Thursday, February 28, 2013

This Is Me - February

While Wearing Heels
Last month I decided to Join Amy from While Wearing Heels on a Self Portrait Journey. The First theme was Simple Moments and you can find my version here. As mothers and women in general most of us don't jump at the chance to get in front of the camera. I love this idea and hope you choose to follow along this year as well.
The theme for February is Reflections. I'm not sure how millions of people pn Facebook do it, but I seem to be completely incapable of taking a picture of myself in a mirror. Since this is the last day of the month I decided to give the first mirror I came accross a shot. I kid of like how it turned out.
This is me and my oldest daughter Madeline in the car. No, I was not driving at the time. ;) This picture was taken with Instagram. You can follow me along there #CraftyBiggers and I would love to follow you back. 

Whimsy Couture Vintage Pinafore - Pattern Review

I had the opportunity to review this adorable Pinafore by Whimsy Couture. We went to the store in search of a super cute Valentine's Day/heart fabric but when we got to the store Maddie and I were both drawn to this awesome Shamrock fabric. It's glittery and rainbow colored. How can you beat that? 

We love the twirl factor in it. I didn't have a dress that matched to put under it so we went with a white top and leggings. It ties in the back and looks absolutely adorable in the back as well.

Here's a close up of our awesome St. Patrick's Day outfit bows and all. If you want all this cuteness for your little one, the pattern can be found here.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Our First Visit From the Tooth Fairy

If you've been following along for a while you might remember that Maddie, my oldest, first claimed to have a loose tooth last May shortly after she turned 5. I wrote about it here and even made her and my nephew one of these adorable tooth pillows in anticipation.

It turned out to be a false alarm and we've had a few more of those since. About 3 weeks she came home claiming that her tooth became loose when she bit into an apple at school. I only half believed her until I looked over and saw that it was visibly wiggling. Being a girl after my own heart she is just as squeemish as I am. She wanted nothing to do with pulling it out so we she waited patiently for that last 3 weeks for it to come out all by school. Apparently there is a necklace involved when you lose a tooth at school and she was all about it.

The Tooth Fairy arrived late at night (I can't believe she almost forgot) and left behind a Gold dollar coin. I posted on facebook asking what the going rate for teeth was and I got everything from $.25 to $20. I decided that I wanted it to be something special and realistic so I went with the dollar coins. Maddie seemed to be pretty impressed.

Has the Tooth Fairy visited your house yet? What does she/he leave behind?

Most of these pics are from my Instagram feed. I love being able to play around and make my cell pics look a little bit more special.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Whimsy Couture Knot Overalls - Pattern Review

I recently had the opportunity to review a pattern for these adorable Knot Overalls by Whimsy Couture. I printed the pattern then went to both my girls to ask who wanted to test it. My anti-pants super girly 5 year old was all over these. I'm pretty sure it was all about the ruffles if you ask me.

(Sorry for the bad lighting in the pics. The weather outside would not cooperate so I had to take these in the Sunday School room at the basement.)

I knew I wanted to use up some of the fabrics from my stash so I started digging around trying to see what matched and what was big enough. This yellow floral fabric has been in my stash for about 10 years and it was exactly big enough. The rest of the pieces were just odds and end that went with the floral.

I'm pretty sure the reason Maddie detests pants so much is because they tend to feel really restricting. These on the other hand wear a lot like a dress and are loose and comfy. I had to shorten the length a tad from the pattern, but that's to be expected. Not all kids are the exact same size. Right?

The only downside is that Maddie had to come running to me every time she had to go to the restroom to untie her. The pattern comes with an option for leg snaps, but she seemed a little big for those. Overall these turned out adorable and I would definitely make them again.  

And because I thought it was cute, here's Abby. She asked if she could get her picture taken too. And no, she is not leaning against the ark in this picture. Try standing like that long enough to take a picture. It is definitely not as easy as she makes it look.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

How I Organize - Cleaning Products

I've been on a mission lately to FINALLY clean and organize my garage. It has been a slow and very painful process. I like to keep my cleaners where they are most likely to be used. You can see most of my cleaners in my How I Organize - Under the Kitchen Sink post. On a small budget my organizing isn't always super cute, but it is super funtional. The cute part can always come later when you have a system that works.

I like to use coupons and buy just about everything I use when it is the absolute cheapest. I've also been switching more and more to natural homemade cleaners but I still have this 'stash' of cleaners in the garage. Why? Mostly because I couldn't find room in the house for them. I was simply using an old rubbermaid container and it really wasn't working. I couldn't find anything and I was buying duplicates because I thought I was out of a particular cleaner.

Here's my lovely before shot. Please don't judge, that's what before pics are for.

I started brainstorming where in the house to put these and I came up with the Laudry Room/Utility Room in the basement. It already has the childproof door knob covers on it and that's where the laundry cleaning supplies already are. Seemed like a no brainer to me. This is not actually a very large  room so I knew a shelf was not going to fit in the space or my budget so I started googling arould for inspiration. I saw over the door shoe organizers being used for everything from school supplies to barbies so I figured why not cleaners.

I picked this pink one up at target for about $12. My basement colors are pink, yellow and turquise so it fit right in.


Here is my after. Apparently I have a thing for room fresheners. I swear I didn't even know I had most of those. They were at the bottom of the bin. That's what happens when you just throw stuff in a pile. Now I can take a quick inventory of what I have and what I need to restock by just opening a door and it's still out of reach for my girls.

Have you ever used an organizing product for something different that what it was made for?
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Seamingly Smitten Taylor Bubble/Party Dress - Pattern Review

A while back I had the opportunity to review an adorable dress by Seamingly Smitten. She makes the most adorable patterns and I've had a few opportunities to review her patterns. This one is called the The Taylor Bubble / Party Dress and you can find it in her Etsy shop here. I've seen the bubble skirts and dresses in stores before but honestly I thought it would be difficult to make so I steered clear. Boy was I wrong. This dress was so easy to sew and I LOVE how it turned out. I'm a huge fan of bright colors and bold patterns. I think that the gingham and crazy fruit pattern go together perfectly.

The back closes with a simple button and sweet little sash. After making this jacket here (also a Seamingly Smitten pattern) I have become obsessed with fabric covered buttons. I was originally intimidated by then then grabbed a kit at Walmart and realized how rediculously simple they are to use and they make for a more polished look.

One more picture of this adorable dress. I made in at the end of fall but thankfully spring is just around the corner and this dress will be PERFECT! My girls live in sundresses and sandals. With outfits this cute who could blame them.

Have you started sewing up your spring/summer clothes for your little one? Do they have a signature warm weather style?

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Tradition

When I was a little girl my mom used to bake heart shaped muffins for my sisters and I every Valentine's Day. About 5 years ago I was at Walmart and happened to walk by the exact same muffin pan just sitting on the shelf. Wish I would have grabbed 2 but now my I get to keep the same tradition with my girls.

And here we have a really bad smart phone pic of my girls from this morning. It's really hard to get a good picture at 5:30 in the morning. There is just no light. :-/

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Monster Valentine Box

Maddie needed t odecorate a box for Valentine's Day to bring to her class party. Neither of us could figure out how to decorate it so we started searching in our 2 favorite places......Pinterest and the Recycling bin.

 We found this pin on pinterest and both of us loved it instantly and thankfully we had all the materials on hand. We grabbed a Kleenex box that looked like scales and an old egg carton. I then handed Maddie some glue, scissors, and construction paper and let her imagination go. I helped her glue the teeth to the inside of the box and tape the piece of the egg carton on the top. She gave the monster some ice cream (on the right) and bandaides for his owie (on the left). There are hands and scales that you can't see but we are both happy with the outcome.

In the end I'm glad that Maddie wouldn't let me help her decorate. She is very proud with how it turned out and I love let her use her imagination.
Did your little one have to decorate a box for school? What did you come up with? 

Friday, February 8, 2013

How I Organized my Pantry for FREE

There is organizing Pinterest style (my dream), Organizing on a small budget (still a dream) then there is organizing on a $0 budget. This is where I'm at. Medically and personally the last year has taken quite a toll on my bottom line. That doesn't mean that I should give up and live in unorganized chaos, it just means I have to be a lot more creative about my choices.

Our eat in kitchen is super small and the pantry is as well. Over a year ago I picked up a couple sets of these red Rubermaid containers on clearance at Kroger for next to nothing. At that time I just dumped random stuff in each and called it a day. Sometimes you have to live with your "organized" space for a while to see the flaws. Last week I decided to pull everything out and tweek my system to make it a lot more user friendly for us.

The labels are chalkboard contact paper that I had from a while ago. I cut them out with paper punches and used Bistro markers to write on them so I can change them around if need be.

Now I'll show you how I did it shelf by shelf.

Starting at the top I have all my breakfast related items together. My girls go through so much of hte squeezable applesauce (me too!) that I order it by the case on Amazon for way less than I can find it in store for.
On the second shelf I keep all the snacks. This shelf is just out of my girls' reach so they can't take these little extras without asking. The basket holds gum and candy ~mostly for taking to work~.  I gound the basket in the garage not being used.
The third shelf is for baking mixes, sandwich toppings and drink mixes. Peanut butter has to be the easiest thing to grab right?

The fourth shelf houses all my sides like rice and noodles as well as quick dinners. I tried to find a basket for the randomness in the middle but I failed so a neat stack had to do.

The final shelf hold my extra flour/sugar and my canned goods. These items are stored at the bottom because they are used the least and don't need to be easily accessed.

On the floor of the pantry I keep all my dog's items. The dog bone holds his toys/leash/ wet dog food and the white container with the dogs all over it holds his dry dog food. He's just a little 12lb Chihuahua mix so he doesn't really have anything that takes up too much room.

I also made use of all the vertical storage space that the pantry has. The previous owner left the broom holder on the door so that's where mine goes as well. The girls have their own hand broom set for little messes they make as well as play doh clean up.

I put a plastic bag holder up when we first moved in a couple of years ago and recently stuck the command hooks on the wall to hang our lunch bags. This makes it super convenient to get lunches ready for school and on the days that Maddie eats lunch at school it keeps the lunch bags off my counter which I LOVE.

I just wanted to show you that you don't have to have a huge budget or any budget at all to get your house organized. More than likely you have old tupperware containers, shoe boxes or something similar to get you started. Organizing doesn't have to always be about how pretty it looks. Sometimes it more about the impact that a good system has on your entire household.

I would love to hear about your organizing on a budget projects.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Waffle Iron Cinnamon Rolls

I was hopping around Pinterst and I saw a few differnet versions of cinnamon rolls in a waffle iron so I thought I would give it a try. These turned out awesome. They are crispy on the outside and gooey cinnamon roll goodness on the inside.

I used Pillsbury Carmel Cinnamon Rolls for mine. We have a waffle stick maker so I just put a roll on each side. I've seen others use a round waffle maker and put the rolls right next to each other.

The Cinnamon Rolls only need to cook as long as you usually cook a waffle for. The smell of my kitchen was well worth trying this out. I was able to cool the whole package of rolls in less than half the time of cooking them in the oven.

This is a perfect quick morning breakfast.

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