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Friday, September 28, 2012

Packaging

I'm always looking for things to share with my neighbors, because they are so awesome and b/c I just like sharing.  But...packaging is sometimes my challenge...so thought I would share some of my inspirational finds for packaging from pinterest.

Since I didn't have any cute fabric, I just cut a paper bag in strips and wrapped it around the loaf pans, then tied some rope around them...


A personal message is always nice...and then Briggs and I delivered them.


It was inexpensive and a quick way to spread a little love to our neighbors.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Another pinterest project...it was quick, easy, and I'm liking it so far...

If any of you have garbage disposals...you know what kind of a smell can come up from one of those things...I know..GROSS!  I found an inexpensive homemade cleaner and gave it a try.

All you need is a bag of lemons (or you could just buy a couple individual ones b/c doesn't take many), bottle of vinegar, and we already had ice cube trays.

I used one lemon per tray, covered the sliced lemons with vinegar, popped them in the freezer and...


You come out with something looking like this.  


Note:  I'll definitely do this again, but next time I think I'm going to put  a little less vinegar in each tray slot...just so there is more lemon verses vinegar smell when I use them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Picture Art

I found a version of this idea here, and decided it would be a cute thing to do with Briggs, so here it goes...

It's pretty self explanatory.  We got some paint, put it on our hands...


handprint on paper...


We let ours dry completely and then for the real challenge...


It was pretty tricky getting Briggs to hold his hand open and then to the paper...but we did it (got a little messy, but I think it gives the picture character).  Looks like somebody was having fun :)

Final product...


Another angle....


This was fast, simple, cheap...and I think turned out pretty cute.  I didn't write Mommy/Daddy on the pictures.  I might do that later, but I just wanted to keep it simple for now.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's a.....

                   BOY!!!!!!!!



I'm sure some of you were waiting to hear from me.  Excuse the silence...it was for no reason other than the fact we have been very busy since we got the news.

And I'm sure many of you are surprised that we even found out.  There are multiple reasons we found out this time...but the main one is...I just needed to know.  Justin actually wanted to wait, but I won that one :)

We got the ultrasound technician to put this picture with everything clearly marked, in an envelope for us to open at dinner.  I had to go for an appt with the doc after the US, so me and Briggs went to Justin's work after we were done...we begged him to let us open it then...and he gave in.  It's funny that we waited the whole pregnancy last time and didn't find out, but this time I couldn't even wait until the end of the day :)

I have had many exciting text and FB messages about how happy people are for us...and then of course you have the..

  • Do you wish it was a girl...I don't WISH anything..Justin and I both THOUGHT it was a girl b/c I was much sicker with this pregnancy, so we were a little shocked but we are so excited it's a boy!...REALLY!
  • Are yall gonna try for a girl next time...uh..we just found out we are having a boy..how about we get him here first
 CLOSING THOUGHTS: We are tickled we will have two boys.  The ultrasound showed he is healthy and growing just perfect.  As Justin so eloquently said...the Lord has chosen to bless us with two boys for now and if he continues to bless us with more boys as we have more children, we will continue to say how grateful we are to him for his blessings and will do our best to raise them to honor him with their lives and hearts.  As fun as a little girl would be to add to our mix of 5 boys total between all the grandbabies, we are not looking anxiously to what the future holds, but instead we are living presently in this special time with hearts very full and happy.

Parker (still working on a middle name) Poland will be our new little guy's name.  Briggs is excited about the news too, he just doesn't know it yet.  They will be so close in age (20 months) that it's great they are both boys and will be able to share a room and clothes and be best friends :)  My sister and I are 24 months apart and I honestly don't know what I would do without her.  My prayer is that Briggs and Parker can have a connection like that.

As things progress we will update...but for now..I'm going to go chase my little guy around the yard :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Homemade Nap Mat

Now that everyone is back in school...I wonder how many of you had a nap mat on your child's school supply list?

We are now to that age where we have graduated from the baby bed (only at MDO), to a nap mat....tear :(

Anyway, in preparation for this year at Mother's Day Out, I was looking around the internet for nap mats and was finding prices from $60-100...YIKES!  My grandma knows I've been interested in learning to sew, so she insisted on buying me a sewing machine...even though I had no clue how to even thread the thing.

I am so grateful to Gramme for such a thoughtful and generous gift b/c she is right, I do think I will use it a lot.  Unfortunately, the timing of this gift was right when we found out #2 was on the way.  Needless to say, I was doing good just to get the bare necessities done around here and get our family fed.  Now that I'm in the second trimester...FINALLY...deep sigh...I decided to tackle the sewing machine orientation and nap mat project at the same time.



I know I probably should have started with something smaller but...oh well..I'm a girl who is always up for a challenge.  I was also thinking...how hard can it be, it's just a bunch of strait lines.  And those were her last famous words...

Let's get started...

You will need a few supplies which include: tape measure, ruler, thread (that matches your fabric), strait pins, fabric pen/pencil, 20" of 5/8 velcro, and scissors.


For fabric...because I did a few different colors, I ended up getting:
  • 2 yards of tan cotton
  • 2 yards of the airplane print (1 for the the mat cover and 1 for the blanket) 
  • 1 yard of the brown cotton
  •  1 yard of the brown dot minky
Note: you could probably get away with a little less of the cotton fabric, but I wanted to make sure I had enough. And just for the record, I didn't have a ton of scraps leftover.


Then you need whatever you are going to use for your mat.  I went with the Quilter's batting, but some people just buy the kinder-mats.  I wanted my mat to roll and not fold, which is why I went with the batting.  I bought pillow stuffing, but didn't end up making a pillow (because Briggs doesn't use one yet).  So that part is up to you.


 First of all, let's just start off by saying..there is NO WAY this project would have happened without this lovely lady (pictured below).  That's Ms. Timmie from across the street.  She came over to help get me started (she is a very seasoned seamstress).



We started off by deciding what size we wanted the mat.  We just unrolled the batting from the package and left it folding as it came.  We cut it at 45" long (it measured 19.5" wide).

In order to get the front pieces (pictured below), we cut one longer piece 34" by 23" and a shorter piece 15" x 23".  Put them face down, with right sides together, pin and sew together with a 1/2" seam allowance.



To make the two back pieces, measure and cut two pieces 27.5" by 23".  You need to allow for the overlap with the velcro, the thickness of the batting and 1/2" seam.

 Tip: It's best to lay out the fabric with the velcro pinned BEFORE sewing...b/c you will be sewing the velcro, one to the front of the fabric and one to the back of the fabric...so they will close the right way...don't ask how I learned that...just trust me :)


Before pinning the velcro on the fabric, iron down a 1" piece, where you will pin the velcro.


Pin the velro to the ironed edge.  


 And get to sewing...I was trying to act like I knew what I was doing, but I was freaking out on the inside..just a little bit :)

Ms. Timmie was a great teacher and very patient with my 101 questions.  What I appreciated the most is, she just kind of threw me in there.  She didn't do any of the sewing...she helped me prep the fabric, got me on my way and she went home to drink herself a glass of tea :)

I'm an advocate of getting in there and getting your hands dirty...makes you learn better..so that's just what I did.



During my process of learning to sew, my thread got tangled and I had to do surgery on my new  sewing machine.  At one point, Justin walked through the dining room and said..."I sure hope you know what you're doing b/c I'm not watching you so don't know if I can figure out how to put that thing back together"....

It was kind of funny coming from him...because Justin can fix ANYTHING..no joke, so I don't worry too much if I break something something breaks.

To put all of your minds at ease...I did proceed with great caution during this operation and followed the instruction manual to a tee in order to ensure I would be able to put things back together properly.
 

When I FINALLY got the machine back up and running... it was time to work on the straps.

 Cut four pieces of fabric (I used the fabric I had the most leftover).  
Dimensions for the pieces are:  2 pieces 26" by 5" and 2 pieces 16.5" by 5"


Fold in half (right sides together).  I ironed prior to sewing b/c it helped me to have a good edge to sew and made the fabric easier to handle.  Sew down the side and across one end and turn right side out.



Take both big pieces you made (front and back of the cover) and lay right sides together.  Place one short and one long strap together at whichever end you choose to have your straps.  You can also choose how close together or far apart you want your straps, but measure from each end to make them even.


  Sew around the entire perimeter of the fabric with 1/2" seam allowance.  


Last but not least, it's time for the blanket.  
Cut a piece of dot minky 30" by 36" and a coordinating fabric the same size. Turn the fabric right sides facing each other.


Pin around the entire edge.  

Here is my rookie-move...because I'm not that great at sewing a strait line...I used a fabric pencil and made my own little line to follow with the machine.  For all you new sewers out there...this helps..I promise!

Final product (unrolled) with the blanket:


Here is my little model..you can fill in the blank with what he is thinking :)


And we don't quite have the hang of what we are suppose to be doing with this thing...


For my first project...I think it turned out pretty good.  
BUT...for my next project I'm going to stick to throw pillows :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Busy Box

We travel a good amount and now that Briggs is more active and mobile, it's a challenge to keep him happy in his seat for our frequent 7 hour trip to Baton Rouge.  I came up with this idea of a busy box that I thought might be helpful to share...

I made a trip to the Dollar Tree and spent around $10 for these fun items...
I personally think it's more challenging with boys b/c they aren't in to baby dolls and stuff like that. 
If you can't tell what is in the pic:
flashlight, measuring spoons, calculator,  harmonica, hot wheels, small pkg of ice breakers (something to rattle), back massager, a couple of books and a little container to put the small things in.




I organize things to where we can get to them when traveling...we had two baskets next to Briggs..one with some books in them and one with his busy box and few other toys.  You see the cooler...with drinks and snacks, and then on the floor board, is the snack bag.  I prepackage snacks before a trip so they are easy to get to and hand to him when he is hungry.


Here is the little guy unloading his busy box.  It worked for about 30 minutes..then we could rotate it with a few other activities and he was ready to play with it again. 
This is his "focus face"


 


And here is another picture of my little cutie with all this toys loaded up in his seat :)

I would say overall it was a success.  I kept his "busy box" hidden before the trip and also hid some of his favorite toys and books so he was excited to use them in the car.  That worked pretty well.

So between naps, snacks, playing with books, his busy box, stopping for rest breaks...it made the trip a little less painful with a 15 month old.  I would definitely recommend it for long trips with kids.