Feb 14

Project No. 7 – Heart art




Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
Want a super quick, super easy Valentine’s project? This is for you!

I recently got together with some girlfriends and wanted to do some kind of craft together. Since I barely had time to plan anything, this idea popped in mind. I had been eyeing this work by Ali Edwards for years always hoping to replicate it somehow. This was the perfect opportunity, so I picked up a heart punch, pulled out my paper scraps and made plenty of snacks to get us through the night.



Everybody got into and made several. It was really cool to see how the style evolved through the night. We all started off with red and pink versions but by the end, there was every color scheme imaginable. A few girls even got out the circle punches and were making art for their kids’ rooms.

Brady got me the best Valentine present EVER – a clean house!!! He hired someone to come in and clean our house and it was FABULOUS! He was worried that it wouldn’t be “romantic” but I feel like that’s exactly what it was. It lightened my load and gave me that relaxed feeling. Especially because we were having Graham’s birthday party and lots of company.

This morning, I made the kids pink heart-shaped pancakes again. My favorite part was when Lilah asked if they were pink because I put lots of love into them. Why, of course!

Hope you are having a sweet day filled with lots of love!

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Jan 31

Glow stick Valentine’s


Kids’ valentines ideas are all over the web right now. I especially love all the ideas that aren’t sweets. Like the homemade heart-shaped crayons, felt bookmarks or bouncy balls.

For both of my preschoolers, I ended up putting together these little glow stick Valentines. I was inspired by this blog and found the glow sticks in the dollar bins at Target. (15 for $1) They are incredibly simple to make and I know my kids love glow sticks, so surely they’ll be a hit!


Download your own printable here.
PRINTABLE GLOW STICK VALENTINE PDF

Some of the other ideas that I thought were awesome are below. Click on the image to go to the source.


Happy Valentine making!!!

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Jan 10

Project No. 5 – Owen’s Snowman Party

Last month, my baby turned one. Sit and cry about the passing of the last year? Or smile and celebrate the triumph of it? Maybe some of both. We have had an awesome year with Owen with some really great parenting milestones worth celebrating. We got Graham out of diapers and are counting the days until we can train Owen. Really looking forward to the milestone of not having to take a diaper bag with us everywhere we go. I threw out my nursing bras and said good riddance to the pump. And we finally stopped storing all the baby clothes. Once Owen outgrows it, it’s out the door!

Don’t get me wrong. I am very sad that he is growing up. His independence is everywhere these days. He walks. He talks. He makes sure we know what he wants. But he still loves to cuddle. And he still enjoys a bottle. Still my sweet little baby.

On to the party:

With a December for his birthday month, I went with a snowman themed party. We baptized him the same day we celebrated his birthday and had one big party to commemorate. I made a triple-layer cake and frosted it white to make a snowman head. The nose is made from a sugar ice cream cone and covered in orange frosting. The eyes and mouth are just chocolate that I shaped out on wax paper and let cool before adding.

We ordered cookies from a lady from our church and she did an awesome job as usual. (If you want her contact info, just let me know.) I loved the sweet little mittens and stocking hats. Another treat we made were chocolate dipped marshmallows. They were fun and the kids loved them! My two older kids even did the dipping for me. They went perfect with the pot of hot chocolate we had at the party.

Owen got all dressed up for his party and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Not much cuter than a little boy in a suit. His outfit even had a pocket hankie that matched his neck tie. So handsome.

His baptism was beautiful. I am definitely a bit weepy that it will be our last baptism. The vows and song we sing to him are so true and precious to me.

Happy 1st birthday to my sweet baby.

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Dec 31

Project No. 3 + 4


Merry Christmas everybody! We aren’t quite done with the holiday here, but we have been enjoying all the giving, eating and family time so far. I have a couple of handmade gifts to share:


For my mother-in-law, we already had her gift, but I was trying to come up with something to make here that would be personal and inexpensive. When I ran across this Polaroid magnet idea on Pinterest, it seemed perfect. My MIL has 10 grandkids so I swiped pictures of them off Facebook and got to work. I followed the tutorial and was only sorta happy with them. The chipboard that the photo was glued to soaked up all the white paint from the paint pen. And after my kids played with them a little, they were scratched and dog-earred. I went ahead and gave them to her, but wasn’t especially proud. However – they really did entertain my kids! They loved scooting them around on the fridge – arranging by age, gender family, etc.

We draw kid’s names on my hubby’s side of the family – there are 10 kids. One of my nephews we drew is 9 years old and an avid competitive swimmer. I found a good Michael Phelps quote online and turned it into some graphic art for him. Don’t worry, we still gave him a toy with it. I’m not the lames aunt ever!

When we were at my in-laws in Clay Center, there was snow on the ground!! It was my kids’ first snow experience of the season. Lilah loved making snow angels and drew faces and halos on them. Graham threw the first snowball and even screamed “Snowball fight!!!!”. Where did he learn that?!?!

One of my favorite gifts the kids got was the Little People nativity set. After they opened it, Graham shouted “this is just what I wanted!! Awesome!” and then they all three sat down and played with it for a good 15 minutes – which if forever in the attention span of a two-year-old, right?


Hope you all are having a great holiday! The hubs has been off work all week so we have had lots of family time here. We took the kids to see “Puss In Boots” tonight and it was a hit. I found myself giggling a lot and the two older kids made it threw the whole thing. Tomorrow we are celebrating the New Year and then Christmas with my family on Sunday. Cheers!

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Dec 15

Project No. 2 – Teacher gifts



So with Christmas right around the corner, I have been busy, busy. With two kids in preschool, that gave me five teachers to come up with some sort of small gift for. I saw the idea for this adorable santa hat snow mix on Pinterest and decided to give it a go. I knew the little santa hats would be some work and boy was I right! If you decide to make these, you’ll need plenty of time, patience and maybe a favorite romantic comedy playing in the background to get you though it!

I jarred it up and used bakers twine to tie on some gift card envelopes I made. Each teacher got a gift card to Orange Leaf – can’t go wrong there, right? The kids help put it all together and were proud to give it away today. Although Graham was a little disappointed that he didn’t get to eat it himself.

Another gift I whipped up was for the four nursery workers at church. I just picked up some Ghiredelli’s chocolates and used wrapping paper and ribbon for a quick solution. That’s a staple at the top holding it all together.


The kids here are super excited about the upcoming holiday and we have no less than three countdowns going in the house. One of them also was inspired by Pinterest and has turned out to be a favorite. I collected all of our holiday books, wrapped them up and labeled them each with a number. We let them unwrap and read one each night until Christmas. I think this may be a new tradition, I like it so much! You don’t have to have 24 Christmas books, just start with however many you have. I picked up a few at the dollar store and we started with 20.


And here is a shot of us having a weenie roast in the fireplace this week. We had never done this before but it was lots of fun! One of my favorite things about winter is getting to burn our fireplace – just feels so cozy.

Hope you guys are all having a great holiday season!

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Nov 09

Project No. 1


Remember my pledge? Welp, project number one is complete and I’m here to report substantial progress on the quilt I started as well.

With I had to take down my Halloween mantel decorations, the mantel was looking sorta bare. So I put together this super simple, quick “Fall” banner.


See – easy, right? Just cut some squares of burlap, hand lettered the FALL letters and hot-glued on some rick rack. I would like to add some sort of garland or foliage to the mantel still, but this was a quick fix.

In other fall décor news, guess which 11-month old has been dining on my decorative balls? Seriously!! What the heck?? We are constantly taking these away from him. I am being really stubborn though and keeping them on the table, hoping he’ll eventually learn that they are not toys (or food!).

And I have completed the quilt top I started. Next, I need to find a backing fabric and get it all quilted together. This part of the process always overwhelms me, so starting is the biggest step.

Last night I had bunco with the girls and came home to find that the hubby had helped the kids make me a little turkey craft. How sweet was that?! They made it out of their hands and were SUPER proud of themselves. I love those kiddos!

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Oct 19

30 years. 30 projects.

Next July, I am turning 30. Gasp! Pretty sure that after you turn 30, you can’t trick your kids into believing you are 23 anymore. I guess I’ll have to come up with a more appropriate fake age to tell them.

In honor of this upcoming milestone birthday, I have a new mission for the rest of my 29th year. I am going to complete 30 projects. Crafting, sewing, any kind of making – there will be no restrictions. Any craftiness counts. Lately, I feel like I have lost touch with my creative side and blame my lack of energy and time. Thus, I am making a pledge to find more time in my life just for me to do the fun projects I love.

I have started my first one – a quilt. It’s still in very early stages, but I am super excited to see it come together. I am following this tutorial and was inspired by several of the chevron quilts I have come across on PInterest. I am using mostly white and cream fabrics with splashes of color. To squeeze in time to work on it, I have been sneaking to my sewing room in between loads of laundry, filling milk cups, putting together puzzles and my freelance work.

I do not forsee each of the 30 projects to be so involved as a quilt is. Gotta be realistic – it’s already November!

And here are a couple recent shots of the kids.

These two are best friends and worst enemies. They are sad when the other is gone, yet bicker frequently in between BFF moments when they are together. My favorite is when I hear one of them say “Hey, I have an idea….” and then they run off together.

And this little guy is melting my heart more and more all the time. I am so happy for all the new things he can do – but at the same time sad that he is leaving his sweet baby self behind. He recently learned to crawl on his hands and knees instead of the army crawl he did for months. He works hard to keep up with the older kids and LOVES to wrestle with them. He lights up when Daddy comes in the room and still isn’t scared of strangers – he loves anybody who talks to him.

I will be back soon with an update on my quilt progress!

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Jun 24

Hi! Atus.

Sadly, it has been a very, very long time since I have been inspired AND had the time to post on here. When I started this blog, it was my goal to mostly focus on my creative endeavors and keep the kid-updates to a minimum. After all, I have a life of my own, right?

RIght?

Or maybe I don’t? No, no. I wouldn’t say that. I would just say that my life has sorta BECOME my kids lately. Add that to the fact that my freelance business has been consistently b-u-s-y for the last couple months and I am left with minimal time to create anything beyond peanut butter sandwiches and piles of folded laundry. Which leaves me with not much to blog about besides my family and work.

So, for now, I am letting myself off the hook until I can get my head above water.

Below is Lilah and Graham after we had just had a picnic up in their clubhouse. They really enjoyed this. I was pleasantly surprised how easy this was and how delighted they were. I just threw some sandwiches together and a bowl of grapes. Made their day.

And after we had our picnic, they wanted to immediately have another pretend picnic in the grass. These two are constantly making me smile. (In between making me crazy, of course!)

And here is Owen – who has gotten three teeth in the last couple weeks. This little guy is not so little any more. He is six months now, weighs over 20 pounds and is nearly outgrowing his car seat! He rolls all over the place and can even drag himself across the room when he’s motivated.

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Mar 15

Confessions of a Shameless Mother


Adding a third kid to our live has been a true transition. While we still have the same amount of hands, there are increasingly more diapers to be changed, faces to be wiped, books to be read, etc. Over the last three months since the baby arrived, I have noticed myself slipping. What used to be structured is no longer. For instance, I used to limit my kids to one 30-minute cartoon in the mornings. And maybe another in the evening while I was cooking dinner. But now, we often have the TV on for 1 – 2 hours while before preschool – it keeps them distracted as I buzz around the house getting everybody fed, dressed and ready for the day.

Today Lilah and I were browsing through pictures of my niece, Eva’s, birthday party on my computer. Lilah was commenting on most of them and when we came to the below shot of Owen in his party pirate hat, she pointed out that he was wearing the same thing today as he was wearing in that picture. As in STILL wearing it. The party was Saturday and today is Tuesday. Gulp. And, I even remember that Saturday wasn’t his first day to wear it! So, not only does that remind me that he has been wearing the same clothing for 4+ days, but that I can’t even remember the last time he had a bath!!

When our first was born, I remember changing her outfit at least once a day. And Brady and I giving her nightly baths. Now, I just don’t find the time, energy or motivation to do maintain that. But I do realize that I should strive harder to find the middle ground. So, I changed him right away and added “give Owen a bath” to my to-do list for the day. It went right after “clean the kitchen sink so Owen can take a bath in it”.

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Mar 09

Special baby. Special gifts.


I never thought I’d say that I was happy to see my baby get bigger. But I am (just a little bit). Owen is finally fitting into this adorable personalized appliqué outfit that he was given at birth.

He was given some really sweet handmade gifts that I have to share with you. The first one was made my my sister-in-law, Micah. She is extraordinarily talented with both felt appliqué and chain stitching (among MANY other things). It’s amazing and beautiful and I absolutely ADORE the pieces she has created for my children. (See more here and here.)

Another sister-in-law, Casi, is super talented with needle and thread as well. She made Owen this stripe blanket that I think is extremely sweet. I love the raw edges – I am a sucker for the texture and dimension that they add to a handmade item.

My friend, Mandy, made him an “O is for octopus” onesie that is pretty darn cute as well. Get one (in the letter of your choice) here!

And lastly, below are the other two onesis that Micah made. See what I mean about the chain stitching?!?!? Crazy patience.

I just love all the crafty, inspiring people in my life!

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