Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I know it's been around for awhile and
you could say I have a tendency to get stuck in 
the dark ages electronically but......

How did I not know how amazing this is?
I am loving it!
I'm still learning the navigation around it
and all but I know the basics....obviously-
I've pinned over a hundred things in a couple days.
My little guy's birthday party is Saturday and I 
am knee deep in pirate stuff.
Pinterest has supplied me with soooo many
ideas and solutions to ideas that I already had in my head
but didn't quite know how to carry out. 
Here are a few of them:
These ships from icandyhandmade.
(click on pictures to go to blogs)
How amazing are these?
This is the main thing I was trying to figure
out how to do when I started searching.
Tables turned into ships at

 Kitchen table turned into a ship at
wants and wishes design shop on etsy.
This is actually a kit you can purchase but
I think I'm going to try and wing it for the party.
These bottles and punch dispenser at 
And that's just a peak!

A friend of mine told me that Pinterest
is like "Internet crack and heroine" .
Addicting and hard to stop......
she wasn't exaggerating.

Want to see my pins?
click here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

~wardrobe overhaul~

Back in the days before I became a stay-at-home
momma, I had a REALLY NICE wardrobe.
I worked in a doctors office and I took full
advantage of the dress code. 

I was always in slacks, skirts or dresses.....
even when I went out.  I seldom wore jeans
and in fact, I only owned two pair!
Those were the days when I could spend money
on clothes and not think twice about how practical
it was or if I would be able to wear it with 
anything else. The shoes...well-let's just say
my motto was, "The higher the heel, the better."
I didn't care about comfort and I LOVED
dressing up. I would spend so much time
preparing my outfits each day for work.
It brought me so much pleasure.
It still does......I just don't get to do it much anymore.

After I had my first baby I got rid of most of
my nice clothes within months of giving birth.
I tried them on, they didn't fit the same way they
had before, so I got rid of them out of frustration.
This has been something I have regretted so
many times since then. I didn't allow my body
enough time to recover before getting 
rid of the clothes. The clothes I got rid of
were nice and most of them were classic
pieces that I paid a significant amount of money
for because of that very reason....
timeless pieces that would last.

Now-a year after my last baby, the clothes I did 
keep are fitting me again and I am soooo
mad I don't have the others still.
The chances that I will be able to afford clothes
like that again anytime soon are very slim.

Motherhood and days at home have changed my
wardrobe. Yes-most of what I wore before would
not be practical for my everyday life here with the
kids BUT I could have changed the way I wore
them and what I paired them with. Looking at me
most days now does not convey how much I 
love fashion. It's actually what I went to
college for.....did you know that? 
Although I love sewing clothes and crafts for
my kids and home, I especially love sewing clothes
for myself. I RARELY do that anymore.

So...now I get to the whole point of this story-
my wardrobe is in dire need of an overhaul.
After the holidays are over I am going to make
it a project of mine to get my wardrobe back
to a place that I am proud of. I want my closet to be
a place I go to feel happy and inspired.
Because I don't have the spending fund I did in the past,
I'm going to be doing much of this as 
DIY projects. I will be sharing these with you all
in the month of January. 
30 Days of "momma's makeover"
Some of them will be new pieces I make from
scratch, others from pieces I have re-fashioned.
After months and months of kids, home and
Christmas projects...this will feel like a
breath of fresh air for me. 

If you have anything you want to share 
during this time let me know.....I'll gladly share
the floor with you :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

~Thanksgiving table decorations~

Remember I was saying I wanted to decorate
my table for Thanksgiving dinner?
But I wanted to keep it simple?
Is it coming back to you now?

Well-this is what I came up with:
Nothing too fancy and extravagant but still nice.
I wanted to use things I had on hand and because
I waited until 2 hours before, I didn't really have a choice.
(my daughter's birthday party was the night before!)

First off, I took some tulle I had on hand and tied
it around the backs of the chairs. I then took some
ribbon I had and tied a bow at the center.
I didn't have enough tulle for them to match,
they were all different colors. I did have enough
ribbon so I figured since the tulle was all the same
color palette, the ribbon would bring it together.
The tablecloth was my Grandma's. 
I put it over a plain white sheet.
For the center of the table I put a 
Thanksgiving table runner I've had for years
and never really used. I know it looks better with
some type of arrangement in the center but 
it's just not realistic if you want to fit lots of
food on the table. Plus-it blocks the view when
you're trying to talk to a person on the other
side of the table. So-for these reasons,
I didn't put an arrangement in the center.

For the place settings I got out one 
of my dish sets and placed them on some 
green place mats I have.  The napkins go
with the set of place mats. I've had them for years.
I only had two napkin rings like this so for the
other two I tied raffia around the napkin as if
it were a ring.

This was my favorite part....
the name cards.
I got some pine cones out of my Christmas
decorations, stuck a fall leaf in it and placed
the name card in it. I got these name cards
at Michael's last year after Thanksgiving
for 50 cents a package. There are 12 per pkg.
It was just us and my husband's Grandma for dinner
so we were all able to fit at the kitchen table.

Grandma kept commenting about how pretty the 
table looked....she loved everything about it.
The funniest thing she said about it,
"Oh my...you even have matching dishes!"
She loved the napkin rings and wondered what 
the heck they were....she'd never seen them before.
She couldn't get over the tulle around the chairs,
"What is this material? I've never seen it before.
WOW...it's beautiful."

We had a great dinner and even had enough room
on the table for the food:
Considering I had to throw it together at the last
minute I was pleased with the outcome.
I love setting a nice table. I wish I had the 
opportunity to do this more often.

I hope your Thanksgiving was filled 
with all things beautiful that you love.

~personalized cupcake toppers~

My little lady turned 1 a couple days ago.
I can't believe it. 
WOW....that year flew by!
For her birthday I decided to make cupcakes
for everyone instead of a cake.
I thought about buying some cute cupcake
toppers but got a great idea to make 
some with the pictures I've been taking of 
her at each month mark.
I loved the way they turned out
and everyone had fun looking at them.

 I know the pictures aren't the greatest but
I think you get the idea. 

To make them I printed up the pictures,
cut them out and then just used clear packing tape
to cover and attach them to the toothpick. 
For the rest of the toppers I tied ribbons around
the top of the toothpicks and called it good.
I learn so much with each party I have for the kids.
What I learned from this one:
cupcakes would have photographed better if
they were lined up on something flat instead.
Also-don't wait until the last minute to get things done.
Have it done before the actual birthday so I can 
enjoy the birthday with them :)

This week my mind is on one thing:
Pirate Party.
My little guy's birthday party is in one week
and I have A TON of stuff to do. I want to get it
finished within the next few days so I'm not scrambling
at the last minute and stressed out. 

I have found some super cute ideas.
I just got introduced to Pinterest.
I love it!
Now if I could just figure out how to use it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

~semi-homemade girls outfit~

The little neighbor girl had a birthday
yesterday and this is what I made for her:
I call it semi-homemade because I bought the
shirt and just embellished it to match the skirt.

The circle skirt is soooo easy.
I found the tutorial for it at MADE.
I have made these for all my nieces. 
I think they are so feminine and cute.
I can't wait for my little lady to be big enough
to wear skirts like this.

I made the leg-warmers with socks I 
bought at the dollar store.
These are so easy to make. 
I'll put a tutorial up here soon for that....
you can do them in 5 minutes flat.
This semi-homemade stuff is my kind of style
I've decided. It's quick and easy. It's inexpensive
and it's just what a tired momma like myself 
needs right now. I think you may be seeing more
of this semi-homemade stuff from me in the future.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

~christmas countdowns~

Want a super easy gift idea for your
neighbors, friends or sibling with kids?
I made these Christmas countdowns 
for some folks I know and I want to share
them with you.

The center snow-flake is painted with
chalkboard paint. Each day you erase it
and put the new number of days on it. 
My little guy can't wait to write the new
number on each day. 

To make this you'll need:

-any size frame with glass
(I used 8X10)
-scrapbook paper
-chalkboard paint
-hot glue gun
-printer or stickers for words
-wood disc ornament thingy
(whatever shape you want)
-embellishments of your choice

To start off with I used my Word program
on my computer and printed up the
words "days til Christmas" on my paper.

Next, I fit the paper to the glass of the frame
and wrapped the double layered ribbon around
the glass and paper and taped it in place.
Like this:

Not very pretty from the back but no one will see that.
After you have that done put the whole thing back into the 
frame and attach the frame backing board.
From the front it will look something like this:
 Now the fun part:

go ahead and embellish this however you'd like.
I used fancy snowflakes I got at the dollar store.

Hot glue them directly to the glass and ribbon.
Once you're done embellishing you can put your
little chalkboard piece on.
I was initially going to make a hanging ribbon
with the chalk attached but instead decided
to use the ribbon as a pocket for the chalk.
Like this:
That's it.
I made 4 of them in a short amount of time.

  33 days and counting!
I'm not ready for Christmas yet and it's 
driving me insane.....
Once I get thru 2 kids birthdays and
Thanksgiving dinner (all in 12 days)
I can focus on Christmas.
I hope I don't go crazy within that time.
I'll keep you posted on that :)

linking up with Positively Splendid.

Monday, November 21, 2011

~damaged goods-update~

a while back that they were going to 
make me pay for?
This here's an update to that story......
So-I go back to the library to
pay for this book. In return, they were
suppose to give me the book I had damaged.
I thought I would give it one last ditch effort
before I forked over the cash for
this MINIMALLY damaged book.
To start off with, I dealt with a different 
person this time. A really sweet young gal.
I told her that I was there to pay for a book
that they told me I had to replace
 because it was "un-usable". She went in
the back and got the book in question and looked
at it herself and said, "Are you kidding me?"
She agreed with me, the damage was barely
recognizable and the book was far from
ruined. She told me she couldn't over-ride the
fee without an approval from her supervisor...
but she wasn't there that day.
Long story short.....
I ended up speaking to the library manager
that day and she thought it was 
they had attempted to make
me buy a new book. 
They reversed the fine and put the book 
back on the shelf. 
Can I get a woot woot?!
I wasn't kidding or exaggerating when I told
you that the damage was barely noticeable. 

Friday, November 18, 2011


Do you decorate for Thanksgiving or do
you skip that and go right from 
Halloween to Christmas? 

I've always dreamed of decorating a beautiful
table for Thanksgiving dinner but I haven't 
as of yet. It doesn't seem realistic once
you get all the food on the table. 
Sure, I've seen TONS of beautiful table settings
but let's see how that looks with a feast on
the table and a bunch of people sitting there too. 

That being said, we are having a very low key 
dinner this Thanksgiving. Just us at home with
our little family and my husband's Grandma.
I think I'm going to take a stab at a pretty 
table dressing this year. I want to keep it 
really simple and toned down and most of all

So-on that note, let me share with you
another of my Thanksgiving decorations.
I made this a few years back with some vinyl I
got from an old high school friend at a girls
reunion party we had. The wood it's on is
from my Grandpa's old barn. Although I
love the way it looks I don't recommend 
using barn wood on vinyl projects unless you
are prepared to spend lots of time trying to 
get it to stick! This was a bugger.....
After I got the vinyl attached I embellished
it with a bit of fall foliage that I got at Michaels. 

It's one of my favorite Thanksgiving decorations.
To me it symbolizes the two things I am most
grateful for in this world.....
Family AND Friends.

The wood is representative of my 
Grandparents, the legacy they created
and the love my family has always offered me.
The vinyl is representative of my friends
and the joy and support they have
always been in my life. 

Some of you are familiar with the saying on it..
it's from a church hymn. Just saying it out loud
makes me laugh and smile. It takes me back
to a church pew, sitting with the Dana girls,
holding back laughter as we are listening
to the lady in front of us belting this out
in her best opera voice.
I can hear it now.....
"Count your many blessings. Name them one by one."
....and I am laughing again!
If you thought this was going to end on 
a reverent note, you were wrong. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

~kids jammies~

One of the traditions in our home that
has been passed on from my childhood
 is new jammies on Christmas Eve. 

I usually make these each year 
because they are soooo easy.
It's also usually the first on my
list of Christmas projects that I complete.....
for the same reason....
because they are so easy. 

For my little guy's pants I used a
NEW LOOK pattern #6131

 For the top I bought a plain t-shirt at
Walhell for $4 and put an applique on it.

For my little lady I used 
McCall's pattern #3665 for the bottoms.
(Thanks for the patterns Nanc!)
The bum has ruffles....
I love that.

 For her top I took one of her
plain onesies and added sleeves and
a heart applique. I thought adding the sleeves
would be a piece of cake. I'm not gonna lie here....
it was a pain in the butt! It was awkward trying
to get it into my sewing machine at the right
angle and sew on such a tiny piece of
material. It took me way longer than it
should have. Next time will be better.

I'll give you one guess to figure out
where I got the fabric......

If you guessed the box of fabric from 
my Mom you were right! I'm telling 
you-that is really the gift that keeps on giving.
To say it's a box is a little understated.
It was actually about 4 boxes. 

Looks like I can cross these off the list.
Next up-
Wish me luck.
My boy has high expectations for these.
He wants them to look like a bear or a deer?!
We'll see what I can come up with.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

~bookshelf re-do~

I've been looking for a little tiny bookshelf
for my little lady's birthday.
I don't need something permanent yet,
just something for her little board books
temporarily until she gets a little taller.
I want to eventually install 
some nice ones on the wall. 

I couldn't find one small enough and
realized finally that I would have to 
make do with something else.
I found a small bathroom shelf at 
the Salvation Army for $2.
I wiped it down and disinfected it
before spray painting it glossy white. 

Next I cut a piece of fabric to fit the 
dimensions of the back of the shelf.
I used spray adhesive to attach it.
Be sure to flatten it down on all sides and 
ends with a credit card or something. 
 The final step was gluing some ribbon onto
the edge of the top shelf. I ripped it off thinking
I was going to replace all of the edging but 
realized as soon as I did that it was going to 
be more work than I wanted to do.
Because of this I had to cover it 
with something else.
I used some ribbon I had on hand.

 I am pleased with the final result.
It will do for now,
especially taking into consideration 
that it only cost $2.
I had all the other supplies on hand.
Knowing my little gal,
this will be a great form of entertainment
for her. She'll rip the books out,
look at them, chew on them and
then try to stack them back on it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

~veterans day momentos~

Each Veteran's Day I like to recognize the veterans
I personally know. Whether that be by mailing them
a card, calling them or writing something
on my family blog about them and their service. 
My husband's Grandpa proudly served in
the U.S. Navy during WWII. It's been nearly
a year since he died and I wanted to be sure 
to acknowledge his service even though he's not
with us anymore. It disappoints me
that the stores really don't have much to 
offer for those wanting to acknowledge 
the importance of this day. I suppose
Christmas is much more profitable 
for the retailers. Even in the greeting
card section I could only find 4 different cards
for Veteran's Day (I bought 3 of them).

For Grandpa I decided to make a personalized
ornament to hang at his headstone.
Remember all those Christmas bulb ornaments I got 
last year? They came in handy again. I'm finding there
is a ton to do with these ornaments. I'm going to stock
up on a bunch of them again this Christmas.

I printed up a picture of him as a young, handsome naval dude
and put it inside the bulb with some
star shaped confetti. I then decorated the bulb
with some Americana stickers and ribbon.
Finally, I attached it to a wooden dowel.
Grandma was happy to go with me and it brought
tears to my eyes to hear her talk to Grandpa
and tell him she was proud of him for 
his service as she placed the flag at the base of
his headstone. Before the tears could
leave the corners of my eyes though she had
me laughing with the next sentence.....
"I hope it's not too hot down there."
Wherever you may be Grandpa....:)
thank you for your service.
Happy Veteran's Day. 

OUR VETERANS.  They are veterans everyday....
not just one day a year.

The sacrifice of a veteran and his/her family is 
so great.  And don't assume the sacrifice
ends when their tour does. Most of the wounds of
war aren't visible, physical wounds. Many veterans are 
"emotionally serving" their whole lives. 
The emotional trauma of war can effect
the quality of life for the veteran
and for the family as well.
If you've ever loved a person who's been
to war you know this firsthand. 
If you don't, consider yourself informed now.
They deserve respect and recognition.....
give it to them.

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