Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm an AUNT!

Picture from Needle n Thread Sewing Co
I am so happy to be an AUNT for the first time! I am going to spoil that little girl rotten.
My brother and his wife welcomed their first baby, Brynnleigh, into the world this afternoon! Which, just so happens to be the day before the scheduled c-section; figures huh?

Here's a little back story: They knew they were having a girl but were withholding the name until their bouncing baby girl was born. All we knew was that the name started with a "B" and is 10 letters long (phew!!) My sister-in-law is due in a few days, but the baby is already measuring BIG for her tiny body, AND the baby hasn't dropped AND she isn't progressing, so they scheduled the c-section for Thursday.

Jump ahead to today: My brother calls while I'm in Sams stocking up so I answer and say, "Are you calling with news or just to chat?" In typical Andy fashion, he says "oh just to chat" and we talk for a few minutes and then he asks me if I want to know the baby's name. Which totally confuses me. I know I should have connected the dots, but she wasn't progressing and the c-section is tomorrow morning.... So I say, "I thought you weren't telling the name until she was born", and he hemmed and hawed and says "well, do you want to know?". And I'm all confused for the next few minutes saying stuff like, "well.. why are you telling me now?" and "Didn't you want to wait?", "wait... did you have the baby? No you didn't have the baby yet?.... Well did you?". Finally he says "Yes we had her". So of course I don't believe him, but then he put the brand new mama on. So now that I'm convinced, I make him start over from the beginning (which in my opinion is where he should have started anyway... instead of from the end). So anyway... YAY, I'm an Aunt!

That being said, I am now able to work on part 2 of Project #4 from my monthly goals post. So the second I get home from errands and the kids are asleep I hop onto the computer to start work on some embroidery projects for little Miss. Brynnleigh. If you read my earlier post (at the bottom)about embroidery projects you will remember that for me to do an embroidery project takes quite a bit of prep. So anyway, I hop on the computer and digitize the name and the stats and throw in some cutesy free digitized images that I found online and then I print out my finished product at 100% so I can use it as a template when I get to my mother-in-laws.

Sweet. I am stoked to get a jump start on Miss. Brynnleigh's gifts.

I then feed Jillie, fill up my cooler bag with my part of dinner, put my "embroidery bag" together (stuff that I carry from my house to my mother-in-laws and back for projects), gather up a few toys and get the kids into the car just before the rain starts.

I beat the rain to my mother-in-laws and cart everything and everyone into the house before the downpour. Just as the rain is starting, I look down at what I just carried in and realize I am missing the ever important "embroidery bag"..... in the immortal words of Homer Simpson...d'oh.

I'll try again tomorrow.

Keep an eye out for Brynnleigh's baby gifts!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Nursery

Before I get started on the nursery decor... I would like to share with you a funny story; well, this isn't funny to my husband, but it sure is to me.

6 (or so) years ago my husband bought the house we are currently living in (actually, he purchased the house AND my engagement ring in the same week.. PHEW, but I digress). He bought it from a family that had 2 boys, so the rooms were very boyish... a young boyish. The "nursery" had white pant on 2 walls, a vertical red and royal blue paper on the other two walls, and a sports themed border running along 3 walls (yeah... don't ask me). So of course that had to go. This was before we were planning kids, but we knew that when we did have them, this room would be the nursery because it was smaller than our other spare bedroom. That being said, my husband decided to paint this room baby blue because he just knew we were going to have a boy....

The blue "nursery"
PS - Look at that nasty base board! blech.
Well if you have been following this blog at all... you will know that we did NOT get our boy... we have been blessed with 2 girls so far! Guess what color the room is now.

Yup! Pink :)
So anyway, my dad was in town for that weekend so we all got to work on the nursery because that's what dad does... projects! He's not happy unless he's building or fixing something, or redoing something that he knows he can do better; he's so handy!
After the painting came the wainscoting (which is a lot easier than I though it was going to be), and new frames around the door and closets and base boards.

Pretty wainscoting
We went to work for the final few weeks until Charlotte made her debut and here is what we did:
Click to enlarge
I hate, absolutely HATE the window shape (see above picture); something about it just bugs me. It's too low to leave the half moon open (passer-byers could see in from the street), so when it came to window treatments, I decided to hide it completely and pretend that half moon isn't even there! We hung the curtains from PBK on a walmart curtain rod just above the arc of the window; the sheers, also PBK, were hung on simple metal curtain rod inside the walmart curtain rod. Voila... normal window!

I had one of my mothers friends make a cushion and neck cushion for my rocking chair and we covered the foot stool with the same fabric as the chair. I WISH we had a before shot of this foot stool because it was NASTY! My mother-in-law had it in the back of her garage and it was a worn out wooden thing with a red velvet cushion filled with horsehair. Blech!
Doesn't the foot stool look like it was made to match the rocking chair?

Click to enlarge
My favorite part of the nursery would have to be the dresser and shelving unit next to it. Mom and dad found this dresser at the goodwill by them and had the foresight to see what it could be (I don't have that ability, I see things how they are). So when they got this, it was junky looking brown wooden piece with brass hanging drawer pulls. Talk about BORING! So dad, being the handy man that he is, and mom doing the painstakingly slow art of painting, repainting, and re-repainting this baby to a shine, got to work. Dad added the decorative border around each drawer, bought some adorable new knobs, and built the removable changing table on top. Oh, and just for fun, he built the unit to the left with the drawer and 2 shelves. How awesome is my dad? We used wicker baskets from PBK to finish it off.
Click to enlarge
The last thing to mention is that dad built those awesome shelves out of crown molding. (pictured below and in picture of changing table dresser)

So instead of a baby-boy-blue nursery, our entire house is PINK! I kind of think he jinxed himself, what about you?

PS - I'm excited, I hit 50 followers :) Woo hoo! Thanks for hanging around.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tututorial (haha... sorry, I couldn't help myself)

I had put "Project #5: Make a tutu" as one of my projects that I wanted to complete this month while hubby was off playing army... well I did it! And I REALLY don't know why it took me until Charlotte was 2 to make one. Like... these are the easiest things you could possibly make.

So ANYWAY, I looked around at a few different sites figuring out how you are supposed to make a tutu.
The general idea is:
1. Get tulle (6yds of the wide tulle) and elastic - 1/2 - 1in - I used 3/4 and it was probably too big, I'd recommend 1/2in
2. Measure the waist and subtract 2-3 in - when you are pulling the tulle it makes the elastic stretch out a bit, plus you don't want it falling down when your little one is running
3. Cut your tulle 6in wide by 20-24in long - I made mine 18 inch because I didn't want that long of a skirt. When makin the skirt you double over the tulle so the skirt in my case was about 8.5 in + 1in that was around the band. Seriously, cutting the tulle was the most annoying part, mine was SO uneven. Next time I make one I am going to look for the tulle that already comes in 6in wide and get about 20 yds (that's what someone in blogland said). Cutting was a pain in the tuchus.
ETA: I went BACK to Joann Fabric and found the 6 inch tulle in the WEDDING SECTION. I bought up some pink, yellow, (more) orange, and purple.

4. Sew your band together securely. I sewed around in a box where the elastic overlapped, then came back through with an "x".

5. Attach your elastic band to something like an oatmeal container, small chair, tubberware (it was all I had) and get to work.
6. To loop the tulle: Ok, I may be REALLY dumbing this down, but hey... you never know.
a. Fold tulle in half and make loop at the top

b. Fold the loop over your elastic band (or for demo purposes, my finger)

c. Pull the tail/ends of the tulle through your loop

d. And pull!

7. Go around your elastic band adding tulle.

Your result is one happy camper :)
I see many more tutus in my future.
Happy Tutu-ing (ok, so I just made that up), Enjoy!
Project #5 - complete!

Linking up: Sarahndipities, Live Laugh Love Lucy, Vintage Wanna Bee, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Dot Dot Dot, Sew Much Ado, Handy man Crafty Woman, Someday Crafts, DIY by Design, Somewhat Simple, Momnivore's Dilemma, Gluesticks, Remodelaholic, Nap time crafters, Young and Crafty



Friday, March 25, 2011

Crafty birthday gifts

I mentioned in my month goals post that we had a few birthday parties to go to this month. Well... we have 3, and they are ALL this weekend. My*(scroll to bottom to read more) Husqvarna Designer Diamond Embroidery machine has been humming this week. I was helping my mother-in-law embroider some towels for wedding gifts AND I was working on some birthday gifts.

Birthday #1: One of my girlfriends commissioned me to make a "Hungry Caterpillar" shirt for her sons 1st birthday. She ORIGINALLY wanted an appliqued "1", the caterpillar, and his name... so I looked around and found this digitized image and bought in. The smallest it came in was 4x4, which is pretty big actually. I was GOING to try to make it work, but I was embroidering on onesies, and maybe it's just me (I'm sure it is)... but those suckers are difficult. You have to keep the extra fabric out of the way, and out from underneath (yeah... made that mistake once), and keep an eye on it so it doesn't sew over the back of the shirt... and I didn't think I could deal with doing the applique, then all the other stuff.

So instead of charging her for this shirt (since this wasn't exactly the shirt she wanted), I decided to make her 2 and give them as part of her sons birthday gift! Plus, you can't complain about free!

I think they turned out pretty dern cute if you ask me.
Birthday #2: I was going to embroider a shirt with Emie on it... but kind of ran out of time. So... no humming machine for this one. Emie is turning 2, so I stuck with the good ole potato head, book, play dough, and coloring book.

PLUS, she gets one of my handy-dandy personalized gift boxes.

Birthday #3: Let me start by saying, I'm proud of this one!! It uses 2 different crafts in one gift (ok technically 3). Here. It. Is:
Reese gets her very own handy-dandy personalized gift boxes (1st craft):
The party is Strawberry Shortcake themed, thus the paint book and DVD... but check out that apron! Pretty neat huh?

Reese has one of those killer step 2 Grand walk in kitchens that her mom got off craigslist. So... I went and bought a child's apron from Joann (obviously using a coupon), then went to the computer and made the design for the embroidery. When I completed the embroidery (2nd craft), I looked at it and said "this is good". But THEN I walked past where my rosettes were laying and I got the idea to put little rosettes on her apron! (3rd Craft)

A few days ago I was reading through blogs and I saw one girl had put a rosette on her shirt and commented that if she were to do it again, she would button it on so it wouldn't mess up in the wash. So that's what I did...

 I sewed the bottom of the button to the apron fine, but when I was going to sew it onto the rosette I decided to sew it to another small piece of fabric (I didn't want thread to ruin my beautiful rosettes), and then fabric glue that to the back of the rosette. Hope it works!

I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my birthday crafts!

* When I say "my" Husqvarna Viking Embroidery machine, I really mean the one that my mother-in-law bought for us to "spend time together" doing. It's an awesome machine, it REALLY is... I just don't know how to sew. Embroidery is different, it has software ($$$$) which, coming from my background, is a flipping breeze. But anyway, I never wanted the machine, but I use it now. You may be wondering why you haven't seen more embroidery projects on here... embroidering difficult for me for the following reasons:
  1. The machine is 20 minutes away, at her house
  2. I have 2 children
  3. The room is REALLY cluttered and only has space for a couch and a TV, no toys. So if I'm over there and the kids are awake, they have to be watching TV, which I don't really like relying on.
  4. I have to plan ahead to get over there to embroider something - I have to make sure I have the design I want on the jump drive, and printed out, make sure I have any fabric I need, the stabilizers, thread, shirt/towel/etc... etc
  5. I spend half the time over there re-teaching her to use the machine (that she wanted to buy) because I'm the only one who uses it.
I don't mean to sound ungrateful. Hopefully I'll get over there to do more projects so I can get the hang of this beautiful and wonderful machine.

Linking up: Naptime Crafters, Remodelaholic, Lamb Around, Hazel and Honeysuckle, DIY Showoff, C.R.A.F.T., Keeping it Simple, Sarahndipities, Live Laugh Love Lucy, Vintage Wanna Bee, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Dot Dot Dot, Sew Much Ado, Handy man Crafty Woman, Someday Crafts, DIY by Design, Somewhat Simple, Momnivore's Dilemma, Gluesticks


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Color bath dropz - Product Review

As you know we just had Charlotte's 2nd birthday part. We were so blessed to spend her birthday party(ies) with so many friends and family. This resulted in our house being overrun by brand new toys and other fun stuff to check out.

We got Crayola Bath Dropz from one of her little friends. Pretty much what they do is "turn ordinary bath water into colorful, fizzy water" (according to their website). I don't know about the "fizzy" part; it does fizz from the "drop", but it doesn't turn her bath into one big tub of soda. In my opinion it's kind of like give my children a bath in the red sea (with the red drop)... but Charlotte loves it. She has pretty much doubled her time playing in the bath, which, as a bonus, wears her out and gets her ready for bed (score!).

"Red sea" bath
 I must admit, however, the blue is pretty neat.
Now, whenever I say "Bath time!!" Charlotte gets all excited and says "yellow, boo, yellow, boo, wed". Crayola Bath Dropz are a hit in my household!

Keep an eye out... tomorrow I'm sharing my crafty birthday gifts for this weekends birthday parties!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Woo hoo!

Ok, so I guess "Woo hoo!" wasn't a very descriptive title... BUT I'm stoked!

Christina over at The Tattered Tag has given me prime real estate on her blog (for the time being) as one of her featured New Neighbor[s] on the Blog!

Swing by and give her some love; her blog hosts an awesome blog bash on Sundays and features Christina's fantastic crafts, recipes and projects!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2 photo books ordered... woo hoo!

Sitting for Sesame St Show
Happy 6 months Jillie! Wow time flies! In honor of this major milestone I took the girls to Busch Gardens for the day (ok, so it wasn't REALLY for her 6 month, it just happened to coincide with when our friends could go... but still...). A fun time was had by all; we saw Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and the Sesame Street gang, checked out orangutangs and tigers, went on the merry-go-round, played in the sand (yes... we drove 25min just to play in a LARGE sandbox), went on the swings, and played in the spray park.  This afternoon it was so nice to come home and sit down and relax... until the little ones awoke from their naps. Oh well.
We try to go to Busch Gardens every few weeks or so; last April I got the annual pass for myself and paid $100, which isn't cheap. BUT it includes parking, at $10 a pop, and I've been probably 10 times in the past year. Also, I spent $7 on a souvenier cup which I bring back every time and I can get free ice water or $1 refills, so that's awesome. Plus, I pack Charlotte a lunch... so it's a pretty cheap outting.

I'm happy to announce that Project #2 on my monthly goals list is halfway complete. I finished off one more book and ordered 2 (the new one plus one that I finished a little while ago and was saving for a sale) yesterday before their sale ended. It was a pretty sweet deal... $10 off any 8.5x11 photobook plus free shipping (which is another $7.99), so that ended up being $29.99 instead of $47.98 (it would be cheaper in canvas... but I like leather). Seriously, I kind of hate that photo books are such a big thing now. I had (leather) photo books made 5 years ago for our parents and us with wedding pictures that friends and family took and I KNOW I didn't pay $50 per book. That's just insane, I think maybe I paid $20 -- and that was through mypublisher, which is NOW $29.80(linen) - $49.75 (leather)... and that's only the "classic hardcover".  Walmart is at least reasonable with $22.96 for a leather book... but the website isn't super user-friendly, so I think I'll stick with Picaboo and wait for the sales.

But enough of my ramblings... here are a few sample pages of the books I just ordered:
I love the different layouts they have, the straight and ordered layout (left) versus the "thrown on page" look (right).
Click to enlarge
Plus, I LOVE how the page can reformat everytime you add a new picture and you don't have to manually adjust all the pictures (although you can)

Click to enlarge
Also, I REALLY like this layout with the one picture going to the edges of the page top and bottom. I think it looks neat. ... obviously, since I used it on 2 pages facing each other... woops.
Click to enlarge
On a side note, I finished printing and punching out all the favor tags for my girlfriends bridal shower (in total I ended up doing 100). They will be in the mail tomorrow, I can cross that off my to-do list. Woo hoo!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Follow along, Get Fit, & a few crafts

Hey! I'm taking part in a "Follow Along" today over at Making the World Cuter. Join in, share your blog link, and find some fantastic new blogs to follow!

Man... I have been busy!

Today was my VERY FIRST day back to the gym post baby #2! They won't take babies under 6 months old at the daycare (I cheated by 2 days, shhh)... MAN did it feel great!

I have motivation for working out... over at Nap Time Crafters they are having a Get Fit Challenge from March 21 - May 1. The person who logs the most hours gets a bathing suit! Go check them out!

Back after baby numero uno my brother made me a work-out routine which I used quite a bit after Charlotte and while I was pregnant with Jillie. It's a circuit workout regimen... and I really really like it. Apparently the point is (and I could be wrong) to keep your heart rate high the entire workout versus resting for long periods of time between weights/cardio/etc. Today was back and bi's (although... I think I was supposed to do back and chest, I need to track down that email from my brother).The gist of my work out was cardio - back - bis - abs (repeat). Doing this 3 times, each a different exercise for that muscle group. Then I ended with a 5 min walk at 4.0 mph at a 7.0 incline. It took me about an hour. 

One of the reasons that I am working out is so I look great in my girlfriends wedding in (info removed)! Speaking of her wedding... I am in the process of making favors tags for her shower (info removed). She is going to have 80 at her bridal shower. 80 women! I don't think I know 80 people that would come to a shower for me... sheesh! I have got some printing and punching to do.

3 down... 77 more to go. I guess we know what I'm doing tonight while watching tv.

Cupcake Onesies
On the subject of showers, look at this adorable cupcakes onesies that I did for my girlfriends baby shower the other day. For my girl cupcakes onesies, it was easy to decorate... add little bows on top. I was a little stumped on how to decorate the boys, but one look at the baby aisle at Walmart and I got my inspiration. I used 2 wrist rattles and 2 squeaky squeeze toys.

Let's see... what else... what else? Oh yeah... last night (since I had a few minutes free) I decided to make Jillie some homemade babyfood peas. Not that it was hard OR time consuming... but I got it done.
Appetizing huh?
She wasn't quite a fan... but she'll get there.

Lastly, today is the LAST DAY to get Picaboo's $10 off and free shipping sale. I completed my 2nd book (of this batch) last night. I'm going to look them over one last time and then get them ordered this afternoon.

I'll post a few screen shots tomorrow to show you just why I like picaboo.

Well... that's all for now. The little one is crying.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fabric Rosettes and more :)

In honor of the 1st day of Spring, I spent a few hours cleaning the pool, adding chlorine, and changing filters - the good thing about living in Florida is that I will be getting in the pool in a few weeks! I'm so excited to get Jillie swimming floating and to see how Charlotte is in the water this year.

Well, I made my fabric rosettes following the tutorial on Little Birdie Secrets, and they really are easy!
I started with some fabric I had laying around and some fabric glue:
Click to enlarge

Here was my first one, not bad huh?
Click to enlarge

But I didn't stop there...

Click to enlarge
THEN I looked around my craft boxes and found some craft pearls from a necklace that I made a year ago or so and decided that they'd be the perfect addition to my rosettes.
Click to enlarge
Now, I just have to decide what to do with these. Should I make a headband, a necklace (this one is SUPER cute), a single bow? I do have an idea in mind for when I complete my tutu... we'll see.

So I can now cross #1 off my "To-attempt" list. Woo hoo!!
This also means I can cross off Project #6: Make a fabric rosette for my month goals .

While I was sitting and watching Aladdin with the girls, I also made some pom-poms (inspired by Sitting at our Kitchen Table). Still don't know what I'm going to use them for, but Charlotte liked playing with them.

Click to enlarge
(#16 on my "To-Attempt" list is done!)

ALSO, I've been working on my photobooks through They currently have a deal going on that if you enter a new email address, you get a free 8.5x11 Custom cover photo book (Thanks Jessie)! I was all over that... until I realized that it was the "custom cover", not the black leather like all mine are so far (and remember, I like mine to match). Bleh.
I still may enter a new email address and get a book... I think I'll make one for myself and my parents on our trip to England 5 years ago. I'm the one who took most of the pictures, and I think they'd like that.

Linking: The Tattered Tag, Marvelously Messy, Keeping it Simple, Dot Dot Dot, Vintage Wanna Bee

Saturday, March 19, 2011

... and I'm not even Irish...

Woah boy... I am SO excited! This week is AWESOME!
So if you've been following, Monday a giveaway that I won came in the mail AND I won a $15 credit to CSN store.  Then on Wednesday (I added this to Monday's post) I was at my Junior League meeting and won a small bucket including a notepad, yogurt gift certificate, and candy.

Pretty Sweet, huh?

Well, I even hate to say this... BUT, check out what I won from Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage...

Happy Talk Dress by Shabby Apple
Thank you thank you thank you Angie.

What. an. awesome. week.

Link within

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