl.
Some of your favorite toys are your blocks, tea set, dishes and grocery cart.  You also love to color and do crafts.  We recently moved your art desk near my sewing machine and you love to color and paint while I sew.  You still love “Doggie” and take him everywhere with you. 


You go to bed around 8:30 and sleep until 7:30-8:00 each morning.  You take a nap from 1:00 until about 3 or 3:30 each day.  
You’ve recently developed a love of singing.  Your favorite song is “The Wheels on the Bus” and you always ask to sing it together.  You’re also a big fan of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
You have been taking tap dance for a few months and you love your teachers.  You talk about tap class all the time, but sometimes you still want me to sit in the back of the classroom instead of in the waiting room.
You love Mexican food, especially chips and salsa.  I think that you could eat it everyday.  You take after me for sure!  You do not care for Chinese food, green peppers or asparagus.  You do really well with a fork and spoon, but are still quite messy when you eat. 
Your hair is getting more and more curly.  When it gets wet, it just curls up into the sweetest little ringlets.  I put spray-in conditioner in it everyday.  Even though you don’t care for getting your hair combed or blow dried, you love to wear bows. 
You have an occasional “time-out,” mostly for doing things that you know you shouldn’t.  I hate giving you time outs, but I know that it is my job to teach you right from wrong.  One particular incident that I will never forget: You did something that you knew was against the rules. I told you to go to the time out chair and you went without objection.  When I went to get you a few minutes later, you said, “Let’s talk about this.  Do you forgive me?”
You are so sweet when you say your prayers at night.  It always makes me smile when you say, “Thank you Jesus for my mommy and daddy.”   I have had to hold back laughter when you thanked Jesus for your bows, and airplanes and doctors.  When Demi (grandma) was in the hospital recently, you asked Jesus to “make Demi better.”
I can’t believe that in another 2 1/2 years you will be 5.  As each stage and milestone comes and goes, I am always a little sad, but so excited for what is to come.  We love you more than you will ever know!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blog Swap: A Little Knick Knack

Welcome to my first ever blog swap!  Meg has an awesome blog - you must check it out.  She's crafty and witty and has some great projects, especially for kids.  We decided to swap blogs for the day and it has been ever so much fun.  Check out this project she came up with to frame photos.  Is she creative or what?  When you're finished, hop on over to her blog and check out my tutorial for a little summer dress.

First, let me introduce myself. I am Meg from A Little Knick Knack. I've had my little blog since the beginning of the year and can I just say, it is the most fun ever! I have had a blast sharing projects, meeting new people in the blog world and just generally being amazed by all the wonderful talent I see when I have time to peruse online. Right now, I'm a stay-at-home-mom with my three kids, ages 4, 3, and 2! My daughter is in preschool and the other two kids just stay at home and play with me. It's a busy life, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Along those lines, I wanted to share this fun way to share your pictures of your family and loved ones.

First, find an old piece of wood, size is really not important. I used some old wood from a project my husband was doing outside.

Next, I spray painted a coat with my heirloom white, by Rustoleum. That stuff's great! I didn't worry about getting a good solid coat on, because I knew I was going to sand it down for a worn finish.

After the paint dries, use a rough-grained sand paper to sand the edges until the original wood shows through. I like to do the edges and corners really well and then do a light sand over the surface of the wood.

After that is done, and you've wiped off the excess for a smooth finish, find some material. I used these awesome cocktail napkins I won from a give away on Finding Fabulous (which is an amazing blog, by the way--check it out!). Since I'm not a drinker and the napkins were just too fancy for my everyday use, I decided to use them for this project.

Now, grab your Mod Podge and glue those suckers on your board. I used a liberal amount of glue and used my fingers to smooth out the bubbles. After that layer dries (it doesn't take very long, about an hour), apply another layer of Mod Podge to the top of the material, again using your fingers to smooth over the top.

While that is drying, pick out some lovely pics from your printer (I like my tones in sepia, but you can do color or black and white, whatever you love!) and print them on regular printer paper.

I used some of my distressing ink to distress the pictures and then...

.I crumpled them up into tiny little balls! I know, I know! But, trust me, it's a fun look after you un-crumple and smooth them out. I wanted a kind of worn, distressed look.

Once the fabric is dry, position your pictures on your board and use the Mod Podge to glue them on the fabric. Again, wait for it to dry and apply another layer of the glue to the top of the picture.

Once all the glue is dry, use any technique you enjoy to add a more aged look to your wood. I like to use the Ralph Lauren Faux Technique Glaze in smoke. A lot of things will get you this same look, though....wood stain, watered-down acrylic paint....don't be afraid to use your imagination!

I simply used a dry towel to rub the glaze over the edges an across the fabric (I avoided the pictures) and then used another towel to wipe off the excess. The resulting look is a great way to age the wood!

I added a little leather tie to the middle of the board for some interest. Now, my board is very thick, so I simply set it up on its side to display. But, if my board were thin, I would definitely use a picture hook to display on the wall.

My lovely picture board is currently displayed on our mantle. It was a fun and cheap project and I hope you enjoyed it!

Thanks for checking out our blog swap and I hope to see you over at A Little Knick Knack soon! Thanks again, Tina, for this opportunity and I'm so happy we found each other to host this little swap!

Sumo Sweet Stuff
The Girl Creative


Link Up, Buttercup!

There are so many linky parties going on all week.  That makes lots of opportunity to show off what you’re making. 
So link up, buttercup!
Making the World Cuter Mondays-Making the World Cuter
Just Something I Whipped Up-The Girl Creative
Made By You Mondays-Skip to My Lou
Market Yourself Mondays-Sumo's Sweet Stuff
You're So Crafty Mondays-Miss Crafty Pants
Show Off Your Cottage Monday-The House in the Roses
Craftastic Mondays-Sew Can Do
Metamorphasis Monday - Between Naps on the Porch

Get Your Craft On-Todays Creative Blog
Sew Cute Tuesdays-Creative Itch
Anything Related-All thingz Related
Tot Tuesdays-Delicious Ambiguity

We Did It Wednesdays-Sew Much Ado
Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice-Seven Thirty Three
What I Whipped Up Wednesday - Sugan and Dots
Show & Tell-Blue Cricket Design
Show Off Your Stuff-Fireflies and Jellybeans
Power of Paint Party(POPP)-Domestically Speaking
We're Organized Wednesday-Organize Your Stuff Now
Hoo's Got Talent?-Night Owl Crafting
Whatever Goes Wednesdays-Someday Crafts

Strut-Your-Stuff-Somewhat Simple
Make It, Wear It-The Train to Crazy
Hookin' Up Party-House of Hepworths
Giveaway Directory-Someday Crafts
Get Your Craft On - Life as Lori

Weekend Wrap Up Party-Tatertots and Jello
Feature Yourself Friday-Fingerprints on the Fridge
Friday Fun Finds-KojoDesigns
Look At Me-It's Fun to Craft
Home and Family Friday-Home is Where My Story Begins
Everything But the Kitchen Sink - A Little Knick Knack

Check Me Out Saturdays-A Vision to Remember
Saturday Spotlight-Craft eNVy Scrappy Saturday-Bunch of Scrap
Pink Saturday-How Sweet the Sound
Sundae Scoop-I Heart Naptime with Chocolate Sundaes
Sunday Showcase Party-Under the Table and Dreaming
Sharing Time-Raising Memories
Sister Sister Sunday-Kuzak's Closet

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In The Spirit of Keeping It Real

I'm not gonna lie.  The last week and a half could have been better. But it could have been worse, too. Shawn was traveling for work and I had a brilliant idea to do another mini makeover to surprise him.  I took on the arduous task of selecting a paint color and shopped for a shower curtain and a million other accessories for our hallway bathroom.  I even took measurements in anticipation of placing an order for one of these beauties.  Then, as I was approaching the checkout line, I thought to myself, "I'm just not into this."  So, I put everything back and left the store empty handed.
And I am so glad that I did.  My body was telling me to slow down and rest.  I was having one of those weeks where you wake up feeling almost as tired as you were when you went to bed the night before. 
My bathroom still looks like this:

But I'm okay with it.  It's not terrible.  Just a little blah and vanilla. I once had a friend describe my decorating selections as "death by almond." She's right.  I tend to go with the bland, neutral colors.  Which is surprising because I really love bold colors and sparkles.  I just get all nervous at the last minute and end up going with what's safe.  Someday I hope to use this as a "before" picture and have a stunning "after" photo to show.  (Yes, that is a toddler toilet seat and step stool covered in Mickey Mouse stickers. Just keepin' it real.)
While Shawn was gone, my mom gave us a little scare and unexpectedly spent a few days in the hospital. She's okay and finally home.  Thanks to my wonderful friends and family (you know who you are!) for the phone calls, emails, texts and for stepping in to help me manage all of the additional responsibilities that I took on while she was in the hospital and Shawn was gone.   (Aunt Chris, you go ahead and book us a day at the spa because the pedi's are on me!)
Hannah and I did enjoy some gorgeous Ohio spring weather, except for one morning of rain.  So we did what any two girls would do and put on our slickers and splashed around the sidewalk with our "brellies and wellies."  How very British of us.

I did find a little bit of time to start on a summer dress for Hannah.  Using this tutorial, I began my very first shirred dress. Actually it was my first shirred anything.  I don't know why I have been so intimidated by elastic thread!  I bought three spools of the stuff last summer and it has sat unused since.  I finally got it out and got to work. I found this adorable cherry fabric on sale for $4 per yard.  So, while Hannah napped I began this:

It really is easy to do.  And the tutorial explains step by step how to do it, starting with winding your thread by hand (very important detail!) to finishing off with a blast of steam from your iron.
Meg from A Little Knick Knack and I are going to be doing guest posts on each other’s blogs on Monday, so check out Meg’s blog to see the finished product!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Customer Appreciation: About a Boy

Because I’m mom to a girl, I don’t stray far from ruffles and dresses and pink.  So when Evan’s mom got in touch with me to make a shirt for his second birthday, I went straight to work.  Knowing that Evan is a big fan of Elmo and Sesame Street, I found a festive print fabric with the cast of characters with balloons, cakes and party hats. 

Check out the birthday boy at his party. 


Seriously, could he be any cuter?

Thanks to Evan’s mom for the great photo!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So that you keep the square

My husband travels internationally a lot.  One of his favorite things to do is find signs, hotel and tourist literature that are poorly translated into English.  When he is traveling abroad, I totally look forward to text messages containing photos such as these:

The other day, I was checking out the stats on my blog and I was surprised to see that I had over 160 hits from Turkey.  The country.  I asked Shawn if he knows anyone in Turkey and he said no.  So I started linking back to the information provided by StatCounter and found this.
Yep, it's the jewelry board that I made from a t-shirt, and it was featured on a Turkish craft blog.

Since I don't speak a lick of Turkish, I clicked on the "translate to English" button so nicely provided by Google to be able to read the post title and comments.  The post featuring my jewelry board was titled, "So That You Keep The Square."  And underneath that?  "I was nice to hang jewelry projects."

It was rather nice of me to hang jewelry projects, wasn't it?  I guess. So long as I keep the square.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lady In Red

I have a college friend who lives in New York City. 
She moved there right after we graduated with a mere $400 in her pocket. 
She's now lived there long enough to be considered a true New Yorker.  
And she's hip enough to refer to NYC simply as "The City." 
Ya know, as in "We"ll be in Ohio for Christmas but have to be back in the city on Monday."

Recently, she sent me this picture of her totally. adorable. little beebee wearing the dress
and bloomers that I gifted to her. 

Instead of mentioning the custom embroidery job I did on the bloomers, let's just take a minute
and acknowledge what's really important here.

Oh, those delicious, yummy, chubby baby thighs!  NOM NOM NOM! 
The red beebee dress reminded me of the bridesmaid dress I wore on her wedding day in 2006. 

See? We both have a thing for "The City."
And red dresses.
And beebee thighs.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Recap

Before I became a mom, everyone told me that the holidays are so much more fun when you have kids.  They sure were right! 


We had a fabulous Easter.  Sunday morning we got dressed in our Easter best:

And found our Easter baskets.

We headed off to church and heard a great sermon. Then it was time for the big family celebration.  Our families really do it up at Easter!  It is just as big of a holiday as Christmas for us.  In fact, our celebration is so big that we actually rent a hall because there are so many of us that we simply won't all fit in one house!  There's tons of food, desserts and fun for the little ones. 

I love these two!

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."  John 11:25-26

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dressed to Impress

If you know me in real life, you know that last summer was spent making all kinds of clothes for Hannah.  There's just something about little girls and summery dresses!  Here's a look back at some of my favorites.

1. The Shirt Dress

Using the tutorial I found here, I took one of Shawn's shirts that he no longer wore and turned it into a sweet little dress.  At the time of this picture, Hannah was about 21 months old.  The pattern was for a 2-3T, so I had to go back and make significant alterations because she is one tiny gal.  I have since made lots more dresses for her using this same basic pattern, but making adjustments for sleeve length and such.  The joke in our house is that Shawn is going to wake up one morning and not have a shirt to wear to work because I turned them all into dresses for our daughter. 

2.  The Ruffle Sleeve Shirt

Using another fabulous tutorial by Dana, I was so happy with the way this one turned out.  I loved the brown, pink, blue and green print contrasted with the coordinating stripes.  This turned out to be a versatile piece because Hannah wore it in the summer with skirts and shorts, and in the fall, I paired it with a long sleeve shirt, jeans and boots.

3.  The Peasant Dress

Using the same basic pattern as the Shirt Dress, I adjusted the sleeve length to make this cute little dress for early fall.  I fell in love with the brown damask contrasted with pink.  Again, this dress has been worn a variety of ways - last fall with tights and a little cardigan and now that the weather is finally getting warm, it will be worn as a shirt!