Monday, February 25, 2013

Dog Days of Winter Challenge: Clean It

I took the challenge from the linky party the Dog Days of Winter.
link party 2
 We were under a blizzard warning all day on Sunday, and if it wasn't a blizzard out there it was pretty darn close! So I spent the day nursing sick Abby, who was kind of doing ok that day thank goodness, and cleaning out my pantry. The only drawback... I wasn't able to run to get more organizational supplies so had to make due. So it's not completely done, as I would like to paint the inside and get cuter baskets...
but here's the big (not so interesting) reveal...
(and sorry, it's really really hard to take pictures of my pantry- small door but big inside, it's awkward, so I just kind of tried to give you and idea...)

And, I know you're waiting with baited breath... AFTER

My favorite part about the after was that I moved all my kids' art and activity stuff onto the bottom shelf, where they can easily pull it out. The big pink tupperware is full of playdough, the white basket/tub thing is full of activity books and paper, and the box is crayons and markers, and you can't really see but on the left is painting supplies. 

My second favorite change was putting a basket full of old towels and rags. I don't buy paper towels, I think they are amazingly wasteful and unneccesary. So I keep a basket of old towels and rags that anyone can grab to mop up a mess and throw in the laundry room. It used to be on an upper shelf in the laundry room, but now it is where the kiddos can reach, and they can help clean up their own spills more, yay! 

Want to see the blizzard?
Look at my adorable doggie running through the it-must've-been at least 10" snowfall, as it was well over the top of my tall boots in the drifts.

Be sure to check out the other amazing cleaning ideas over at the Linky party!

Thrift Store Finds

I just love a good browse through a thrift store. I have been busy taking care of my two year old with stomach flu, poor thing. But on Saturday I put her down for a nap and my husband cuddled up to watch ice age with big sister, so I snuck out to browse and get a minute out of the house.

I found two adorable finds for 2.99 total :)

The first was an old marriage recording thing. I can't wait to frame it and put it up! It says if you want to have it mailed to you add 15 cents for shipping :)

The second was a little Pyrex dish. Just the perfect size for side dishes and sauces.

I love fun unique finds!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Another Barnwood Family Name Sign

A family I am incredibly close to moved in to a new home and I knew right away what I wanted to make them for a housewarming present.

Another piece of old barnwood that could have been firewood and will now be preserved on someone's wall!

One day I will work more on my own house and maybe even get my Etsy site going again. But for now, I do love showing my love through handmade gifts.

If you want a tute on how to make your own click HERE.

ps this post is linked up here...
Liz Marie Blog

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Birthday Somethings for Friends

I want to be a person who remembers birthdays. I swear I add birthdays to my calendars and a text  munching monster gobbles them up and I never see them again.

Now with crazy, Jetson-like technology I have computers that are way smarter than me keeping track of everything for me. A distant friend of mine, called Facebook (maybe you know him, too?) emailed me the other day and told me a very kind and loving family friend has a birthday coming up, so I am actually on top of it for once. Maybe if I actually used Facebook I would stay on top of everything... but I think I would also stay on top of SO many other things I don't actually want to stay on top of, like friends of old high school teammates' political views... too much information for my little brain.

Anyway, this wonderful woman usually hand makes my children presents. So I am attempting to hand make her something just as special...

A box of handmade and hand decorated sugar cookies.
It's a bouquet you can eat :)
There's a few layers in there. I also used my Cricut to cut out some leaves to sprinkle in to the tissue paper that match the handmade bday card. Good, right?

**if you are a friend of mine and didn't recieve one of these for your bday, and I not only didn't bake you cookies but didn't even call, email, or text you on your bday, please send a note to Facebook and let him know he is letting you down... it's not my fault that I am highly disorganized.

ok, it is. sorry.

Here is my plan for the future:
 Is that not the cutest card organizer ever? I've only had it for probably 8 years and never used it. 
 And look, it even has a list of birthdays organized by month and day with a pocket to hold your cards, and the backside there is a spot for addresses. It's not only cute, but would keep me organized, and make it easy to send cards when I have them all there ready to send with addresses and everything. Put this on my 'must do in 2013' list. Right there with figure out how to stick to a budget, xeriscape our entire backyard, redecorate pretty much our entire house, and talk my husband into having a 3rd baby. Hmmm... we'll see.
ps if you want the recipe for the sugar cookies it's here: 

Rolled Sugar Cookie Recipe
1 1/2 Cups butter
2 Cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
5 Cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

chill atleast one hour then cook at 400F for 6-8 mins. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lucy's Jewelry Box

Big girl has been collecting jewelry for 4 years now, all very expensive stuff :), and it has been collecting in a mound on her toy shelves in her room. I do want to teach her to take care of her stuff and put things away, but we didn't have a good spot for it all. And being the thrifter and DIYer extraordinaire that I am {bit of sarcasm there!} I found an old school jewelry box at our local Goodwill. (It was a very happy day in my world when we got a Goodwill and a Salvation Army right here in our town! I guess a growing town isn't all bad!)

So we scooted over to JoAnns and she picked out, (with just a little direction from Mom), some coordinating scrapbook paper.

After finally sneaking the box away and telling the girls Arial needed to find a new fish tank I was able to paint, distress, Mod Podge, and seal the box. I am pretty darn happy about the results...

p.s. I linked this up to Kelly's Korner blog HERE.
what a cute blog and quite a few good posts on that link!
Thank goodness she finally has a place to keep her really expensive jeweled rings and the rings off of her preschool birthday parties :) 

Friday, February 15, 2013

How to Be Satisfied with What I Have

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. 
John 16:33

Let's be honest here. I don't even have many 'tribulations.' My babies were born without a hitch. The only real close death I have known was my Oma, and it was her time. I have a 1600ish square foot house with a view of open space on a 1/4 acre plot. I am surrounded by friends and family and abundant food. My children sleep safe and warm in their sweet smelling beds at night, rooms lit softly by their night lights. My husband loves me and our family and I trust him completely. My needs are met. So why do I want more?

Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
1 Timothy 6:6-8

God tells us where to find happiness. It is not going to be found in my dream farmhouse or in a table surrounded by 4 tiny faces that I home-school. It is not going to be found in writing a best selling novel or in a new life where my husband doubles his salary and I get to stay home forever.

It is right here. It is right now. 

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  
Hebrews 13:5

I like to think my soul is free from a love of money. But I also keep this thought in a deep, dark place in my soul that if I won the lottery and did get to buy a farm and my life consisted of feeding my chickens and taking care of my babies I would be happy. In a roundabout way, that is a love of money. If I'm honest with myself, I think 'things' and 'stuff' will make me happy. And I work hard everyday towards my goals because they will bring me happiness...

 just one more baby. just a bit more room in my house. a little bigger yard. nicer clothes. a perfect education for my children. a newer kitchen. a decorated house worthy of a Country Living cover story. ...

My happiness could already be here. This very minute. Writing my blog in my not-so-dream, but not-so-bad house in my non-pregnant body wearing my holey sweatpants drinking my latte at 5am. Not sort-of-happy or happy-for-now, but complete and total joy. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. 
 Romans 15:13

I think everyone has dreams and goals, and what would life truly be without them. I think, though, that I need to align my own personal dreams with my God's dreams and my families dreams. And that will take constant prayer and thanksgiving. To achieve an internal happiness my humble mind thinks I need to constantly count my blessings, (thanks for the idea Ann Voskamp) and pray for contentedness and guidance from above.

God give me the strength to thank you every minute of every day for my blessings and find  happiness and contentment with what I have been blessed with. Please guide my heart in finding my path to serve your Goodness and be a source of happiness and security for my family. 
File:Mount of the Holy Cross, Colorado, 1900.jpg

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Get Inspired!!!

This week I linked up with Crafty, Scrappy, Happy HERE to get inspired for the week. It's a happy hour sort of thing on Thursday nights for everyone to share what their week is like, or so it seems. This is my first week doing it, but that is sure what I get out of it!

I am usually at yoga... OK, twice I went... in a row! but I'm supposed to usually be at yoga, but since it's Valentine's Day and all I am at home enjoying my family... or blogging... hmmm. I did my bit, we had heart pizzas, heart cookies, and then my amazing husband came home with craft putty as the girlies Valentine's Day present and they are deeply engrossed in making tiny animals, which almost made me cry watching them. He is amazing. So I snuck up to blog.  But I'm heading back down now to join the fun.

But, anyways, check out the party with the link above and get inspired!! I linked up my baby room sign because I am in love with it :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Lunchbox

My two older kiddos will actually be IN SCHOOL for Valentine's Day for the first time ever! Their preschool teachers are even making their heart shaped pancakes, not me!! What a travesty...
So I decided I had to make their lunches fun!

We already had the mini heart shaped cookie cutter out from making our ornaments this morning, so I just washed it and used it to cut out their little soynut butter sandwiches and cucumbers. Then I used my kitchen scissors to cut their apricots and layed them on some raisens. Last, but not least, I put some red sprinkles and candies on vanilla yogurt.

Now to make the 'Will You Be My Valentine' notes :) 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Handmade Baby Room Sign

This will be one of my additions to my sister-in-law's baby shower... I am in charge of decorations! I am SO super happy with how this turned out! They are waiting to find out the gender- this girl has patience! When I was carrying a 7lb basketball under my sweatshirts for 9 months that made me want sleep all the time, but, oh wait, I couldn't because I couldn't actually lay down... there was no way I was making myself wait for anything! I digress... so the goal was to make a gender neutral sign that could be used as babyshower decor and also move in to the nursery if they so choose. The result?

cute, right? 
The baby shower theme is green and yellow. The room will be green and brown with a slight bird theme. Did I hit the mark?  I hope so...

Quick and dirty tute:
 1. cut and paint a board. I used the leftover board from when my husband tiled our bathroom counter.

 2. Sand it smooth and distress it. Round the corners, make it look how you want, etc.

 3. I hit mine with the back end of a hammer a few times, mostly in the corners. It adds a touch of character.
 4. Wipe Minwax Poly Stain over the top with a rag and gloves, wiping off excess. I used antique walnut, but I actually wish I went one shade lighter...
 5. Use paint to paint on your words. Many times I use acrylic craft paint. I didn't realize I had run out of brown, so I actually used a tester of regular old wall paint from Home Depot for the brown. Decoupage (use Mod Podge) your letters and bird on. I used my Cricut to cut out the YOU and the little sweet birdie. Then do one layer of Mod Podge over the whole sign to be sure the finish is even.
6. Hand a picture hanger on the back. I havent' done this yet, but you can see what kind I use here on my Barnwood Family Name sign. 

I think I love making signs :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Handmade LOVE Sign

Last week I posted about a wedding I'm going to and the barnwood family name sign I made them here. This was the second present they received from us. It is a handmade wall plaque with the word 'LOVE' on it, made out of their wedding invitation.


I was just pickled with how it turned out :) And even more excited when we visited their house and I saw it would match the color scheme perfectly... sigh.

Obviously as a wedding present this project is awesome with the word love made out of the invitation. However I was inspired by this project here, where s/he made a sign out of a single large photograph of a beach. (I sure hope that link works. It was one of those darn pintrest links where they linked their main blog page, not the actual post, so I liked this to my pin...) This project is easy to envision other uses for...

Anyway, here is my quick and simple tute...

1. trace the letters you want on the back of your invitation/paper. You could use stencils or even a Cricut machine, but like always I just free handed it! 

 2. lay the letters out on the board you bought or cut to fit your project.

3. paint the board your color choice. I did a nice tan from the 'oops paint' section. I always use matte indoor paint. If you want a different color to show through when you distress it then paint that color under your main color.

4.  Use sandpaper to sand off the edges, smooth out the paint if need be, round the corners, and take a few places of paint off in the middle of the board.

5. I don't have a picture of this exact step- but go over the paint with a minwax poly stain. I love antique walnut because it really darkens up the color, but their are lighter shades if you don't want to darken your color. Use gloves and a rag to wipe the stain on then wipe it off to get your desired effect. It will finish up the project nicely. Once dry use Mod Podge (in picture) to stick letters to the board. I had to put mine on one at a time, then put my cutting board and a full fruit bowl on top to be sure it dried flat! Cover entire sign with another (or two) coat(s) of Mod Podge.

6. Attach a picture hanger on the back. Another thing I forgot to take a picture of, but if you follow the link at the top of this page to the barnwood sign I took a picture of it there, and I used exactly the same one.

I would've LOVED this when I got married. I adored my invitations but really didn't know what to do with them. I wonder if I have any stuffed in a box somewhere...