Friday, December 6, 2013

Toby's, The Elf On The Shelf, First Week...

This is the second year that we have participated with the Elf on the Shelf.  Last year I introduced the kiddos to the idea with the book, movie and a little note written by Santa about good-vs-bad choices and how he understands grace.
I just wanted to write up a short post showing what our Elf has been up to.
Day 1: Toby came in by parachute. I know that a lot of families make a big fuss the morning the elf shows up. Some even have elaborate breakfast's and gifts, yeah...we don't do that! It's not that I have anything against it, I just forgot that our elf was supposed to be there in the morning. I remembered at about 2 am when I was on my way home from work, so nothing elaborate was going to happen.
Day 2: With Baby Boogie more alert about Christmas and everything going on around her she has become very interested in Toby.  Toby must now hide out of the reach of a very tall almost three year old's hands! So on the second day he decided to sing Karaoke on the fridge using Babydoll's princess music player.

Day 3: Toby was feeling very playful (mommy was feeling very tired) so he decided to swing from the ceiling using Christmas ribbon.

Day 4: Baby Boogie is deathly afraid of Bubby's dinosaur, she won't go anywhere near the toy.  It has caused a lot of mean spirited-ness from her daddy and I and a lot of laughs.  Toby decided to wrangle up the dino and go for a ride.  Even though he was within reach, Baby Boogie never tried to touch him.

Day 5: Toby wanted to be a hero! Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's Super Toby! Mommy had a lot of sleep that day!

Day 6: I finally got around to putting up the tree, but after hours of searching for the stupid legs to the tree there was no way that I was going to decorate it.  I had to tear my clean house apart, find the legs, then clean my house again.  Toby was nice enough to decorate the tree for us...using socks!

Day 7: Toby decided he just wanted to hang out, it's amazing how easy going that elf is when I have had very little sleep the night before, or had a very very long night at work! Nice Job Elf!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Making Christmas Presents Part 1 Tutorial...

I wanted to make Christmas gifts for different family members this year.  I normally only buy for the kids in the family and for my parents and in laws.  I came across a really cute pin on Pinterest with a tutorial on making Foot Warmers.  I knew automatically which family member would love this so I made my own...with a few small changes.
For the original tutorial you can follow the link below.
I had most of the cotton material on hand for this using fabric scraps from other projects but I did buy about a yard of black fleece and a yard of red fleece.  I bought two bags of white rice 3lb each at only $1.50 a bag.  This is a super easy, money saving and useful gift/project.  Even if you have to purchase the cotton fabric, you don't need very much per foot warmer.
First I measured an old..I mean old, why do we still have these, pair of Jerm's shoes.
The length measured at 13 inches, and the width was 10 inches. I added an inch to for hem allowances.

Now, I honestly don't know how fleece will hold up in the microwave but I do know that cotton is a safe fabric choice.  I wanted to use the fleece because of two reasons, one fleece eliminates the need for batting to insulate the warmth, and two because fleece is super soft.  So I changed the design a bit, I made a separate rice bag out of cotton fabric.
 Since the outside of the foot warmer was going to measure 13in x 10in once sewn together, I made the rice bag 12in x 9in. I cut the fabric 13in x 10in  to allow for a seam allowance, then placed the two printed sides together and sewed up three of the sides.

I filled the bag halfway up with the white rice. and then finished sewing up the fourth side.  I used about half my 3lb bag of rice.  I may have filled it a little too much...but the bag only cost $1.50 so meh not too worried.

Now for the foot warmer I measured a 7in x11in  piece of cotton fabric for the top cover of the warmer, and two 14in x11in  pieces of the black fleece for the main part of the foot warmer.  I hemmed the bottom edge of the cotton then pinned it to one piece of fleece sewing the remaining three sides (top, left and right ).

I then pinned the second piece of the black fleece to the already sewn together fleece and cotton. I placed both pieces of black fleece together,  You can't really see it in the picture above but there are two pieces of black fleece on the bottom and then the inside out piece of cotton.  I then flipped the cotton piece over the fleece so that the UK design was facing up.
Now you can place the cotton rice bag between the two pieces of black fleece.  But, how to keep the heat contained and the bag inside?  I added a strip of Velcro to the inside of each piece of black fleece.

The finished project looks a little like this on the bottom edge.

The Red Arrow: Where you slip your feet.
The Orange Arrow: The top layer of the black fleece, soft and warm on the bottoms of your feet.
The Yellow Arrow: The Velcro closure ad the edge of the foot warmer.
The Green Arrow: The cotton rice filled bag.
The Blue Arrow: Very hard to see, bottom layer of the black fleece.
Just a few changes made to an amazing idea.  I am very excited to give these to family members for Christmas and I hope that they will be as pleased with them as I am excited about them! By the way, you simply have to microwave the rice bag for about 2-3 mins, for at least an hour of piggy (feet) warmth.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Starting Our DIY Christmas...

Christmas decorations, in our house, don't usually make an appearance until the day after Thanksgiving.  This is was the tradition that my mom started with me, and I just can't bring myself to do it any other way.  I have always been very type A about my Christmas decorations.  They have to be perfect, organized and in sync.  Who am I kidding?
I have four children ranging from 11 to almost 3.  Why can't the decorations be more fun?
The goal for Christmas this year, kid made and approved decorations; plus a few handmade touches from me.

I have seen tons of craft cones covered in burlap, on Pinterest for Christmas decorations.  I am not really fond of burlap, it doesn't really fit in my house, but I loved the look all the same.
  • 1 1/4 inch Ribbon (mine were spools about 9 ft long)
  • Styrofoam craft cones
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Candlesticks (optional)

The ribbon that I found was on clearance for only $2.00 a spool and I just loved the colors.  The design really doesn't scream Christmas, but they are red and green!
I cut a strip of the ribbon and glued it to the bottom of the cone and then repeated it on the other side.

Starting from the bottom, I simply started wrapping the ribbon around the cone at an angle. Gluing the ribbon each time I came back to the starting side of the cone.

During the wrapping process the ribbon wasn't really staying flat to the cone, but I honestly liked the look of it with the folds.  I think that it added a nice little touch of texture to the decoration.

The three candlesticks that I placed the cones on normally sit on my kitchen table, until about a month ago.  One of the kiddos, trying to clean the table after dinner, broke one of the candles.  Not too big of a deal, but since then, only two candlesticks have been on the table.  Now I have three again, and a pretty table decor.




Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's Been A While...

I can't believe that it has been over three months since my last post.  Where does all the time go?  I honestly thought that I would be able to post at least two to three times a week; when I first began this blog.  Hmm, life does have a way of throwing those curve balls when you aren't looking.
 So speaking of curve balls...what have we been up to for the past three months?
Well, the Fall Baseball season finished up and honestly I am not sure if fall ball is worth it.  We started off thinking that it was going to be a "less competitive, more practice like season" boy were we wrong! What they actually meant was that there wouldn't be any "actual" umpires and the rules were going to be based on the morals of the teams and coaches we played against.  Let's just say it was an interesting season that I had to bite my lip through most of.

We spent a lot of the summer going to the park and just enjoying the outdoors.  Honestly, I would have liked to spend much more time outside.  I think that next summer we will be able to accomplish a lot more outdoor time, and a lot of the activities that I had planned on doing.  If Christmas works out to my plan...

In October Monkey turned 11!!! Goodness I feel old admitting that.  We celebrated at a local laser tag place and the kiddos had a blast.  Monkey wanted a zombie theme, which works out with the venue because it's Zombie laser tag.  I even made these super scary zombie cupcakes to celebrate the day.
 All I did was buy these zombie finger puppets from the dollar section of Wal Mart and place them on top of each cupcake.  The red sprinkles were supposed to represent blood, and the icing was supposed to be green. They were supposed to look like zombies coming out of the ground, but alas the green color never turned out right.  They were still a fun addition to the party, and we may be venturing back to laser tag, just for a fun night out.

Towards the end of October I was blessed to be there for one of my amazingly beautiful friends when she was married.  She had a wedding shower vs the bridal shower. Again I played with cupcakes and made a pull apart cake that looked like a wedding dress! I found the inspiration on Pinterest, and was pretty pleased with the way that it turned out!

We didn't carve pumpkins like usual for Halloween this year, instead we melted crayons all over them.  This was a task that took a lot of thought...and practice makes perfect.

During the first week of November a tree tried to murder me. The tree was vengeful and jealous, it let emotions run high and fell flat on it's face. Honestly, I was standing where it fell not two seconds before.  I did suffer injury from the debris of flying pine cones, but nothing too substantial

On Monday the kids and I finally convinced Jerm that we needed another pet.  I wanted a larger dog, but nothing too large. I have been reading up on good family dogs for a while, and was watching the local shelter's web page for a while.  Well, we found our perfect puppy! He is a Blue Heeler mix and we love him to pieces already.  He was one of four puppies and I so wanted a blue one, but our dog won out.  The day I went to look at them, he was the most loving towards Baby Boogie and I knew he was ours the minute I held him.
Na na na na Batman!

Honestly, that's about it! I can't really think of too much else that happened over the past three months.  Work, kids, sleep...and repeat!  I plan on eventually giving some step by step instructions on the pull a part cake, and I have a ton of crafts I plan on doing for Christmas.  Let's hope that I can get back to blogging on a regular basis.  I know it's good for me, and hopefully every once in a while someone else will find it useful!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Two Shades of Grey...Bathroom...In Progress

We inherited our house from my sister in law.  My mother and father in law own the house and my sister in law used to live here with her husband and two kiddos.  My sister in law moved to another state about 3 1/2 years ago, to be closer to my father and mother in law.  At that time Jerm and I were looking for a bigger place; I was pregnant with baby Boogie and we needed more space! Thankfully they all decided that we should move in!  There aren't many places that offered a room for every one of our kids.  The house has 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, 2 living rooms, a full dining room and kitchen.  There is a room that is connected to the master bedroom that I assume was meant to be an office but we converted that to baby boogies room! We also converted the second living space into our "office"!

My sister in law had the kids/guest bathroom decorated in Sponge Bob complete with yellow walls and a blue ceiling!  It was adorable but since I couldn't find anything Sponge Bob anymore it really wasn't working, plus we noticed that the sub floor in that bathroom was messed up which was causing major problems. So we took the floor out, messing up the flooring as we went, since the bathroom needed new floors I decided to redo the whole room!
 Here are the new floors! The big black spot is not a sign that Davy Jones is coming after my bathroom, just where the toilet had yet to be returned to its spot. These tiles are actually vinyl, but they are thicker than normal vinyl tiles and the thickness allows for grouting.  I had no idea what I was doing so my dad showed me the way in one corner; then I finished it up.  I see a future with more of this tile in our house, not the same pattern but the same idea.

Now for those Sponge Bob yellow walls, I swear my sister in law had to have done some color match magic because those walls were bright! I wanted something neutral, I went to the local Habitat Store, hey I am fugal by nature, and found a beautiful grey color for a whole $3.00 for the full gallon! I primed the walls with some leftover white Kills paint, Kills paint prevents mold from growing; great for bathrooms!

I then did a paint test with the grey and realized it was a lot darker that I wanted.  I still had some leftover white from when we converted Boogie's nursery, yeah I still haven't finished that room yet! Mixing the white with the grey made a nice light color that I liked so all the walls were painted.  Jerm decided that he wanted the trim done with the original color of grey ( I was going to paint the trim white) but I do agree with him I like the dark grey with the light grey.

For some reason it has a yellow quality in the pic but I promise the walls are light grey!

The bathtub, sink/vanity, and the toilet are white so for the past week I have been working on some more white accents for the room that would also help with organization.

I had a toothbrush holder for all the kids, but they all like different toothpaste and it was becoming a pain to organize.  We have all seen those too cute Mason jar holders but that meant I would have to buy supplies! So using tin cans, I had already cleaned and painted white for a birthday party game. A drawer from an old broken stand and a little paint I was able to make a shelf and individual toothbrush/paste holders! 

The walls actually look grey in this picture!

There are two hooks on the back of the bathroom door to hold towels but the kids never use them.  So I decided that they may actually use individualized hooks!  Again, I didn't want to buy a whole lot so using items on hand, and buying only the letters the kids will hopefully now hang up their towels! I am going to buy 8 white towels and stitch each child's initial on two towels each...individualized towels still a work in progress.

  Now the walls look dark grey! I need a new camera!

Just for fun and to add a little more white accent I hung up a canvas with bathroom musts! I simply painted a canvas with the same dark grey the trim was done in, then using stenciled letters I painted the entire canvas white.  I got the idea for the words from Pinterest, my favorite has got to be Aim, with two little boys this is a bathroom MUST!

The bathroom is still in progress I still need to:
 *Cut, paint, and place the floor trim*
*Buy a new white shower curtain, maybe two*
*Finish the kids 2 towels each*

I love the grey on grey on white look and not only does it suit the kids, with all the fun individualized elements, but it serves as a great neutral guest bathroom! 
More pictures will come when I finish the whole thing up!