Thursday, November 29, 2012

Extend the Life of Kid's Holiday Shirts

I love holiday clothes on Abby and I always buy them a year in advance on clearance. This past year that has not proven to be wise- Abby went from a shirt size 3 to a size 6 in one year. So, when I pulled out this 4T Gobble shirt purchased at Old Navy last year, I was sad. I had no turkey day outfit for her and I had wasted more money on clothing while trying to save money!

Then I had a plan.... instead of cutting out a turkey from fabric scraps to sew onto a white t-shirt in her comfortable size 6, I just cut out the Old Nacy turkey on the size 4T shirt and sewed it onto the white t-shirt like I would an applique. It was easy and I think she looked mighty cute!

So now, I can get 2 wears out of holiday shirts! Or, whenever I see holiday shirts I like on clearance, I don't have to worry about the size! Genius!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Kids' Christmas Craft Ideas

My daughter is turned 4 at the end of December and this year her birthday party is a Christmas party. I knew I had a limited window where I could pick her party theme and when all her little friends would be excited for a Christmas party, so this is the year! I have been researching parties and pinning ideas since this time last year. I have way more ideas than I could use, so I'll do a couple of posts in the next week about kids Christmas parties. We'll start with fun crafts!

Making a felt tree with presents and ornaments is a great way to distract kids from the real Christmas tree. It can also be lots of fun at a party. Pre-make the tree and then allow kids to make ornaments with felt you provide. Then, kids (with parental help if needed) can put their name on the ornaments and place them on the tree. 

It would be a fun thing to pull out each year and reminisce about your little friends from that particular year. You could also use it to inspire you to pray over the kids represented on the ornaments annually.

How much messy fun are these? They are simply ice cream cones colored in pre-made icing with food coloring and then decorated with candy! I love this idea, just give yourself lots of time so that the icing can dry before the party ends!

Snow globes are fun to make and can cost next to nothing! You need a jar, a small toy item, glitter and water! Baby jars and plentiful if you have a little one or mason jars are inexpensive. For a homemade snow globe gift card holder, click here. This was my favorite gift to give last year.

I love this easy craft. It would be a fun teacher gift from a class of preschoolers or fun for a larger family. I love the colors it pulls in and how easy it is to do, frame and finish!

Up next, fun food ideas for a kids Christmas party!

* All of these pictures came from Pinterest and the links take you to the original author. Click over and give them some love for the great ideas!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

This makes me laugh and makes me sad!

We are not big black Friday shoppers- I love shopping December 26th much more; however, I get the appeal. We all need to save money and want a good deal. I hope you get a good deal without trampling anyone else or being trampled! 

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Simply Last Minute Ways to Focus at THANKSgiving

In the midst of cleaning house, buying groceries, traveling or hosting, and preparing a perfect meal set on a magazine-ready table, it is easy to lose focus on the thanks part of Thanksgiving. I looked around and found a couple of easy things you could do on Thursday to make the day more thanks focused.

These free printables are sweet and look good, too!

I love the idea of this tree. We had a blessing tree at a baby shower a few years ago and it looked beautiful as it grew with blessings for the baby. This tree could be filled with things your guests are thankful for and I know kids would have fun adding leaves. If you live in a place with these big bare branches, it would be a free project!

Turkeys are always fun decor at Thanksgiving and this one is filled with messages. It is colorful and would be cute on your Thanksgiving table.

This little turkey has the same idea, buy you likely have everything you need to make him right in your home. I couldn't find the original link to him, but it looks pretty self-explanatory.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gallery Wall Update

Five months ago I shared my new pink and blue frames with you as I tried to design a gallery wall in my daughter's room. And, then I got busy and forgot to update you! Here it is- a really crooked picture, but you get the idea! 

We filled the frames with a variety of items I had at home and added a few more fun touches to fill the wall with character, color, and her sweet little life.

I realized I needed to share this wall with you before it comes down. She is almost 4 and has finally shown an opinion on her room- she wants it purple. Okay, purple it is. So, I am shopping for bedding and will likely be spraying these frames a new color and re-working this wall soon!

This flower was part of a hair piece when she was younger and is simply taped onto blue cardstock. Easy option and cheap!

The ABC printable was inspired by Pinterest. I just picked a font and colors I liked and went to town!

Finally, I used scrapbook paper and cut out her sweet little toddler profile and glued it up. 

I have loved her little blue and pink transition room, but I am also excited to go another direction for her in the next few months. I am not a purple person and I want to use some of the existing pink elements in her room. I plan to add a neutral color to soften the girly overload. Fingers crossed my vision comes alive!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Why I Have Presents Wrapped Early...

I love wrapping paper! I love creating a theme and buying all the wrapping accessories I need to make my packages look good. I like to buy it all half off on December 26th. I like more rolls than I need so that I have variety under the tree. I also like wrapping my presents super early as in I have 15 presents wrapped before November 8th.

Here is the deal.... I love giving gifts and I am not good at waiting. So, wrapping them as soon as I get them helps me to not give them out early. I have another problem, I tend to second guess myself and think I don't have enough for one person or another. Having them all wrapped and labels prevents me from adding more gifts into the box and also makes it easier to see how many I have for each person.

My advice on gifting and wrapping early is this:

 Wrap them and label them, but don't accessories them early. Wait until they are going under the tree to add bows, tulle or ribbons. They stack nicely when those things aren't yet included.

Keep a spreadsheet. I have a Christmas spreadsheet each year and it includes gift ideas, items bought, amount spent and money left to spend. It helps me stay on budget and know what I still need to spend as December nears and money gets tighter. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

No Sew Washable Pet Bed

We got a puppy. I never thought of myself as a dog person, but after only 6 days, I really love Captain! We realized after only a few days that he didn't have a place to curl up and rest besides his crate in the laundry room. So, I began the hunt for dog beds and was shocked at how expensive they can be. We don't need a $900 Cadillac model for a puppy to destroy or to potty on!

My Mom is making him a bed in a few weeks, but I wanted a quick and easy option I could make in an afternoon. Enter the no sew washable fleece pet bed.... Isn't Captain cute!

I bought the McCalls pattern for 99 cents at Hobby Lobby. In hindsight, you don't really need a pattern, but it was a reliable back up for under a dollar. You also need 2-3 yards of fleece, depending on the size of your bed and a bag of Poly-fil. Just make sure you pick a washable filler. 

The bed is essentially two large ovals tied together around the edges with square knots. The pattern will give you the half circle that you cut (on the fold to make a full circle) and then "slash" to make the ties.

Once I cut the pattern for the small bed, I pinned the pattern to my fabric and cut it to size. To avoid the pattern, you would want to find something in the size and shape that you want and then cut two pieces ( a top and bottom) to that size. 

Once my circle was cut, I followed the "slash" marks and cut the strips that will be used as ties for my knots.

Here is a portion of the bed tied in knots. Tying the knots was the longest part of the whole process!

This little girl got up from rest time just in time to help me fill the bed with stuffing. You want to start stuffing when you have 5-10 ties left to knot.

If you don't want to buy stuffing, I saw beds online where you buy only the shell and then stuff it with old t-shirts, towels and blankets. Another great option!

I just moved the stuffing around to fill the holes and stopped when it was my desired fullness. I wanted it to be soft and squishy so that he could get in and out easily with his little legs so I didn't stuff it all the way. You could easily untie a few knots and a later date and add more stuffing. Or redo the whole insides if it gets really yucky!

Ta-da! Our bed is ready in under and hour and less than $20! I like spending little and getting a bed made during naptime!

 This little boy seems to like it also. He went right into it and rested the first afternoon!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Photo Prop Chair

We are having family photos done this weekend and I have the vision in my head of us all looking perfect, smiling big, and the sun shining just enough to create magic and not blind us. 

Part of that vision is an old chair that perfectly matches our outfits as a prop for us to sit on. I hunted Goodwill stores around town and found this "beauty" for $10. It wasn't exactly the shape I had in mind, but the price was right!

I wanted to paint the chair an orange spice color to match a portion of my daughter's dress. I bought a small tub of Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange and added the red and cream I already owned. It started out too pink, so I kept adding red to help. I used all of the orange or I would have added more. I should have started with orange and red first and then added cream if needed.

See what I mean- the first coat scared me. This would be cute in a little girls room, but doesn't match my spicey orange vision!

After two coats I took it outside to see how it would photograph in the sunlight.

It is much closer to my color that the first coat inside. Now, I had a big decision to make- clear wax or dark wax? I painted a small sample on wood and applied dark wax. It made the pink/orange color much more of a rusty brown, so I decided to keep it bold and went with clear wax, after a little sanding of course!

Here is the finished product with the inspiration dress... what do you think?

I think it is going to work well! It is a pop of color among a brown field that will draw your eye into my color scheme. I am wearing peach, ivory and camel and my husband is wearing butter yellow. 

Another big part of my vision was a crazy made to match hair piece for my daughter. Check out who I found on Etsy- her work is amazing and my custom hairpiece is a perfect match!

Monday, November 5, 2012

What I Am Loving Right Now...

Here are a few things I am currently loving...

We had a garage sale and hoped to make enough to buy a cool club chair for our living room. We are selling the butter yellow recliner from Abby's nursery on Craigslist. When she got a big girl bed, it went into my husband's office. But, it just looks like a nursery chair! So, I want to move the masculine leather chair and ottoman from the living room into the office and add this chair to the living room.

Thankfully, we almost made enough and with cheap shipping from Overstock, we should own it soon!

I have always loved Kendra Scott Danielle earrings on other people, but thought they were just too big for my face and short hair. Luckily, she came out with a smaller version, the Elle, and it is perfect. I own them in turquoise, but saw them in green on a salesperson at Nordstrom's recently and they looked awesome against her orange sweater. Swoon! 
I currently have Shellac on my nails and recently had a taupy brown color put on them. I looked at Target for a matching polish for my toes and loved this one- Mink Muffs. It is the perfect brown for pale skin!

Have you heard of Kate Somerville yet? My friend Katy uses her face wash and told me about it last Spring when we were in Los Angeles visiting her. Since then I have heard celebrities and bloggers talk about her products. I am wearing make up less and would love to go out in public with no make up and my skin just looking fresh and clean. So, I bought a small bottle of the ExfoliKate and the gentle face wash. OMG- this stuff is amazing! My skin is more even in color, less oily, and overall, more clean without makeup. Read the reviews- you'll see how great it is!

When buying my new face wash, I was given a sample of the new perfume by Bvlgari. It smells great- not too sweet and just a little musky. Great scent for fall!

Finally, I am in love with this scarf! I have followed this seller for a year now and her scarves are made from recycled sweaters, so they are just about one of a kind. Whenever they are listed they sell right away. I am trying to snag one this season!

Anything you are loving right now that you want to share?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November Desktop

Aah, the lovely month of November! I hope you cherish this month and fill it with happy memories!

This month's kit is called Here With You, from Sweet Shoppe Designs. Have a great month!