Wednesday, December 5, 2012

By this time tomorrow. . . .

we should be starting in to some of our projects at the new house.  I am so excited  (and a little nervous!) about this exciting change.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

New House Excitement

One of the main reasons Tim and I were so interested in the house we are buying is the almost half acre yard (which is not very common any more in the suburbs around us.)

Half of the backyard is fenced in, perfect for the dog we plan on getting next spring and for my small children that like to wandering off.  We plan building a huge sandbox

I'm excited to have all of this wonderful outdoor entertain space.  I really hope we have the money (and find a really good deal on)  some outdoor furniture, since we only have patio table and chairs.  I'm not really sure what I would pick out, even without a budget.  It looks like I'll have to scope out some ideas on pinterest. Any recommendations on where to find some fun pieces?  

The built-in fire pit is another exciting feature.   I can't wait to have our first party next spring.  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

4 more days. . . .

Until we close on our new house!  I can't wait!  And then 13 more days until we move in completely.   It will go by fast.
One of our first projects once we move in is to take down the horrible wallpaper in the two upstairs bedrooms.  I wish I had pictures of the horrible 1980s floral loveliness.  I'll post some after we close.
The boys have decided that they would like to continue to share a room for now.  (Carter was concerned that Jack might get scared at night without him.)  I plan on painting the walls of their room blue, but I'm not exactly sure what shade yet.  I'm toying with the idea of a pirate- themed room, but I'm not 100% sure on how to make it cute, but not cheesy.
Choosing a master bedroom color is a much more difficult choice.  Our current bedding from when we got married 6 years ago.  The pattern is Calvin Klein Bamboo Flowers.

Tim and I both still like the design, but after six years the bedding is starting to show some wear.  I'd love to paint our bedroom something that works with our current bedding, but would be fine with what we might choose for new bedding.  Tim is extremely fussy about colors and patterns, so it's going to be challenge to find something we both like.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

12 Projects of Christmas: Wood Ornaments

One of my goals for myself is to complete 12 projects before Christmas and blog about them.  I'm going to try to involve my kids whenever possible.  They love to help.  By involving them in creating gifts for our friends and family, they can learn how much fun it can be to give (especially something you worked hard to make!).

On pinterest, I saw a cute project Mod Podge, scrapbook paper, wood ornaments likes these.

My local Joann's and Michael's didn't have anything similar and I didn't want to wait to get them from some place online.  So instead I found some wooden stars in the regular wood cut-outs sections.  After attempting the original project by myself, I decided it would be too frustrating for the kiddos.  So I replaced it with washable markers.  I also had picked up a couple packs of assorted ornament shapes to color.  (My 4

It was easy enough that Jack, my two year old, was able to participate.  Carter, my four year old, was busy working on his ornaments for over an hour.  

I plan on using them as gift tags for our presents this year.  

Friday, November 9, 2012


The new house is getting appraised today.  I'm extremely nervous about it.  We're 99% sure it won't appraise for the price we've agreed to because of the comps in the area.  We're hoping to be able to negotiate to whatever it actually appraises for.  The seller so far has proven to be very stubborn, so the whole deal could fall apart.  I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but Tim and I both can imagine our future in this house.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


We playing the waiting game again.  We place another offer on the same house we were trying to get before.    Two weeks after we had originally walk away from negotiations the sellers had lowered their price.  Tim and I hadn't been able to get this house out of our head.  Even though Any house that was in our price range and in one of the school districts I would be okay with the boys attending we had already seen.  So we started negotiating again.
Our biggest issue has been the difference between what the seller thinks the house is worth and what the house will probably appraise from.  We finally worked out a deal that we would split the cost of the appraisal,so if the seller can't agree to sell the house for the price it's actually worth, we wouldn't have wasted as much money.
The appraisal was ordered Monday, so now we're just waiting to get it scheduled.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012


We moved out of our townhouse a week and a half ago.  Tim and I were a lot more emotional about it than we expected to be.  It was the first place we lived in together.  The place where we brought our babies home from the hospital.  The place where we remodel together.  Even though we had outgrown the space, it was still hard to say goodbye.
We are currently living in my parents until we can close on a house.  (Which has it's own set of challenges that I'll write about another day.)  The house we put an offer on over a month ago is back to negotiations.  It's any one's guess whether this will ever end up as our home because we still have many hurdles to jump in the negotiations.  If all goes well, we could be moving in December.  The market is really slowing down for the holidays, so if this deal doesn't work out, we may have to come up with a different short term plan.
The boys are handling it about as well as a 2 and 4 year old can.  Carter is very moody these days.  Pretty much anything can cause a meltdown.  (A bad cold is also contributing to this, too.)  Jack has almost completely stopped napping and is up 3-4 times a night screaming.  They're trying to be so good, but living at my parents' house screwed up pretty much all routines in their lives.  I am thankful Carter has school three mornings and week and Jack has ECFE one morning, so we have at least one thing that has stayed constant for them both.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I thought life might slow down here a little bit after we sold our townhouse, but it seems to have only gotten crazier.  As of right now, we are set to move out of our home next weekend and move in with my parents.  We had hoped it would only be for a few weeks, but it may end up being quite a bit longer.
We made an offer on a house last week.  It wasn't  perfect, but had most of our "must have" requirements.  The yard was huge.  There would have been plenty of room for a swim set, sand box, and for a large garden for time.  The house needed updates, but it was clean and well-cared for.  Unfortunately we couldn't get the owners to negotiate down to a price that the house would actually appraise for.  The lowest price we could get them to was probably 10K over the highest comparable sale and that house was in much better shape.  
So it's back to looking at houses for us.  The closer it gets to the elections and the holiday season, the less houses that seem to be added to the market.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

For Valentine's Day this year, Tim and I got ourselves a  Sodastream Fountain Jet Soda Maker Starter Kit.  We used it constantly for the first couple months,  but started to use it less frequently thus summer.

One of my favorite coffee shop treats (when I get somewhere besides Caribou and Starbucks) is an Italian soda.  I discovered I could make them inexpensively at home with  Torani Flavored Syrup.  I'm hooked on using my Sodastream daily again.  Torani makes sugar-free syrups too.  It also tastes great in coffee and hot chocolate.  (My treat last night after the kids went to bed was hot chocolate with sugar-free coconut syrup in it.  It was delicious! )

So if you've been thinking about getting a Sodastream, I highly recommend them.  (Another random tangent, their customer service is amazing!  I thought we were having issues with one of our bottles sealing when we first got our machine.  One of their reps patiently troubleshooted the issue over the phone with me, and overnight shipped a  package of two bottles to replace the one.  Good customer service is such a rare thing these day.)  

Friday, September 7, 2012

Work books

In general, I'm not a huge fan of work books.  I think in most cases there are better ways for children to learn and practice their skills. 
Carter is a smart barely four year old that has pretty much given up napping in the afternoon.  So afternoon time has become quiet time and I've tried to find activities that he can do that need very little parental involvement, but challenge him mentally.  I'd love to set up fun, creative activities for him every day, but frankly, I don't have the time for the energy to do that.  The SCHOLASTIC SUCCESS W/ KINDERGARTEN book has been a lifesaver for me.   It has a variety of different activities, including numbers, letters, opposites, and more.  Some of it is a little too advanced for Carter at this point since his reading skills are still limited, but I bet he'll be ready for them soon.  And Carter must be enjoying them because he keeps asking to do more. 


Looks like 17 may be our lucky number!  Friday afternoon, our realtor had called to talked to us about potentially doing a price cut in the next week or so.  Because we are going to need to pay the rather sizable difference between what we owe and what we can sell it at, we were not excited to discuss this.  She also mentioned that she thought it would be a quiet weekend for us since there are typically not that many showings on Labor Day weekend.  It turned out not to be so true for us.  We had showings both Saturday and Sunday.
After the showing Sunday morning we decided to leave for the rest of the weekend. We really needed a break from it all and some time to clear our heads.  So we headed down to the farm (with a quick detour to drive by some houses).  The boys had a great time playing with their cousins.  Tim and I were happy to not have to be constantly cleaning.  After we put the kids to bed, Tim decided to check his email.  Our agent had    emailed an offer from that morning's showing, a good offer, not a low ball like some of the agents had been mentioning the possibility of.
We've negotiated back and forth on some of the little things and as long as we pass the appraisal and inspection we should be moving sometime in the end of October.

Monday, August 27, 2012

2.5 weeks

2.5 weeks is the amount of time our townhouse has been on the market.  Today will be showing #12 (not including the 2 no-shows).  No offers yet.   Most of the feedback has been very positive.  The negatives are things we have no influence over/no ability to change.
One of the funniest so far was that they thought the deck was not private enough.  Our deck faces a not very busy residential street, but has a huge tree in front, so from the street you can't see much of anything on the deck.  Most of the townhouse  have itty bitty decks that fitting two lawn chairs on are a challenge and still face the street.  Most of the houses we've looked at around this area haven't had decks that are completely private either.  And what are you doing on your deck that needs to be completely private?
Tim was out of town last week in Baltimore for work training.  During that time we had 4 daytime showings, all during nap time.  It made for a very long week for me.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

For Sale

Our townhouse was listed on MLS this morning at 10:30am. (with no pictures until this afternoon).  We had asked last night if we should be prepared for showings today.  The realtor had said it was unlikely, but to expect them for Saturday and Sunday.  So I was a little shocked to get a phone call at 10:40am requesting a showing for 11:30am.  They had requested to see it 11:30am, but since the kids and I were out running errands and did not leave the house showing quality clean, we had to push it back to noon. We rushed home, straightening and staging things as quick as possible.   Luckily Jack fell asleep in the car (and it was cool enough to keep him there for a few minutes with the windows down), so I only had one little munchkin to "help" me straighten up.  I didn't get to clean up quite as much as I would have liked, but it still looked pretty good considering the short notice.   I'll be curious to see if we get any feedback from the showing. 
I have a feeling the next couple weeks could be very stressful for us (me especially)!  Keeping the house perfectly clean with the kids is going to be challenging. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

House Hunters: MN edition

It doesn't surprise me much that House Hunters is not real.  If we had to choose one of the houses we visited last night, I think I would have cried.  We ended up seeing 4 properties (2 we requested were sold, pending inspection). 
The first, which online we had loved, was a disappointment at best.  The main floor was okay.  The three bedrooms were on the small side.  The downstairs, which was billed as a family room, was disgusting.  It was pretty much an unfinished basement with potentially asbestos flooring.  The one bright side of this property was the very large fenced in backyard. 
The 2nd place we saw was much better.  The upstairs was lovely.  The fixes/updates they had done were nice and it was very clean.  And then we went downstairs.  The 3rd bedroom was tiny.  Like I'm not even sure a twin bed would fit in it comfortably.  On the positives, it had a decent backyard, nice landscaping in the front, and a hot tub.  Another negative besides the tiny third bedroom was it location near a semi busy road. 
The third place we saw made us laugh.  It was like stepping into a time warp.  It was built in 1962 and nothing had been changed since then (including the furnace, air conditioner, and all major appliances).  It's one positive was it had a good layout.  If it wouldn't have needed to be completely gutted, it might have been a good pick.
The final place we saw was okay.  The house was built around the same time as the third house.  It was a little dated, but clean and well taken care of.  The yard was very over grown and would need a lot of work before the boys could play in it.  There was a lot of traffic noise from the extremely busy street nearby. 
So we're going out on Friday to see some more places.  Hopefully we'll have better luck then. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012


We've got ourselves a realtor and a to-do list a mile long.  Not sure if we'll make my self-imposed first of August date to have the place for sale, but I think it'll be close.  I just sent the realtor the list of the properties we want to look at this morning.  We're not in a super big rush to see houses since we probably can't make an offer until we have our place on the market officially, but there are a few places we've been watching for awhile that we've been watching for a couple months.  If we don't get to see them, I feel like it'll always be the one that got away instead of a house we may not even have liked. 
Our to-do list right now:
Declutter kitchen
Finish decluttering bathroom
Paint Master bedroom (Tim is doing this as we speak)
Declutter Master bedroom and closet
Clean Master bedroom closet
Touch up paint in the boys room
Clean boys room carpet
Declutter boys room
Declutter living room/dinning room
Clean wood floors
Clean carpet downstairs
Declutter downstairs
Get storage unit (we've decide on where, we just have to go sign-up)

Completed List:
Paint kitchen
Pack DVDs
Pack Books

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My stress level is in the red zone right now.  We've decided we want to move in the next couple months, which is a good thing.  We found out today that we will need to sell our town house before we are able buy a new house.  I'm actually okay with that because I don't want to be worry about our town house anymore.  It'll be a big financial hit for us, but in the end, probably not much worse than what we have paid if we had been renting the place for the last 6 years instead of owning it. 
There are quite a few houses in our price bracket that would be a good fit for us, so we don't really want to wait very long to get our town house on the market. 
Overall, we've done quite a few improvements in our time living here.  So to get sale ready we need to get a storage unit so we can declutter and do a little bit of painting to clean things up.  It's going to be very challenging with two very active boys to keep things clean and organized around here all the time. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


My part-time job is being a major PITA lately!  There have been some major changes going on in the last few months, including laying off about 1/3 of the management team, including my direct manager who did my scheduling.  No one has looked at my time off requests in the last 8 weeks or so since my manager last worked.  All 4 of my time off requests for June and July I was scheduled on. 
Since the manager who does my scheduling works mostly days (when I'm not there) I haven't able to talk to him directly about it.  So I've been leaving note about these issues and getting no response.  So I've been talking to my supervisor, who was able to take care of one of my days with issues, but forgot about the other one.  And now is on vacation for a week.  Lovely.
And to make things more complex, I can't even just have any random associate how wants hours fill in for me.  Only a small percentage of the other employees are trained in everything they could be asking me to do on a shift and they are general scheduled when I am too.  For a job that's suppose to be low stress, it's definitely not!  To make things even more fun, our staffing amounts have been lowered and the store has several major construction projects going on. 
In other stressful events, Tim is convinced we should try to move in the next several months.  We have negotiated staying in the same city (for now at least), just finding a home with a big back yard and a better use of square footage than our townhouse does. We'll lose money, but in the long run, it'll save us money.  We're looking into whether renting our place out is an option or if we need to sell our place first. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Birthday Party Planning

Finding a birthday party theme that appeals to both a two year old and a four year old birthday boy is challenging.  One of the few shows that both boys love is Shaun the Sheep.  Planning a Shaun the Sheep birthday party is very difficult because there is no party supplies pre-made.  (And I even looked into trying to import stuff, the don't even seem to have it in the UK.)  To make my life a little easier, we decided to make it a Shaun the Sheep/Farm/John Deere party.  Where to go from there, I'm not entirely sure yet. 
So far, my only purchase has been farm animal plates in primary colors from Hobby Lobby.  (I'll have to take a picture, they're really cute!)  I didn't love the napkins, so I'll just pick up some in similar colors. 

 For the tables, I'd like to do either plastic gingham table cloths or do white plastic with fabric gingham runners (not sure if this is too big of a project for how much we have going on in the next three weeks.) 
I'd really like to do a fabric bunting "Happy Birthday" sign in primary colors (so that it'd be usable again.) 
I'd like to get some metal pails for silverware. 
I bought a double drink dispenser (similar to this one)last year for the boys' Cars party.  I think we'll use it for lemonade and ice tea.  Otherwise for food, I think we'll grill hot dogs and have a variety of sides. 

I'd like to get a farm themed cricut cartridge so I could cut out a bunch of animals, but I'm not sure it's worth the money.  I may just check if Archiver's has any die-cuts and just do some there. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


My weekend without kids went well.  My girlfriends and I rented a cabin in Clear Lake, IA  to celebrate our friends upcoming wedding.  The weather was beautiful the 2nd day, so we got in some beach time.  It was great to have the time to relax and catch up with my friends (but I missed the boys and Tim like crazy!) 
The boys spent the weekend celebrating my brother's birthday on Saturday and driving down to visit Tim's parents/celebrating our nephew Ben's birthday.  It was the first time Tim had packed for the boys overnight.  Although his packing was quite different than I would have done, they seemed to have everything they needed.  Tim did tell me at one point that he appreciated how good I am at anticipating what we might need.  (Example: he didn't think to grab a sippy cup, diaper & wipes, and stuff to keep the boys busy with when he went out to dinner.) 
When I came home Carter told me that next time I go on a vacation I need to bring him with too.  He claims not to have missed me, but would bite every fruit snack in half to share with me since I got back.  Gross and so sweet. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I'm going away from the boys for the weekend for a bachlorette /cabin weekend with some of my girl friends.  It'll be the longest I've ever been away from either of them.  (And that's including my hospital stay when Jack was born.)  I'm excited, nervous, scared.  I haven't even packed yet and I miss them already.  I know it'll be good for me.  I am really worried about how Jack-jack will do.   Two nights ago he wouldn't go to sleep until I came home from work because he missed me.  I was gone a total of five hours. 
Next week is Carter's last week of preschool for the school year.  I'm excited to not have to rush out of the house in the morning.  I'm sad because it's been a great group of kids this year and I know we will only be with a few of them again next year.  Carter doesn't do well with a change in routine, so I'm also really worried how the first couple weeks will go.  I'm thinking I'll be dealing with even more behavior issues than normal. 
I may or may not being going back to school in the fall.  It pretty much comes down to whether the financial aid/scholarships.  I'm excited over the thought of learning new things.  I have very mixed emotions on whether this is the right path for our family a this time.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Update

It's around 9 am here and both boys are still sleeping.  Can you tell we had a really busy weekend?  Friday night Tim and Carter went to pick up Stacy (Tim's youngest sister) from River Falls.  She had been on a retreat in Michigan with a campus ministry group.  The original plan was that she'd be back around 5pm or so, but someone was going to drive her back to the Twin Cities, and then a car broke down, so it ended up being after 7pm.  Jack and I stayed home since it was way past his bed time. 
Saturday, I got up and went to the garage sale at Island Lake School.  I was really hoping to find a bike for Carter, but I ended up buying just some pants with adjustable waist pants for Carter and a cute Gymboree jacket for my niece, Lauren.  Then Tim and I ran to Costco to pick up groceries, while Stacy watched the boys.  Then Tim took Stacy into urgent care to have her ankle x-rayed.  It turns out she had broken a bone in her foot on the retreat playing barefoot soccer. 
Tim's parents were staying at a hotel for the weekend in Roseville (Tim's other sister, Stephanie, was graduating from St. Kate's).  So we met up with them at the hotel for a swimming party and picnic.  The boys haven't been swimming much since last summer, so it took some convincing to get them in the pool.  Jack took a little bit to get use to the water, but them really enjoyed it.  But he hated being in his floatie, preferring to hold on to Tim or I.  By the time we were ready to get out, he was jumping into the pool.  Carter hates having water in his eyes, so it took him longer to feel comfortable.  I definitely need to get him to the pool a couple more times before we start swimming lessons. 
Sunday Tim's brother Jeff, sister-in-law Heather, and their kids Ben and Lauren came over to play after nap time.  The boys were so excited to see their cousins since the last time they had seen each other had been the week after Easter.  After an hour of playing, we headed to the Como Zoo.  The zoo was fairly quiet for a weekend, so the kids were easily able to see everything.  We even attempted to get a picture of all 4 kids.  Jack loved the monkeys.  I think we could have stayed there all day. 
After the zoo we headed to meet Tim's family for dinner at Buca's to celebrate Stephanie's graduation.  (They were only given 3 tickets per graduates, so we couldn't go to actual ceremony.)  It was a really fun night.   

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chipotle-Inspired Crockpot rice

Chipotle is one of my favorite places to eat.  Unfortunately my children tend to have major melt downs every time we go there.  I think it's just way too overstimulating for them.  Attempting to re-create my favorite aspects of Chipotle has been a challenge I've been working on for awhile.  Most of the recipes are too labor intensive or require ingredients that I don't usually have in my kitchen. 
This is an adaptation of a crock pot rice recipe from Moms with crock pots and the Cilantro Lime rice recipe from Budget Savvy Diva . 

Easy Cilantro Lime Rice

1 cup rice
2 cups water
dash of salt
juice from one lime
3 TSP Olive Oil
3 TSP finely chopped cilantro

Spray crock pot with cooking spray.  Add the rice and water.  Cook for 1.5-2.5 hours on high.  Mix the rest of the ingredients and let sit.   When rice is fully cooked, mix with cilantro/oil/lime mixture.  Eat alone or in a burrito. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Birthday Party Planning

The boys' birthdays are coming up in the begining of July.  We're planning on doing another combined birthday party since Carter and Jack's birthday's are only 5 days apart.  Life is going to be pretty busy around here in May and June with Mother's Day, Father's Day, quite a few birthdays, SIL's college graduation, a bachlorette party, bridal shower, and a wedding that I am in.  So I'm trying to get a start on things early this year, so I'm not stressed at the last minute trying to throw something together. 
We playing around with a couple different themes.  Carter, of course, would love to do another Cars party.  I'm pushing more towards a Shaun the Sheep/Farm/John Deere party, which Jack and Carter both love.  There are tons of fun farm themed parties on pinterest to inspire me since there are no actual Shaun the Sheep party supplies made. 
So far I'm thinking crayon rolls and farm themed coloring books for party favors.  It'll be a big undertaking to make for the 12 or so kids that will be coming, but such a fun detail. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Terrible Threes

I am really struggling with dealing with the Terrible Threes.  The twos weren't so bad.  Jack was born a week after Carter turned two years old.  Yes, we had some tantrums, but they were generally logical in why they were occurring: told not to do something, tired, or hungry. 
The threes have been much more intense.  The good times are amazing.  Carter is so smart in pretty much anything relating to science and engineering.  He can understand and explain concepts so beyond his 3.5 years of life.   His memory is also pretty amazing.  He can remember things that we did when he was only a year old including small details like where we sat in church or what someone was wearing.  Carter loves school, learning, and his teacher, Miss Annie.   He can be very sweet and loving to Jack and others. 
On the other side, the bad times are really bad.  We are really struggling with some behavior issues at home (no issues at school).  In the last couple days, he has drawn on the couch, wall, and curtains with crayons, covered the couch and carpet with moisturizer, and peed on his brother's bed (on purpose).  I can understand curiosity, but none of these misbehaviors were first time offenses. 
The tantrums have been our other major issues.  They are frequent and can be set off by pretty much anything.  Something as simple as not having the right color milk glass can cause a melt down.  He has improved greatly in the last few months in his ability to express his feelings using words, but coming up with solutions to problems is still a struggle. 
I've been meaning to read Raising Your Spirited Child Rev Ed: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic for quite awhile.  It has been recommended to me by friends and ECFE teachers as a great parenting resource quite a few times.  But as a parent of small children, I don't get a whole lot of time to read.  So after the last couple weeks being extremely challenging, I decided that I couldn't wait any longer to read this book. 
I've only read the first few chapters, but already I'm feeling like I really should have picked up this book earlier.  I am excited to learn how to be a better parent to Carter. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Strawberry Muffins

We're big breakfast fans around here.  And since baking is one of my favorite stress relievers/procrastination tools, I'm almost always up for trying something new.  Last week when I made blueberry muffins, Carter requested that I make strawberry muffins next. 

Strawberry Muffins
(Based on this recipe for

1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped strawberries (I diced into 1/8th)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Line muffin tray with muffin liners or spray with cooking spray.
  3. Combine oil, milk, and egg.  Add flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.  Fold in strawberries.               
  4. Fill muffin cups. Sprinkle with sugar (optional)
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 minutes, or until the tops bounce back from the touch.                 

My critics said they were delicious!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

KCWC Day 4: More Upcycling

I figured since I had gotten the chance to sew for my boys earlier in the week it would be fun to sew for my niece, Lauren, too.  Lauren is only two months younger than Carter and my only niece and god child  (I have 6 nephews!), so I love to spoil her with fun "girlie"clothing items.  This skirt is made somewhat based on the tutorial from Dana Made It.  It is upcycled from a baby doll style shirt I found on clearance at Gap a couple years ago.  I purchased it knowing I would probably end up cutting it up since the fabric has really cute polka dots. 

I'm a little behind on my postings because the last week of the month I usually work crazy late nights.  I'm hoping to catch up on my recaps later this weekend.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kids Craft Week Challenge: Day 3

Not the greatest picture of my day 3 project.  21 month olds aren't the most cooperative models.  Upcycling is really not as scary as I thought and my first knit project went much better than I expected it to.  The material for the shorts was from an old pair of my work-out pants.  I cut the pieces for the shorts from the top sides, so I could keep the cute white stripes and that I didn't have to mess with the waist band.  They're definitely not my best work, but they're wearable and look pretty darn cute on Jack.  Maybe I'll try to make some pants from the leftover pieces of the pants. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fabric by Fabric: One Yard Wonders

One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric! is a fairly popular book in the craft world.  I've looked at it at Barnes and Noble almost every time I've been there in the last year.  I was super excited to discover that they had a sequel called Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects Using Cottons, Knits, Voiles, Corduroy, Fleece, Flannel, Home Dec, Oilcloth, Wool, and Beyond.  I borrowed a copy of it from the public library, but I think I'm going to need to spend the money to buy it because there are so many fun projects I'd love to make. 

The pictures are gorgeous!  Which for me, is the deciding factor whether or not I should buy a craft/sewing book.  Most of the instructions are only 2-3 pages long with plenty of diagrams, so that even directionally challenged crafters like me can follow them.  The authors, Rebecca Yaker and Patrica Hoskins (one of the owners for Crafty Planet) are both from Minnesota. 

Check it out if you're looking for some new project ideas. 

(I was not asked by anyone to write a review for this book, I just really love it!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

KCWC: Day 2

My productivity was high again today.  I was able to make dinosaur pajama pants and cute Hawaiian shorts for Jack, both using the same tutorial used yesterday.  The Hawaiian material is from a men's shirt someone gave me.  Ugly as a men's shirt, adorable on little boys.  I'm hoping to get some picture of my little guys modeling their new clothes tomorrow. 
Up next some clothes for the little girls in our lives (and maybe some tops to go with all these bottoms).


The more sewing I do for the kiddos, the more I realize how much a serger would really speed things along.  Serger discussions have been very popular on my craft board lately.  Apparently the most popular and easiest to use of cheaper models is the Brother 1034D 3/4 Lay-In Thread Serger

Isn't she beautiful?  I keep suggesting it for Mother's Day and my birthday gift ideas.  Hubby says he'll think about it if I get my etsy shop up and running. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day one of Kids Clothing Week Challenge has been a success, despite a lack of napping done by either children.  My 3.5 year old, Carter, generally doesn't nap anymore, but 1.5 year old, Jack, usually still does. 
I didn't do anything overly challengin to start out.  Carter is in need of some cute pajamas for summer and fall.  So I used My Cotton Creations tutorial to make some Lightning McQueen sleep pants and some Finding Nemo sleep shorts.  The directions were extremely easy to follow and I was able to create both pairs in less than two hours. 
Happy KCWC!  I'm so excited to participate this time around.  I haven't participated in the past because I was afraid my clothing skills just weren't good enough yet.  But as I've been discovering lately, the only way to get good and learn new skills is to try it.  I've got a lot of projects that I'm hoping to get through.  I'll be braving the fabric store for more supplies this morning, which may be even more scary than commiting to sew an hour a day for seven days. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shaving Cream Bath Tub Paint

It's been a rainy all week and to make things worse it's spring break week, so we don't have preschool to keep us busy. So I've been using some of the fun things I've found on Pinterest to keep the boys out of trouble.
I've been avoiding shaving cream painting because I was worried it would be too messy (It really wasn't!), but the boys needed a bath anyways today and we needed something to do. I used Mommyapolis's very simple directions.
My review:
Prep time: 5 minutes or less
Cost: Cheap! Use dollar store shaving cream, a few drops of food coloring, and foam paint brushes
Attention Span: Kept the boys amused for almost 45 minutes, which is pretty amazing for a 3.5 year old and a 1.5 year old. They also managed play together without fighting which is also amazing.
Messiness: Not so bad. It came off the kids with just a simple rinse and the tub with a quick wipe down.
Do it again: Yes! Anything that is that easy to set up and keeps the boys happy for that long is a keeper. Carter is already talking about how he wants to do it again and he's only been out of the tub for 15 minutes.

I would post pictures, but DH doesn't like bathtub pictures online.