Monday, January 30, 2012

What I Want For My Birthday...

#30. What I want for my birthday....

Not many people know when my birthday is. Last year, I received only a handful of "Happy Birthday" greetings, and I went to work and everything! I like to keep it a secret. Not sure why though. I simply just don't care to celebrate my birthday. I do enjoy the birthday wishes I get though because not many know when it is!

With that said, I still want things for my birthday. This year I really wanted a Kindle so I could read more to the boys. I opted to get the Kindle Fire because it is in color and can stream videos and movies and music...etc. I'm currently borrowing a book from Amazon's online library. I have to return on February 1st. Kinda cool. But I love it. Perry has an iPad and I use it frequently to play Fruit Ninja (it's better than Angry Birds, in my opinion!). Now I can play it on my Fire, which I love and hate at the same time! Anyways- I told Perry I wanted one, so he gave it to me as an early birthday present.

Since I've already gotten what I wanted, the only other thing I need now is Amazon gift cards to buy more books! *Wink*Wink*Wink* Or a sewing machine so I can be more crafty : ) Either one! Or just a hug!

Old Clothes Pins Turned New

I've been brainstorming ways to redo my laundry room. Right now its a cluttered, boring green and purple room. So to begin my "little" project, I have been thinking about adding a "Missing Sock" board. I haven't decided how it's going to look yet, but I began with the clothes pins. 

I bought some Mod Podge the other day while I was at the store. On a few of the blogs I follow, they continually refer to it, so I bought it to try it out. It's basically glue but the label says "Waterbase sealer, glue & finish." 

This project was so easy to do that JP and Hunter helped out. 

I bought a sheet of scrapbook paper at JoAnn's for $.49 and then cut out rectangles to cover all ten of the clothespins I could find in our laundry room. 

Hunter and JP helped with the Mod Podge. I showed them what to do and Hunter went straight to work.

JP on the other hand mostly just stood there pretending to dunk his brush in the Mod Podge, while saying "dunk dunk dunk." It took a little convincing with him but he managed to get one done!

After each one had some glue on it, I carefully placed the strips of paper on the clothespin and hung them on the cupboard, out of the way, to dry. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

No Sew Cardboard Box Cover

I have so much yarn that I'm slowing running out of places to put it all. All my little plastic storage drawers are full....not that they hold much anyways. But the top shelf of my closet holds most of the leftovers. Fairly frequently, as I'm digging around for something up there, they all come crashing down. So in an effort to begin decluttering my home, I opted to find a place for all my yarn. This is nothing more than just an old paper box! Pretty cute huh?

I would say this project took me a solid 2 hours to do. For 3 reasons. #1 I started at 1:00am, which was a bad idea. #2. I didn't have a sewing machine. #3. I was using a pattern that required sewing, a lot of it so I had to figure out a way to make it all work. I probably spent a total of 15 minutes just staring and thinking with a baffled look on my face.

Here's what I used:
Paper box (a diaper box can be used too! or really any box of your choosing)
1 yard of utility fabric (it feels like canvas)
1 yard of "fun" fabric
Liquid Stitch
Spray Adhesive
Tape measure

This is the box that I chose to use. I think later I'll cover the lid too.

The first thing you need to do (especially if you have a large box), is to measure the box. Height, width, & length. This was a little challenging at 1:00am for some reason...

Once you have all your measurements, you need to cut your utility fabric accordingly.
Center your box in the middle of your fabric, making sure that each edge of the fabric will be flush to the top of the box (or about) when pulled up. Mark where the corners were at on the fabric. (Honestly I didn't do that part here, but it would have made it a lot easier on me!) Measure and mark out 2 inches from each corner of the box to the corner of the fabric. Using that point, you'll cut out your corner squares. 

Cut slits from your corners out to your box markings.

Using the adhesive spray, which I didn't realize was so awesome, spray the long side of the box and pull the fabric up. Press and smooth. FYI: It sprays clear so don't go overboard! Repeat on the other side.

Spray a little adhesive on the short end of the box to glue down the extra fabric on the ends.

Using the liquid stitch, fold over the fabric so the edge is even with the box and glue together.

Spray the short side of the box, pull the fabric up and smooth it out. Repeat on the other side.

Here is the covered box. If your fabric hangs over the top, you can trim the edges down. I had to on one side. I wasn't worried about the very top of my box showing as I was going to create a liner to cover it.

For the liner I purchased a yard of "fun" fabric. I did the same thing I did with the outside of the box, with only a couple modifications.

I measured and cut my fabric into the rectangle.
Centered and marked corner points.
Cut out corner squares.
Cut diagonal slits from corners to corner of the box.

Because I don't have a sewing machine, I wasn't able to hem the edges that show on the out side of the box. Instead I used liquid stitch and hemmed them by folding and gluing the outside edges. The hem I created was about 3/4 inch. Once the glue was dry, I used my iron to press the seams.

Just like with the ends of the outside of the box, I folded the edges in and glued so the new folded edge was inline with the edge of the box. Repeat for all 8 edges.

Place the liner in the box, matching the corners together and flattening out the edges.

If you had a sewing machine, you could sew up the sides, which in time I might do. As for now though, this is it. If you wanted you could use the adhesive spray to glue it to the inside of the box. But I ran out of time. And patience. For now I have a removable liner, which is fine for the top of my closet.

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Kitchen's Progress

We closed on our house on June 26, 2009. It was a pretty quick sale. Someone Perry knew had owned it with a friend. Because their friendship dissolved, they wanted out. We looked at it in May and moved in about 2 months later.

I won't show you the whole house now, but here's how my kitchen has progressed. 
These two pictures are photos they took when they were showing us the layout. Clearly they know nothing about staging!
One of the first things we did was paint the kitchen. I've always wanted a red kitchen and everyone thought I was crazy with the red I picked...It matches perfectly with the photos I have in the dining area.
In September of 2010, we purchased a new stove. Not because ours was broke, but because Perry wanted everything to be stainless steel. We bought a new dishwasher end of 2009, I think. That's what started the stainless steel movement with Perry.

In January of 2011, I convinced Perry that painting the cabinets would really change the feel of the kitchen. He wanted to go all out and just get new cabinets, but like we can afford to do that right now?!

In April of 2011, Perry called me while I was at a church retreat with his mom. The fridge went we purchased a new one. I love my trio! I just wish it wasn't next to the wall. I can't open the left door far enough. 

And just the other day, Perry installed handles on all my drawers and cupboards. I've wanted them for a long long time! They look so nice!

So here's my kitchen to-date. Next we're putting on new hinges to match!
And this is my dining room with my French chef pictures. I bought them to the paint store when picking out colors for my kitchen and living room.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snow Days!

#22. Snow Days

Where I live, we generally get our first snow of the season around the end of October, sometimes November. It hasn't been unnormal to not have snow on Christmas, but more times that not, we do. Except this year. This year was just bizarre. It snowed twice in December, but didn't stick. It was averaging high 30's, sometimes low 40's. I love long as there is snow on the ground! And then we FINALLY got snow last week!

It started snowing late Tuesday night the 18th and it continued to just snow and snow and snow until Friday morning. I shovel the drive about 7 times, and Perry 3 times (he was either working or sleeping) and boy was it tiring! We ended up with about 18 inches. And the entire county ended up with two snow days! Some businesses closed because the roads were so bad, and all the schools shut down. Didn't affect me any!

Here's how the boys spent their days!

JP's first "real" time in the snow

Here I go shovelin' again....

JP is doing his "cheesy" smile

Hunter's attempt at a snow angel

JP helpin' out

I Wasn't Supposed to See....


#24. I wasn't supposed to see...

My wedding band. Perry bought it when he bought my engagement ring, but had left it in his parents possession for safe keeping. 3 months prior to the wedding, they brought it to and Perry was sure to hide it.

Not very well though. Like a logical person, he hid it in our safe. One night we opened up the safe to look through Perry's grandpa's coin collection to see if we could find a six pence for my wedding to put in my shoe. (You know, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a six pence for her shoe.) We found one and I was super excited! And then Perry pointed out that the ring was in the safe....I wanted to see it soooo bad! But I resisted. Multiple times.

Because Perry was in Phoenix on the days leading up to the wedding, I had to bring the ring up to my parents house. I told my parents over and over that I wasn't allowed to see the ring until the wedding. My mom almost spoiled it for me. But I resisted looking when she opened the box. And again, I resisted looking on the day of our wedding when our photographer, Dax, took the ring box to get a few photos.

And then it happened. I saw it. My bridesmaids and I had just finished taking pictures and we were on our way back into town and Dax handed me the camera for me to scroll few the photos to see how I liked them. What I forgot and what he forgot, was that the pictures he had taken earlier of the rings were at the beginning. I started at the end and scrolled and scrolled and scrolled through thousands of photos taking a quick look. And then I got to the beginning. I saw the ring and it startled me! It was so pretty! I didn't take time to stare at it because then it would have been obvious that I saw it. So I scrolled forward and said I'm done looking, I don't want to see the rings by accident. I left it at that.

I never told Perry I saw the ring because that would have just crushed him. But the first time I saw it in person, it was hard to take my eyes off it! It was so perfect - just like the man I married.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Melted Plastic in My Stove

Just the other day, I preheated the oven as Perry prepared tuna melts for dinner. I opened the oven to put them in, and what did I find? A credit card that belonged to the cash register toy Nanny gave the boys for Christmas...melted. I do believe I screamed. Perry acted quickly and scooped the mess out with a spatula. However the burned plastic smell still remained. And you could still see where the plastic was.

My goal for today: Clean up the plastic in the oven. How many times in the past 4 days did I turn the oven on forgetting? Too many. Then my house would stink of burnt plastic all over again...

I first began by using a razor to scrape it off the bottom. Didn't work. Probably because the blade was small. I heated the oven for a couple minutes to loosen the gunk and then I tried scrubbing at with a rag. Clearly that didn't work. I was just going to turn my oven to the self-clean, but that takes 4 hours, and I didn't think it was completely necessary. Instead I turned it to broil and let it sit for about 40 minutes. It turned all the plastic black, which made me a little nervous. After it cooled down for a bit, I scrubbed at it again with my rag. Still no luck. For whatever reason, I completely forgot about our scouring pads under the sink. Out they came and all my burnt spots were scrubbed away with ease. YAY! My oven looks brand new now!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Laughed Until I Cried

#19. The last time you laughed until you cried....

On our honeymoon in Jamaica, Perry and I went snorkeling right before a storm set in. Our boat was called in early, which wasn't a surprise. By the time we made it to shore, it was down pouring on us. It was so cool to be on the beach when it was storming because it was still hot outside, and the rain was warm! Because we were already soaking wet, we decided to go sit in the hot tub and watch the lightening, which was out on the horizon, or so we thought. There was a bolt that cracked right above us and Perry screamed, a high pitched girly scream while I merely jumped. We jumped out of the hot tub and laughed for the next 20 minutes or so. The look on his face was priceless...I'm surprised he didn't spill his drink!

Toothy the Tooth Fairy

Not that my kids are any where near loosing their teeth...but I thought this would be fun to use when the do! Might be a lot easier on the Tooth Fairy to find the tooth rather than putting it under the pillow!
Pretty simple to make too!

2 pieces of fabric
Embroidery thread
2 buttons

1. Lay the fabric on top of each other and cut out the shape of a tooth.
2. Sew the eyes onto the top piece of fabric.
3. Sew on a mouth.
4. With some scrap fabric, sew a pocket onto the back piece of fabric.

5. Match up the fabric and sew the two pieces together.
6. Leaving a little bit of the top open, stuff the tooth with stuffing.
7. Sew closed.

I think it took me about an hour to make, but I had some distractions!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fine Motor Skills

I bought pipe cleaners the other day. Not because I needed them for anything specifically, but because I knew eventually we'd use them for a craft of some sort.


The other day while I was cooking, Hunter, mischievously, open the bag of them on his own. Occasionally I let them play in the cupboard that has bowls it, so I directed him that way. We got out the strainer and discovered a little fun!

These two boys were entertained for quite a while putting the pipe cleaners into all the holes. These toddlers were working on their motor skills and didn't even know it!

Something Useless...

#18. Something in your house that serves no purpose....

Without a doubt I would say our toaster oven. When Perry and I moved in together, he brought along his toaster oven. I've never used one before but thought it might come in handy. In the year that we lived in our apartment together, it was used once. I made pizza in it. And burned it. Otherwise for the entire year, it just took up counter space.
We now have a kitchen with twice the amount of counter space. Up until just a few months back, that same darn toaster oven just sat on our counter taking up space. I often stored things on top of it... I grew up using toasters. They are one hundred times faster and easier to make toast in compared to a toaster oven. I've been rejoicing ever since Perry put it in storage! Now I have an Edmonton Oilers toaster that brands my toast with their logo every time I use it. LOVE IT!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Child Care Rant

Here's my rant for the month: I hate child care! I hate finding it and I hate paying for it. 

Perry and I bought have full-time jobs, which makes paying for child care fairly pricey. On days that we need care, I have to work at least 5 hours just to break even! It seems like such a waste, but at this point I can't imagine not having a full-time job. I would love to be able to stay home with my boys all day, but I just don't think that I could do it mentally. 

I had Hunter when I was 20 years old. Because I was/am so young, no one in my network of friends have kids yet. And only a handful are married. Its really frustrating for me because I would love to have play dates and such with other moms. I think that if I was able to connect face to face with other moms, or people none the less, I could handle the long days at home. But I sadly don't see that happening at this point in time. 

So for now we're stuck with child care. Sort of. When I had Hunter, I was allowed to bring him to work with me. It was wonderful. He was an angel. Hardly ever cried! But eventually that day came when he was just too old to keep bringing along so I found a nice family daycare to watch him couple days a week. Nicki was amazing! I loved her! We had been using her for about a year when she decided to close her daycare. I'm still really bummed about it. Since then we've been struggling to find someone to meet our standards. 

Our last one we were using for about 7 months. She was great with the boys, but not so helpful when it came to potty training. Or reliability. Quite a few times I received a text message the night before saying that she couldn't watch the boys the next day. I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating that is. I am lucky to have a sister that is willing to help out whenever possible, and a job that is fairly flexible. But the last time it happened, I just called it quits with her. We had paid in advance and still had 11 days left, though she says it was only 8. She agreed that she would pay us back. A month later we still haven't gotten any of it, nor will she answer her phone when I call. 

Child care is the root of all my stress. For the most part. Mostly because when we can't find someone to watch the kids, I'm the one that has to call in to work to switch shifts with someone or to simply call off of work. I hate getting unreliable attached to my name. Because I'm not! Clearly I'm under a lot of stress right now. I hate how I feel like crying every time I think about child care. I just want to get my money back and move on. I really don't want to have to take her to small claims court or have Perry report her to Labor Relations. But if that's how she's going to be... I just want a reliable day care!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Annoying Cartoons

#14. Why I don't like a certain cartoon....

 I'm not sure exactly why, but I've always despised SpongeBob Square Pants since the show first aired. I don't recall ever watching an episode, but I've seen enough previews. I cannot stand his voice. At all. I find him to be annoying and a bit crude. Patrick just seems like a "dumb" character. Regardless, JP loves SpongeBob. We're fortunate to not have cable, and primarily rely on PBS for our cartoons.

When we first had Hunter, Perry and I made a pact to not allow Dora in our home. So far so good. Closest thing we have is a Diego sippy cup. I'm fine with Diego, but Perry and I have a mutual hate for Dora. I think most of it has stemmed from the remaking of her. She doesn't even look like a little girl anymore! I like that she incorporates the Spanish language into the show, but I just don't care at all for her character.


Don't get me wrong on this one, I LOVE Winnie the Pooh. And I can't say I dislike Darby, who is Christopher Robin's younger cousin. She replaced him a few years back because, to my knowledge, the person who Christopher Robin portrayed passed away. Darby was then created to carry on the adventures with Winnie the Pooh. I guess the show is now called Tigger and Friends. I like the original!