Thursday, February 26, 2009

Taking a break from the organizational challenge

Well, the loft is coming along. Not there yet, but it looks much better than it did around lunch today when I had stuff everywhere and wondered if there was any hope.

I did take some pictures - I guess we can call them "in the middle" pictures. They are probably worse than the "before" pictures would have been. But I will wait to show those to you when I have some good "after" pictures to go with them. And trust me when I say we aren't there yet :)

Since we are picking up Tanner tomorrow night, I am taking a break from the loft and going to enjoy some "me" time tomorrow. My sister-in-law and I are heading to Austin to visit a fun new fabric store and probably hit some thrift shops as well.

Diane and I have talked for years now about having a booth at one of the local craft fairs. Diane is VERY creative and we always thought it would be fun to try selling some of our stuff. So, she has decided to get a booth the first weekend in April at Wimberley Market Days. Just the kick in the rear I needed to stop talking about it and actually do it!

I'm not sure how much I can get ready in a month. But I think I will be crafting and sewing till my fingers fall off! I am actually really excited about it. I just need to decide what exactly I am going to focus on.

Oh, and I need to come up with a business name. Decisions, decisions! I want something cute and unique, but nothing has come to me yet. And I have been thinking about this for a LONG time. I need some inspiration, and I need it fast.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Missing my little man

Tanner is at Grandpa and Grandma's this week. ALL WEEK!

I dropped him off on Saturday and we are going to pick him up on Friday. It has been incredibly quiet around here - and quite lonely I might add!

Even though it has been nice to get some stuff done around here, I do miss him terribly. But he is having a great time and I'm afraid he doesn't miss us near as much.

I have been taking advantage of this time to get some pre-school stuff organized for him. I think he is finally ready for some structured school-time. Although I will be honest and say that I'm struggling with the idea that my baby is already 4 1/2. It makes me a little sad!

So, yesterday I spent most of the day at the dining room table surrounded by various pre-school and kindergarten curriculums. Some from my mom and some from a friend. Who knew kindergarten stuff could be so overwhelming? I think it is the idea of teaching someone to read - it just intimidates me.

But after many hours of looking at everything and going cross-eyed, I think I have a good idea of where I want to start.

So now, I am tackling the loft in an attempt to create a school room. Let's just say that it will probably take longer than I want it to. I should post a before picture so you can truly appreciate the task ahead of me. But I'm too chicken...or too embarrassed...or too proud...or too something!!

It is an organizational disaster up there! It is part office, part workout room, part attic overflow and part junk room. And I am hoping to transform it tomorrow into a room that doesn't make me cringe.

If you think about it, you might want to say a prayer for me!

And if I have any measure of success, I might post an "after" picture. We'll see...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gloves for the domestic diva

I wanted to share another one of my crafts from Christmas.

I think this was one of my favorite gifts to make! It was so hysterical and made me laugh everytime I looked at them.

Introducing, kitchen gloves for even the most discriminating diva:

All you need is a pair of latex gloves, some oilcloth and a little ric-rac.

Sew the oil cloth on the gloves and glue on the trim - and voila!

Almost makes you excited about doing the dishes. Almost!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Free downloads

I am a fan of free things.

And there are plenty of free things out there - if you know where to look!

I found this website last night that has some great free downloads. Take a peek, but beware that you might lose track of time as you explore her website!

I also put a button on my sidebar, so you can click it whenever you want to see if there are any fun new additions.

I have already starting thinking about Tanner's birthday party this summer, and she has some great ideas for a Super Hero party with lots of great downloads. I think my little man would love that party!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Recycled Magazine Holder

I stumbled across this fantastic idea yesterday and wanted to share it. Turn a priority box into a magazine clever is that?

You can find the tutorial at Pink and Polka Dot.

I think I may have to try this soon! I am a self-proclaimed magazine junkie. I love them...and have a hard time throwing them away.

Maybe I will feel better about the piles of magazines if they have cute holders!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Quiet-time church bag

When children turn 4 at our church, they start going to children's church.

This means you no longer drop them off in the nursery as you come in. Instead, they sit with you during worship and are dismissed after the offering. Since this translates into at least 45 minutes of sitting in church, it can present some unique challenges for a 4 year old!

I have been looking for ideas of church activities to help Tanner make this transition, and found this great tutorial for a crayon roll-up.

I made one at Christmas for my niece and she loves it!

I used a cord stop to keep it closed per the instructions. However, I must admit I felt like it really lowered the cuteness factor! It may be practical - but I like cute.

So...we had a birthday party today for a little girl who was turning 4. I thought I would try another one and make a matching tote bag for her to carry it in. Here is the finished product...

The tote is reversible with the striped fabric inside (forgot to take a picture of that!). This was my first time making a little bag - and I couldn't believe how easy it was!

I put a notebook and the crayon roll-up inside. Now, she has her church quiet-time bag.

I used a wide grosgrain ribbon this time instead of the cord stop - and it definitely completed it. MUCH cuter I thought! Of course, mommy might not appreciate having to tie it all the time. But sometimes you have to sacrifice for style!

My project this week is to make a boy version for Tanner. I have some cowboy fabric for the crayon roll-up, I just have to figure out how to make a bag that will pass the "boy" test (and Chris test!).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine Cookies

We had a Valentine cookie decorating party today with Tanner's cousin, Lena, and some friends from church.

I tried a new sugar cookie recipe. And they were DIVINE!! The icing recipe came from

I made the cookies in advance, mainly because I wanted to test the recipe first. But it turned out so much easier to have the cookies done and just have the kids decorate them.

We used little paintbrushes and they iced them and then used LOTS of sprinkles.

Happy Valentines! Enjoy the ones you love this week!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The dilemma of preschool art

Sometimes I feel like a horrible mom - sneaking a few of what seems like hundreds of crayon scribbled pictures into the trash. I even find myself hiding them under other trash, just in case the little man spots them.

Since I'm not inclined to wallpaper every room in my house with Tanner's pictures, I knew that we needed some kind of art solution.

Behold, the rotating art gallery...

I have quite a stash of old window frames that my husband has been carting around for me for the last five years. I think he is more eager than me to see them go to good use. So one day when we were talking about what we were going to do with the constant stream of artwork, he had this brilliant idea! "Why don't you use one of your old windows?" he said.

Why didn't I think of that???

I found some cute magnet clips at Office Max and glued them to ribbon loops. I then used my handy staple gun to attach them to the window frame. And Voila!

Now it is hanging on the kitchen wall - with room for 8 masterpieces at a time. When Tanner creates a new one, he gets to choose which one comes off so a new one can go up. This just went up 2 days ago, so we haven't actually had to deal with the switch-a-roo yet - I am just hoping it pans out as well in reality as it does in my head!

At least now, I feel like we are giving them proper attention before they get stuffed under a milk carton in the trash.

Of course, there will always be those treasures that need to be saved for the scrapbook. Like this one Tanner gave me as he proudly announced "Mommy, look - I drew you!".

All I can say is that I am looking mighty fine these days!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Get rewards for searching the internet

There is a new search engine in town...and you can win free rewards!! And if you know me, you know that I love FREE!

I discovered swagbucks a few weeks ago and I love it!!

I simply made it my home page instead of google, and now when I do an internet search I am earning points. I can get a $5 Amazon gift card for every 45 points I earn. Since I buy quite a few gifts from Amazon through the year, any little bit helps! After about 3 weeks, I have 27 points.

This is definitely not going to make me rich but since it is something I do anyway I figured why not earn some rewards at the same time?

And even better, once you sign up you can refer your friends and you earn points when they do. Even better!!

So click on the banner below and check it out for yourself.

Search & Win

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Love Month

Especially the dollar section...the allure of all those items priced at only $1 pulls at me every time!

Last year, I picked up some of their cute little mailboxes around Valentines. They have been sitting in my craft hutch, just waiting for the perfect project.

The mailboxes are back this year, and I have seen several blogs discussing these mailboxes and ideas for them. So, I decided to pull out my stash and do something with them.

So here is our February family mailboxes!

Tanner is so excited about the whole thing, and keeps finding things to put in Daddy and Mommy's mailbox so he can put the flag up!