I’ve become that mom

I’ve become that mom. Probably not the one you are thinking about right now. But I am probably that one too.

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Tonight I spent a little while sewing fluffy fabric on to thrift store sweatpants to make a… costume. Our foray into the theater has begun. And with it comes a lifetime of making costumes (or so I believe). And I don’t mind one bit.

The thing I love about my 8-year-old is that she makes up her mind and doesn’t falter. She is a Lost Girl in a Peter Pan rendition this week and wanted a gray outfit to match the ear headband we have. Gray. With fur everywhere. Preferably real fur.

I compromised with her by telling her we’d find fuzzy pants. And make a tail.

And so we did. In a miracle beyond miracles, we went to one store and found exactly what we were looking for. And in the second store we found exactly what we were looking for.

And here I sit, sewing on a fluffy, shedding, sheep tail. Way too late in the evening and I know that she will love it. And she will have the best time.

And this won’t be the last time I sit here sewing.

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Book Review: Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson

Book review: Picture Picture

This was a fun book to read for my second review. I promise this won’t just be a review blog, but I do like reading books so this isn’t a hard task!

I wasn’t familiar with Janice Thompson before getting this book in the mail and I’m not sure why. She writes fun characters and fits right into the Christian Chick-Lit genre that I love to read.

This book is a continuation of the Weddings by Bella series (which I am now going to read) and still stands on its own so you don’t need to read the previous books to understand what it going on.

Set in Galveston, TX, Picture Perfect follows the life of a young photographer trying to make her way into the wedding photography industry. It’s the classic girl-still-single-meets-good-looking-single-man story. The main character, Hannah, is Irish and so the book is written around a ton of old Irish sayings. I still can’t decide if it was overused or endearing. One other thing I enjoyed about this book is the second story line with Hannah’s parents. Normally this type of book will just focus on the romance of the main character. Picture Perfect also dealt with her parents finding themselves as they became empty-nesters. It was a nice addition to the book overall.

I came away from this book wanting to visit Galveston Island and wanting to read more from Janice Thompson. She’s definitely an author that I would recommend if you are wanting to pick up some fun, easy, reading.

Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 

** Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review here. The opinions expressed above are my own.

 

Mid-Century Dresser turned Sideboard

Last year was my year to discover Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and actually paint some pieces that I really needed in my house.

For years we have only had a table in our dining room. While there is nothing wrong with having just a table, I have really wanted a hutch or other piece to store dining room linens and just clear some clutter from the kitchen.

At the end of the summer I stopped by my friend’s garage sale and found a perfect mid-century modern triple drawer dresser she had for sale. I didn’t know for sure if it would work in the dining room, but I knew I could use the piece in multiple places in my house. My friend got this dresser from her grandpa and he was the original owner so it was in great shape.

Here is the before picture, texted from her phone to mine!

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I wasn’t sure at first if I would change the pulls on the drawers or not. After looking at the drawers and thinking of all the work it would take to move the pulls to a different spot, I decided to just spray paint them.

I had been wanting to use French Linen since I saw it on some samples in the store.

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I need to get better at taking “during” pictures, but I worked on this off and on during the fall and had it done right before Christmas.

It’s perfect for the dining room! I now have a place for placemats, tablecloths and napkins. Since there are so many drawers, we put art supplies in the bottom drawers to make it easier for Isabelle to keep that all organized.

Here is what it looks like now:

ASCP: French Linen Dresser

I used an oil-rubbed bronze spray paint for the handles and am happy with how they look like against the gray. The chalkboard I made from an old picture someone gave me and I’ve been having fun finding new things to draw on it.

Surprisingly it hasn’t felt as cramped in the dining room as I thought it would be, which is nice.

I’m linking this to a couple of Link Parties this week so next week I’ll finally show you the desk I worked for the guest room.

Linking to:

Shades of Amber

DIY Show Off

Read more at http://diyshowoff.com/2013/02/10/that-diy-party-3/#8u0EqlJI5zW0uVZ8.99

 

Fun Superbowl Food

Last year I got a deal on Every Day with Rachel Ray Magazine so I’ll be getting the magazine for the next couple of years. It’s been fun to pick out a recipe or two from each issue to try out.

In her January/February issue she highlighted snack dishes that played off the “bowl” idea of the Superbowl. All the snacks had an edible bowl as part of the dish. I was trying to decide between two snacks to bring to the party we were going to and Tim wanted to eat both so I went ahead and made both dishes.

Amazingly I was able to make both between church and the game and we even made it on time!

I started with the Garlic Bread Bowl with Spicy Pizza Dip. It turned out really good and I’m a sucker for a bread bowl. But, I didn’t get any pictures since I was too excited about my next snack.

My second snack was a Chocolate Peanut Butter Bowl. Look at this goodness:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bowl: Rachel Ray Mag

I’ve seen the cake competition shows where people use Rice Krispie treats to give cakes strong structure, but I had never really thought about using them for other things. The bowl was actually super easy. You make the treat mixture and I made sure that I was chilling it long enough. The dip is basically a peanut butter whipped cream and its a wonderful complement to the rice krispies. It was a lot of fun to sit there and rip apart the bowl to eat the dip. Definitely the hit of the party.

I’d be curious to figure out a nut-free alternative because it’s just a great snack. This dish will for sure be on my list of go-to party snacks.

 

Book Review: 5 Days to a Clutter-Free House

Book Review: 5 Days to a Clutter Free House

 

Good morning and Happy Monday!

I feel like I’ve reached “the big league” by being able to review books for my blog. 😉 I’m looking forward to sharing a couple more books I’ve got lined up and it gives me a chance to read some new things.

It’s interesting that the first book I got was 5 Days to a Clutter-Free House. It’s definitely an area I always struggle with. I have some good habits around the house and recognize the need for some better habits, so I was curious how this would motivate me.

The first section of the book, the “5 days” part, really didn’t apply to me. It focuses on cleaning a home that is one step away from being on the show Hoarders. It brings a team approach to cleaning your house so that you can actually see quick results. Perfect if you aren’t a mom with two young kids and all your friends also have young kids. The authors, Sandra Felton & Marsha Sims, did provide tips for if you need to practice this approach on your own and I was able to gain some new tips for getting some deep cleaning under control. My favorite was first focus on items in the area of feet to your knees, the next day focus on your knees to your shoulders, followed by your shoulders to the ceiling and then finish with the cabinets. I think I could use that as a good rule of thumb whenever I get into a spring cleaning mode.

As much as I felt the first section didn’t apply, I loved the second section. The second section focused maintaining your home after you get the major clutter cleared out. The author is the founder of Messies Anonymous so she understands people who, by nature, are not organized people. Instead of feeling bad that I can’t figure out this whole homemaking thing and just have a clutter-free house, I was able understand some ways to embrace my personality and come up with some solutions. I don’t think it was anything particularly new, but it was told in a way that makes me want to try a little harder to maintain clean spaces in my house. For that reason alone I would say this book is worth the purchase.

 

Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

** Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review here. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Hexagons!

I had a gift card to a cute little Quilt Shop here in town and decided that I was going to buy a pattern book or something similar with it. I have some books and I love looking through them to get ideas or have things ready when I decide to jump into a sewing project.

I was having trouble deciding and then the owner showed me this book

New Normal: Hexagon Quilt Patterns

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After a quick scan through, I loved it! All their pieces have a very modern look and it lets me play around with English Paper Piecing, which I haven’t done much of (much meaning, none at all).

I was so happy that next week when I was browsing through the Spring Stampin’ Up! catalog and saw the hexagon pattern in an embossing folder!

New Normal: Stampin' Up! Hexagons

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I did my first order through Stampin’ Up! today and the first thing on my list was this folder. Here are some fun cards that caught my eye using this folder.

via Sweet Impressions

via RubberFUNatics

I’m looking forward to being a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator and using my current creativity surge to make some fun projects and encourage people that they are capable of being creative!

Sewing to help: School Kit Bags

New Normal: School Kits for Refugees

I was having a conversation with my brother this fall and we got to the topic of sewing things for different causes. I love that there are groups that work to provide pillowcases and blankets for hurting people. I think I mentioned that I’d like to know what to do when I see fabric on sale or if I have a lot of extra fabric from a project.

He works for Mennonite Central Committee and mentioned that one of the things they provide in their relief work are school kits for kids. One part of the school kit is a handmade drawstring bag.

These bags are real simple and it looks like you could get three bags out of one yard of fabric depending on how the fabric is cut.

There are a variety of kits that MCC creates if you are interested in helping out. These would be a good idea for an outreach through your church or a similar group.

 

 

Changes may be coming. Someday.

I had a post saved on my iPad and I’m not quite sure where it went, so I’ll add this one until I find it.

Just a quick check-in. No pictures or new projects finished.

I am pretty excited though because I have some fun things happening here on the blog and at home. Two years ago I signed up with Stampin’ Up! to get a consultant kit. The nice thing is they let you do a hobby kit, where you get the products at the discount but you don’t have to run a business.

I signed up when I was just finding out I was pregnant with Adelynn and I was also working part-time for David’s Bridal, so I really didn’t have any time to do anything beyond a hobby.

Over the last two years I know that I need to be more involved in the creative world. I’m pretty sure that is pretty evident in how my posts have changed. I like sewing and creating projects and helping people have fun with crafts and sewing.

So, next week I am signing up again as a Stampin’ Up! consultant. I hope to have some classes going and maybe do some parties here and there. I don’t want to have huge expectations, but I’d really enjoy to see something come from that.

Also, I’ve finally figured out a new name for my blog! I’m not revealing it yet since I’d like to have a new design and actually buy the domain. I’m excited about it and I think it’ll fit my current direction nicely. My question to anyone who might be reading this is, do you know a good designer I can work with? I’d like to stay on WordPress, so finding someone that works with this platform would be good.

I’m looking forward to these changes and hopefully I can get some implemented soon. I’ll keep you posted!

Grandparent Gift Idea

One of the advantages of having secret boards on Pinterest is that now my sister-in-law and I can scheme about what our kids will give the grandparents each year.

There are four grandkids currently, so when we saw this we knew it would be perfect.

My brother and his family happened to come visit us in November so we took the chance to get a picture of each girl and then I worked on putting it together.

Here’s what my mom opened on Christmas Day:

New Normal: Grandparent Gift

The only picture I took of it was from my phone! I printed each letter out and then we ordered the girls in age order (which also happened to alternate sibling sets). You could really do anything with this and I think the original one we saw had just two kids alternating. I ended up finding the frame at Michaels. It is about the only store that has a frame with a 4-picture mat. So strange.

I also had them printed in black and white to give some continuity, so it really didn’t matter if these were taken at the same time or not. For the record, it took 45 pictures to get these four and two kids aren’t even looking at the camera.

Such a great easy gift that can be used for any time of the year!