Monday, October 26, 2009

I heart felt food.

For Christmas last year, Kaitlyn got a couple of play food sets. Some of them were made out of felt.. simply adorable! And then my friend Janae was mentioning how you can make it and I had one of those 'duh' moments.. of course you can make it yourself!

(June 2009)

I was going to wait until I had a sewing machine to get started (hello, black friday!!) but because I'm horribly impatient, I decided to not wait and just hand sew it. Even I can sew up and down and tie a few knots.

I still need more practice but I'm getting better.. it's so easy though and the kids LOVE it!! Oh, and it's CHEAP!!

For breakfast we have a few options...

How about bacon and eggs!
Or there is pastries..
Or maybe pancakes and waffles are what you're looking for.

For lunch or dinner there is pizza, chicken or a carrot. Yes, I'm aware the chicken is very ghetto looking. Poor, poor chicken. I have plants to make a sandwich or maybe pitas with sandwich stuffings. Wouldn't that be cute??

Isn't this too cute?? Order, up!
Need something sweet? Grab a cookie! We have Chocolate with White Chips, Chocolate Chip, Pink Frosting Sugar Cookie (with beads as sprinkles!!) and an Oreo. mmmm

And of course there are cupcakes.
One, with a cherry on top.

Aren't they adorable??

There are patterns you can buy on Etsy and I'm thinking of getting one to try out. If I can hold out, this would be a great Christmas present for Kaitlyn!!


Picture Update.

The title says it all. Updates. And pictures. LOTS of pictures.

Aubrey has been doing so well in 4th grade.. she's getting great grades! Last month she was able to bring Lily home from school, the class guinea pig. Here Aubrey is, on Monday morning, with Lily. Proof that everyone survived.
Aubrey's also been having a lot of fun with doing bead projects.. mostly making bracelets. She still likes to play Webkinz and has been helping me sew a little.

I've also let her 'babysit' a few times, leaving the kids with her while I quickly run somewhere. Usually not Carson though.. he's just plain ol' trouble. And only Kaitlyn if she's napping. Aubs has done a great job though, I really appreciate her help!

She went to a Halloween party last weekend and had a great time. She found a 'jail' costume that I had purchased for $1 forever ago (was going to sell on ebay) and decided to wear that. And of course she wanted to be dead.. which meant I got to do a smokey eye on her (dead = smokey eyes??). Too bad it's not normally appropriate for a 9 year old to wear it.. I had a lot of fun!

Hayden loves Kindergarten.. he has a lot of fun and has a lot of friends in his class. I was able to help out in his class last monday and he was so cute.. it's fun to see how they interact with the other kids. There's a little girl that really likes him too. hehehe

I still take Hayden to school every day but he now walks home by himself most days (we usually meet him mon/wed since I have to pick up Carson from preschool). It's so nice that I can watch him walk home from our deck (or take pictures.. yes, I'm THAT mom..). He loves the independence too. This was his first day walking home.. that kid had a spring in his step!

Hade is constantly talking about Lego Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Wow. WOW. He loves playing with Drew's old Star Wars figures and is constantly trying to convince me that we need to go to Home Depot and buy a bunch of wood so we can build something.. a ship.. an at-at.. a house.. a bridge.. something. Anything! Gee, he couldn't possibly be a Young, could he??

Hade loves telling jokes and rhyming everything. Who knew the perfect way to annoy your siblings is just to rhyme your words. :-S He's such a goofy kid. I love it!

My only complaint is that last week there was a little of the above picture... with this picture below... (remember, Aubrey and her beads??)

Luckily after blowing his nose, it shot that sucker back out!!

Carson is in preschool twice a week and LoVeS it!!! He's getting better at recognizing his name and is always eager to go to school. He is learning a few letters as well as making smiley faces. Only their smiles are.. off.. so really he's making grouchy faces. But whatever. His favorite thing to do are the puzzles. Oh, and the teacher never has any problems with him. He just happily follows the other kids. Awesome!

Here at home, he loves playing on the white boards with markers, playing with foam blocks and playing with his Imaginext Batman set. He's ALL about Batman. Sometimes he tells us that's his new name.

He's finally starting to get the potty training thing down.. sort of. I've found that if he's not wearing anything but a shirt, then no accidents. But I don't really like little boy butt all over my house. I have enough of that with trying to keep clothes on Hade! The other downside is that he doesn't mind the cold.. meaning he has no problem running outside un-dressed like that. Although sometimes he'll put Kaitlyn's leg warmers on his arms first. :-S

Carson still just loooves Mindy. He talks about going to her house a lot and how he's going to give her a hug and a kiss. She IS pretty darn cute.. I can't blame him!

Kaitlyn is really into climbing right now. She climbs onto Aubrey's desk. She climbs onto Aubrey's bunk bed (which is SCARY- it's a super tall loft bed!). She climbs onto the counter height kitchen chairs, and table. She climbs onto the boys bunk bed the most though.. and three times, she has fallen asleep up there.
(taken with my cell phone)
For some reason, my kids think when they're around two, that they no longer need naps. Kaitlyn tells me, "No night-night" and then runs and hides. It's a little bit cute. This past week she's still really needed them though.. besides the boys bed, she's fallen asleep on the couch.. the high chair.. and the piano bench.

It's so much fun having a little girl.. my boys STILL don't care about what they wear (except Carson and his batman lego shirt). Kaitlyn is already choosing things and will pat herself and say, "Cute! Pretty!". She loves shoes. She asks for lipgloss sometimes too. I think I need to figure out some dress up items for her for Christmas!

Kait is really talking up a storm right now. I'm noticing that she doesn't say much when we're out and about.. but at home.. she doesn't hold back. It's so cute.. she has such a little voice. She calls Aubrey, Bob-rey or sometimes just Bob. I love that she's nicknamed her!! Hayden is Hay-dah. Carson is Sarson or sometimes just Sars. Actually, often it's, "Sars, no-no-no!" Even she knows that he's naughty sometimes. :-D

Together, the kids have had a couple of fun afternoons with edible play-doh. They don't argue and get a snack at the same time.. it's fantastic.

A few weeks ago we went to Garner Village with Misty and her kids. It was super busy and we had to park 50 miles away (give or take) since I didn't bring cash for parking. I've never been there before.. I'd love to go back sometime!

The kids had fun in a maze.. Drew went in after awhile and chased the kids too.

They had a stage where the kids could go dance.. the girls loved it! I love Holly's dance moves.. they're fantastic (she's the one in black).

The boys... not so much.

I can't believe how big our kids have gotten.. I'm so glad they love to play together!

Drew and I are doing well.. trying to not kill the kids and having fun laughing and being dumb. We're really good at both of those- accentuate the positive, right?? Doing a few little projects with the house.. just enjoying being with each other. Drew did some barter work a bit ago (mechanic work for babysitting) so we were able to go on a date- dinner and a movie. He's a lot of fun! I can't wait to go out again.

I've decided I need to have a night with just friends.. I think I might just banish Drew and the kids to the basement and we could stay up here.. or the other way around. Now I just have to figure out when and if I should plan some sort of activity or just talk and eat. Such decisions.. anyone want to come and play???

Friday, October 16, 2009

Someone has to teach him...

I can't dance.

No really, I can't.

When Aubrey was little and she begged for me to show her, she was not amused with my attempts.

That year for Christmas I gave her the Bella Dancerella Pop Star set. It was the perfect way for her to learn some decent moves! (I may or may not have learned them with her)

After being put away for awhile, Aubrey recently decided to practice again. She's considering being a Pop Star for Halloween.. she's gotta brush up on her skills!!

Looks like someone else is considering the same idea.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Revamping my Hutch.

My kitchen is tiny. The stairs going to the basement are in the corner of the room making for an awkward floor plan. When we bought our house, I was 23, working full time and had one child. We ate out a lot. The kitchen wasn't something we used all that much and I totally underestimated the importance of having lots of cabinet space.. or just space in general.

A few years after we moved in, my lovely grandma moved out of state leaving much of her furniture available. I snagged up her lovely piano as well as the dining room hutch. I felt a little crazy to bring more furniture into our already small kitchen but I really needed the extra storage.. what do you do.

My kitchen cabinets are your typical 90's light oak (or something) and the hutch is also light.
The furniture in my front room, which looks directly into the kitchen, is darker as is my kitchen table. I've wanted to do something to my hutch for awhile now but I wasn't sure what to do and still keep everything balanced.

Last week, on Thrifty Decor Chic, she came up with an inexpensive and quick way to change up her hutch. It was perfect for what I wanted to accomplish!! Her blogs gives great directions.

The length that I needed was 55" for the long sections but the foam boards were 20x30 so I needed two for just one section. It was really simple to cut out the length I needed and then just use duct tape to make it one large piece. I used the two scrap pieces to make the middle section and finally, two more pieces for the top area. Total was less than $12 for all four boards ($2.60ish each at Walmart and $3 each at Michaels).

The wall paper I picked up at Lowes for $3ish, on clearance. Love everything they clearance out in the fall!! I've never worked with wall paper but I had seen enough blogs with people using it for texture to make me snap it up. So glad I did!! And I have a TON of it left.

Once my foam pieces were taped together, I laid it out on my table with the wall paper facing down, and hot glued the edges along the back. Make sure you pull it tight!! (I had not glued the bottom in the picture below except for the edges)

After I was finished with that part, I went outside with a foam craft brush and one of those little tester cans of black satin paint (which I got in the Oops area for $1.50) and started painting. I did try spray paint, by the way, and after 2 light coats I decided to continue with the actual paint- there was too much texture, IMO.

Once it was dry to touch I just pushed it into the back of the hutch and I was done! Lovely, right??

I also decided to swap out the small knobs that were on the hutch because the original ones almost blended in with the wood because of the color. Home Depot had a 10 pack for $15.. and I forgot just how many knobs I had (I know, you'd think I would have first counted or something.. but whatever) so I ended up making a trip back where I noticed some for $1.36 and they were VERY close to the same design so I picked up four of those (they are on the drawers in the middle). I love how they look.

I also took the opportunity to redo the middle section and make it more contemporary. It had my Grandma's tea set in it as well as the mugs that we got from when we registered for our wedding. I'm a sentimental "things" person (which I'm trying to be better about) so it meant a lot for me to have them there. But I've never used the tea set, not even once. And we have another set of mugs that we use to drink from.. so really, I didn't need them there. Also, our hutch is also the spot where papers and things gather... so I decided to use two boxes I had from IKEA in that area for storage. Everything fit perfectly and is organized in them.

I also replaced the knobs on the lower section but the larger handle ones are the originals. I'm not going to replace those, I like how they look.
I didn't take a before picture on Saturday.. but I did take picture this back when we painted that back wall in June.

By the way, I changed the upper decorations a few weeks after this picture so that they worked better together.. I guess you can see what I was first working with a few months ago. LOL

Now you understand what I mean by the hutch becoming the drop of spot for clutter. Told you!

Here's my after:
And yes, that purple can of Lysol is there to stay. My husband gets a little crazy with spraying down the house at night and he gets a little bothered if it's not available to spray when needed. Not that he's anti-germ or anything.

What do you think?? I LOVE IT!!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My new obsession: Jute Twine & Styrofoam

It's DIY day again.. I'm loving that I have a day to show off my current projects and obsessions!

Back in August, I saw on V & Co. where she created some Pottery Barn inspired twiney decor balls. I fell in love. LOVE! They're just so rustic.. they scream Fall to me. Here is another blog that shows off hers as well.. I stumbled across it last week while I was in the middle of making some. What are the odds! lol

In Sep. I finally got around to starting them and I picked up a six pack of 4" styrofoam balls from Michaels for $5ish (plus I used a 40% off coupon) and I got to work. Not on all of them though, my children got to a few of them.. they're still missing. (where do they go???)

About two weeks after that, I picked up a second set only this time in the 2" variety.

And then last week, at the Dollar Tree, I discovered a package that had even smaller ones! Holy excellent value, Batman!!

(in back is the Michael's package.. up front is the Dollar Tree bag)

The jute twine was something I picked up at Walmart for around $2. It's lasting forever!

This is how I make them.

First, heat up your trusty glue gun. I know other people use craft glue, but have you SEEN my children? They wouldn't last a day!

I use the heat of the tip to melt a little hole and then I put some glue in it and stick the end in and let it cool.

Then I put a little glue around (in a circle shape) and start winding and unroll the twine as you go.

Once I get to the middle section I end up doing little stripe (three or four) so that I can wrap fast and cover a good portion at a time. Just don't burn yourself on the glue!

At the very end, I follow the same steps as the beginning. Melt a little hole, fill it up with glue and tuck the end in.

Stand back and admire how fabulously rustic it looks!

I have a small collection on my piano.

And on a side table, also in my front room..

And a set in my basement. That box is a $1 recipe box that I found in the dollar section at Michaels!

I'm seriously in love with the textures! Have I mentioned that yet???

As soon as the weather stops with the wind, I'll try out spray painting the twine first. I just bought some last week.. although maybe I can just paint the finished product. Hmm... maybe I'll test it out on a small one and see how that fairs.

What do you think?? Aren't they great??? :-D