Thursday, April 28, 2011

A nursery in the making!

I have a vision.  That is all it is right now is a vision, but I did make some purchases today that make my vision more of a reality.  I'm REALLY  EXTREMELY excited about it, too!

When I became pregnant with little #3, I desired to make the bedding set for the crib.  We kept the gender a surprise, so I searched and searched for the perfect, gender neutral fabric.  After finding one I loved, I priced it out----> It would have cost me nearly $200 to buy the fabric amount I needed for the nursery.  Not to mention the time it would take to make it.  Boo.  I could buy a set that I liked for less than that & not spend the time & energy of sewing one.  Sure it wouldn't be as personal, but it would work!

Then, the move (#6) happened & we didn't have a room that could be dedicated to the nursery.  Currently, H sleeps in our room in the pack-n-play & the crib is in her sisters room- not really functional.  Right now the crib just serves as a storage bin for gifts we have received, my Moby wrap, and other miscellaneous items.

But....I have a vision.  :)

I didn't want to do a traditional "girly" nursery in pinks & purples.  N has that & I love it, but I didn't want to do it again.
N's room in Iowa before I got her headboard finished

 I decided I wanted more of a color scheme than a theme room.  I also have always loved the French country look & took that idea and ran with it.

First, I found a bedding set that I liked & was neutral enough that I could add the touches I wanted to.  Its gingham & red (my favorite color).  Here is what it looks like off the website image-  *note the crib in the picture is the same crib we have, only in black instead of the wood finish we have.*  (Yes, it is a drop side crib.  Yes, I am aware that these type of cribs have been recalled.  No, I am not going to purchase a brand new crib for baby #3 when I know this one is safe & I have checked all the parts to make sure they function properly)

The bedding set comes with the quilt, fitted sheet, and bumper.  (does anyone actually use those silly diaper holders, anyways??)  The crib skirt could be purchased separately, but that was TOO much gingham for me.  

I decided I wanted to make the crib skirt & curtains in a toile fabric.  I found several different fabrics that were red toile, but just not right for a nursery.  I didn't want it to be too stuffy & adult, I wanted it to be fun & child like.  Then I found this:

Covington Over The Moon fabric.  

Isn't it perfect??!!   It still gives me the French Country feel I want, with the toile I want, but the toile is covered in nursery rhyme characters such as Humpty Dumpty, The cow that jumped over the moon, Peter Horner, Mary Mary (quite contrary), and more.  Plus it has accents of sage green- the other color I wanted to incorporate into the room.  YAY me!!

The other project will be turning our pine computer armoire into a clothing storage component for the room.   
This is pretty close to what the armoire we have actually looks like.  But, it won't look this way for long.  I plan on painting it- probably an antique white & adding an antique glaze medium.   :)

The walls in the room are currently a very light gray.  One wall is a chocolate brown. (Not my doing).  I'm going to leave it for now & if it doesn't look right, I will consider painting the room.  I'm not a fan of painting rooms.  We did a LOT of painting in our last house & while it was a huge improvement over what was there, its a pain!

Now if we could get the basement finished faster so that N can move downstairs & I can put my plans into action.  I hope it turns out as well as I have envisioned! 

I'm linking to:


Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What does a Big Daddy eat??

I'm not all that sure.  But I'm up for the challenge to find out.  And, if I don't find out, I'm up to the challenge to make something to wow them.  Or at least make their bellies happy.

Yes, I will be cooking for THE Big Daddy Weave!!!  The sensational Christian Music group is performing for my children's school soon & I volunteered to make their post show snack to take with them on the bus.  EEEP!  It will also be for Chris Sligh of American Idol fame- remember his curly hair?? and the group Luminate.

So, what to make.  They requested a "warm snack".  Something tells me these guys aren't the petit fours and dainty finger sandwich type.  They look more of the meat & potatoes kind.

I have some ideas.  At the top of my list is my French dip sandwiches.  Very good, but good enough?  Plus, they are kind of messy.  Maybe not great bus food.  I could do my turkey Stromboli.  But, that is more work overall....hmmm.

So any ideas as to what to feed a celebrity Big Daddy??

Stay tuned for what I decided & photos of the event! :)

I will leave you with a video of one of my favorite Big Daddy Weave songs.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Glass Front Cabinet Transformation.

This project isn't recent.  Its not even one I did in the current house we are living in.  But, it was an easy solution & it worked wonderfully!

In my last kitchen, I had a glass front cabinet.  It was over the desk area in the kitchen, and while I loved it- it lacked character.  When we moved into the kitchen, the cabinets and the walls were white.  White on white.  I like the white on white look, but it wasn't working in this kitchen.  My first project to add character to the kitchen was this one.

Here is the cabinet- before changes:

See??  No character.  My white dishes looked very blah and sad inside this cabinet.  Here is what I decided to do.

First I measured my cabinet.  Specifically I measured the back space of each shelf.  Then I cut foam board to that size.  It is just the super cheap foam board that you can find in the office section of any big box store or craft store.  Nothing fancy. :)

Then I ironed my fabric to rid it of any wrinkles.  The fabric I chose matched a striped fabric that I planned to use for cornice boards in the dining room (they never happened, but that is the problem with moving every 2 years! Grr!)
I then cut the fabric to the size of the foam board with about an inch overhang on all sides.  Originally I planned to use spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the foam board, but I decided that I wanted to have the option of changing the fabric without having to re-cut the foam board every time.  So...I got out the handy dandy duct tape.  You can't go wrong with that stuff!
Here is the front of a finished panel:
The next part is simple.  Simply slide the panels into place in the cabinet.  Mine fit snugly since I made them the exact size, so I didn't feel the need to add any fasteners, but if I had, I probably would have used velcro.
Finished look (before we changed out cabinet hardware- please excuse the tacky, cheap, gold knobs)

Much better!  My white dishes pop now & it has character.  Here is the cabinet after we painted the kitchen & added the new hardware (2 weeks before moving. *sigh*).  Hopefully someone buys our house soon & enjoys that beautiful kitchen & dining room as much as I did.

once again a before & after:

Have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cloth Diapers 101

I am a cloth diaper-er.  I did not used to be.  Both N & O were exclusively in disposables- and I don't have anything against Pampers, Huggies, Luvs, or whatever brand you may choose.  With baby #3, however, I decided to do cloth.  Why you may ask?
My Reasons:
1.  Price.  Yes, cloth diapers are an investment to begin with, but the amount you save in the long run is very worth it.  I went with an economical brand, but invested a little over $200 in what supply I have.  My mom actually got us most of our diapers as her gift to us. (She is very pro cloth- my sister & I both wore cloth) But, I shouldn't have to invest much more.  Essentially, that $200 will diaper miss H until she is potty trained.  All in all, I will save around $1700 by choosing to go cloth.  Green for green. I like that!
2.  Now that I stay home with the littles, why not??
3. I have several friends who use/have used cloth, so I knew if I had questions about brands, care, sizing, etc. I could easily get answers.  Even if I didn't have friends I could ask, there are a TON of forums to find answers & a lot of videos on youtube as well.  Its not hard to find information if you want it.
4.  Environmental reasons.  No need to explain that one.
5.  Even though I have to wash them, it takes little to no time- I wouldn't consider 1 extra load of laundry a week extra work.  Yep, that's all I do- 1 load a week.  And no my house does not smell of stale, stanky diapers.

The type of diapers I decided to use are the Flip All in Ones (or AIOs).  I chose this system based on reviews, and price.  This system differs from a lot of other systems as it has a liner of sorts and a cover that goes over it.  When you do a diaper change, the liner goes in the pail, and as long as the cover is poo free, you can wipe it out with a wipe & use it again.  The flip system has different liners- I use mainly the stay dry liners.  They kind of resemble a giant maxi pad.  I also have a few organic liners which are folded into thirds & used in the same manner.  The third type of liner I use is a different brand, but it is compatible with the Flips- its Econobum.  I also have 2 Econobum covers & they all basically work the same & are interchangable with all the liners.
 Flip cover on left, Econobum on right  The Flips also come in velcro- I have one, but its in the wash.  :)  They also come in fun colors- I have 4 different colors.
The liners:(L to R) Flip Organic, Flip Stay Dry, Econobum Prefolds

As I mentioned, the Flips are a one size fits all.  There are snaps that make the diaper smaller if they are done up & larger if undone.  They will fit her till she is 35 lbs or potty trained. The Flip Stay Dry's have lines that you fold to to get the various sizes.  Currently, H is in small, so I have all the snaps done & fold it to where the line says small before placing in diaper- the folded part goes in the back for girls, front for boys.  
Flip cover & liner (unsnapped & unfolded to show sizes)

I also made my own wipes so that I wouldn't have to worry about accidentally washing a toss-able wipe, or have to throw away poopy wipes alone (gross).  I found flannel squares on Etsy & sewed 2 together to create nice, thick wipes.  I have 24 flannel wipes.  I only use 1 wipe per change- even on big messes- they are thick & very absorbent.  I keep my wipes in a tupperware container & make my own solution- 1 1/2 cups hot water, 1 tbs baby soap, 2 tbs baby oil, and 2 drops of tea tree oil.  It smells great & is better for her skin than wipes which sometimes contain alcohol & are drying.  
flannel wipe & container for storage
I keep my diapers in a standard trash can with a lid(bad picture, sorry!).  I bought a liner off of Etsy that fits inside & is waterproof.  I keep it on top of the dryer & never have had issues with smell.  I do keep an air freshener in the laundry closet just in case- but the pail honestly doesn't smell unless you open it.  I wash once a week.  The washing process is simple.  I first do a pre wash in cold water only.  Then I do a regular wash in hot water with very little detergent. I use All Free & Clear & fill up the lid halfway to the 1 load mark.  Then I do an extra rinse at the end.  To dry, I put the liners in the dryer with no fabric softener.  The covers hang dry.  I always wash the pail liner with the diapers.  Detergents & softeners clog up the fibers of the diapers & make them nonabsorbent.  Once a month, I do a wash with bleach.  

That is the basics.  This post is getting too long, so I will do another one at a later time.  All in all, I love the cloth diapers and wish I would have done them with O as well.  N was in daycare, so it wouldn't have been an option.  I will leave you a picture of H in my favorite cover of all- its actually a Thirsties cover, but again is compatible with all the liners I have.  I can't wait until summer so we can put on some cute dresses & show off our covers!
 H in Thirsties cover with Econobum liner

H in her Flip cover & Stay Dry liner @3 weeks old. 
You can find more types of cloth diapers here.  This is the site I found to be the cheapest(Free shipping- WOO HOO!!!) & most informative.  

**I apologize for the poor quality photos.  My camera battery was dead, so I used my phone- lesson learned. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Did ya notice?? Did ya??

Well, here is the new & improved design.  Hope you all like it, cause I do.  In other, very random news:
1. I took my first spinning class today.  I am now convinced spinning is from the devil.  

2.  What is spinning?  Let me google that for you. <---click there. But come right back, please!

3.  That trick on #2 may be my newest favorite thing. :)

4.  A grunting, red faced baby + loud PBBBBBBBTTTTTHHHHH = mess in diaper.

5.  I use cloth diapers & I love it.

6.  I must now take care of my duties....and her doodies.  :S

7.  Its a good thing she's cute! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Does this blog make me look fat??

A womans mind is cleaner than a mans.


Because she changes it more often.  :)  hee hee.  I saw this on a friend's facebook status today & it fits what I'm feeling.

I am loving blogging.  I am not, however, loving the layout/template/background of my blog yet.  Its just  SOOOO.....after noticing web pages located on a few of my friends blogs that are super cute, I decided to check out the links & found that you can indeed find super cute & creative templates for FREEEEEE!!  (I'm very frugal. or cheap.  depends on how you look at it)

In the next week or so, I ask you to bear with me.  I may be changing my blog like I change my underwear.  Weekly.  HA!!!  Just checking to see if you were paying attention!! :)

I'm also learning that I can create a customized header with my own photos.  This means I need to figure out my new fancy schmancy camera I got.  Hmmm... Plus, I also can customize my font to my own handwriting!!  How cool is that?!  Ok, I may not do the handwriting thing, but I did find a site that does that & while I probably wont submit my own chicken scratches, I will use one of their free fonts that looks very much like my own handwriting.  :)  Free is good.  Free is very good.

If you know of a site that you think has super fancy/kind of vintagy (is that a word? spell checker says no.)/kind of funky layouts/templates/backgrounds that are FREE (Frugal, remember?) let me know!  I really have a goal of loving my blog & I'm so NOT loving it right now.  I love writing & boring you with the aspects of my life, but I don't like the look.

So, like an outfit that doesn't quite look right...I'm changing it! I will get it figured out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Our Art Corner

Everyone has a space in their house that they just don't quite know what to do with.  I did too.  Our hallway needed something at the end- but what??

I had photos of the kids at the end of our hallway in IA, but I wanted to do something differently.  And to be honest, framed photos are kind of the boring, go to, I'm too lazy to figure anything else out solution.

SOOOO....after scouring the interwebs for inspiration & ideas, I decided to make it an art gallery of sorts.

First I found this vinyl decal on Etsy. ($14) Have you been to that site??  I could spend DAYS just looking at all the fun stuff on there, but that is another blog post in itself.

I decided that I didn't want white as was shown and instead ordered it in maroon.

I purchased a thin piece of wood (luan, maybe?) from Hobby Lobby for $6.  Its about 18" x 30" give or take a little.

A good blogger would have taken photos of the steps, but I'm a newbie & to be honest, I finished this project before the blog was up and running.  I am just proud of it so I thought I would share- forgive me if you are a friend on FB & have already seen it.

Anyways, I painted the board with acrylic paint in antique white which I had on hand from another project in the past.  The husband applied the decal for me- apparently I wasn't working fast enough & he wanted the dining room table to be functional again. (Reason why the basement craft room can't come fast enough!)  He then drilled holes for me so I could add some wire to hang the sign.  It now looked like this:

In the hallway, I put up some of these:

Followed by some of this:
See where I'm going??

A bunch of clothespins, and a lot of digging through all of the little's folders, coloring boxes, and school work and TA DA!!!  We had this!!

And now, since the little's decided that it needed more....we have this! Total cost: $20 since I had hooks, clothespins, and twine on hand.  

The kids love that they can add things & take things down easily.  We since have added a few tacks & clothes pins for the extra artwork.  It isn't organized, It isn't perfectly framed children's art (I saw several of these types of galleries & while they look nice, this mommy doesn't find them practical.)  I love that its a way of showing the little's art work & its out of the way.  The littles create art work on a daily basis & this is the easiest solution for me- I dislike having stuff on my fridge- personal pet peeve.  It is in a visible space without being overtly in your face.  What do you do to showcase your little's masterpieces??

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I have a button!

HA!  I may be new at this blogging thing, but I'm determined!  I created my own button.  I won't explain how, because I honestly am still confused...  but here it is

TA DA!!!!

Ok, now If someone could tell me how to get the HTML code thingy to make it link here instead of to Flickr, I would appreciate it...

update: I think I figured it out!!! wooo hoooo!

now grab my button here:

Double the space...eventually

I mentioned in my last post about our basement.  When we moved into this house, the basement was unfinished & we just used it for storage.  Moving from a 4 bedroom house with 2 living room areas into a smaller 3 bedroom house means we had a lot of "stuff" to store.  

Anyways, we have an awesome landlord who is allowing us to finish the basement.  We did the framing & she provided the materials.  We will also do the drywalling & the finishing work when it gets to that point.  

When the basement gets finished, we will essentially have double the space we have now.  N, being the oldest, will have her own room in the basement, I will have a craft room/exercise room (YAY!!), there will be a second bathroom(double YAY!) and another large living room space.  Not to mention, storage!!  Did I mention, we have a lot of "stuff".  

I thought I would share photos of the process.  So far this is what has been done:

1. Move some of the "stuff" to the garage

2. Cram the rest of the "stuff" in a corner

3. Framing all the walls/closets- My awesome husband & wonderful Dad whipped this task out in two and a half days.  Me?  I listened to the racket upstairs with my Mom! :)  Did you know that you use bullets to fire the nails through the studs into the concrete?  Me either.  One of the days they were working, I found a bullet on my kitchen counter.  I asked the husband where it came from (We are not gun owners).  He casually told me that my 3 year old must have brought it upstairs.  WHAAA???  Then he told me what it was from & how it was used- insert bullet in tubey looking thingy.  Put nail in tubey looking thingy.  Line up tubey looking thingy & whack it on the top- making bullet hit nail & drive it into the concrete floor (and also make a loud BANG!) Hmm.  Interesting.  

4.  The plumbers have been here & used a jack hammer to create a drain for the bathtub.  In this process, they set off the fire alarms.  The dog went nuts & started running laps around the house, barking her head off- waking up the baby who started to scream her head off.  Me = none to thrilled.   Oh, the plumbers also installed said shower/tub & roughed in the plumbing for the toilet & sink.  They also made a mess of my newly mopped kitchen floor....undoing my C.H.A.O.S. reversal I had done earlier this week.  Repeat: Me = none to thrilled.  

So that is where we are so far.  The electricians should be here sometime next week to put in outlets, another fire alarm, and light fixture boxes.  Then the drywalling begins.  I admit.  It is going much faster than I thought it would.  I know I will love it when its finished & can unpack some of the "stuff".  Plus once its done & N is moved into her own room, I can do the nursery!  I'm excited about it & have a vision....I'll share it with you another time :)  Ok, now for the photos!
 Future Family Room
 Future built in book shelf
 MY future craft room with HUGE closet for storage!
 N's future bedroom
 Roughed in bathroom
 Utility room that will eventually have shelves for storage
 "stuff" in the corner- this will be the desk area
The rest of the "stuff" in the garage