October 31, 2010

Sunshine Sunday - Halloween

Having kids definitely makes me love Halloween all over again.  I get excited when we're trick or treating and I see that the house has good candy.  I get excited when another boy admires Rex's sweet Wolverine costume.  I get excited when the boys pour out their loot at the end of the night. 

I used to save my candy and make it last way longer than any of my sisters.  Then I'd keep a tally sheet on what I had to make sure they weren't stealing any.  Yeah, I've pretty much always been uptight :)

Anyhow, Rex got to sport his costume at school.  Since masks aren't allowed at school we did the full Wolverine hair-do.  Pretty cool, if I do say so myself.  Now I can give this boy a much needed haircut.

This is how he felt about his look.

Next up, Baden.  I went to put him in his Gnome costume on Friday.  It was a 2T-3T and Baden is 17 months.  Couldn't squeeze him into it for the life of me.  I probably should have tried it on sooner, but I figured the size would easily be big enough.  Instead we borrowed a skunk costume from my sister.  I thought it ended up being equally as cute.

Wolverine got the chance to practice lots of cool moves all night.  He was pretty much on top of the world.

And my little stinker was really fun to snuggle.

Hope you all had a great Halloween weekend.  See you tomorrow with the start of Refashionista!

October 30, 2010

Soapbox Saturday - CSN Review

This time around when working with CSN Stores I reviewed this baby right here.  It's the Bissell Little Green ProHeat.  We call it the Green Machine around here. 

It's a compact deep cleaner.  It sprays a heated cleaning solution and then powerfully sucks up the liquid.  I LOVE IT.  Why?  Let me give you three huge reasons.

1) When Baden and Rex got the flu a while back neither one of them made it to the bathroom before tossing their cookies.  Need I say more?  No, but I will.  We also found out after Rex got sick in his bed that the waterproof covering I had on his bed wasn't so waterproof.  Nasty.  The green machine gave me some peace of mind after that one.

2) Rex gets bloody noses fairly often.  When he gets one he roams around the house looking for us, leaving a trail.  Not good.  The green machine has also helped us out in those situations.

3) When we moved into this house the carpet on the stairs was filthy.  Replacing it hasn't been in the budget and I've felt embarrassed when people see it.  It's bad.  I decided to see what the Green Machine and a little elbow grease could do.  The stairs don't look new, but they are a LOT better and that makes me really happy.

And that's why I'm hugging my Green Machine.

I'd also hug CSN Stores if I could.  They were reliable as usual.  They let you know when your order has shipped.  Their selection (between their 200 online stores) is amazing.  Thank you CSN Stores.  You guys rock.

October 29, 2010

the Refashionista Event and You ROARED!

Okay, I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was going to be doing an event here that I've entitled "Refashionista."  Well, today I'm going to give you the run down on it.

I've booked some bloggers who do amazing refashions and they are each going to do a refashion tutorial for you.  I myself can't wait to see what they come up with.  It all
starts Monday and it'll run for a little over two weeks.  Here's the schedule:

Monday (Nov 1) - Disney from Ruffles and Stuff
Tuesday (Nov 2) - me
Wednesday (Nov 3) -  Suzannah from Adventures in Dressmaking
Thursday (Nov 4) - Kalleen from At Second Street
Friday (Nov 5) - Pattern Giveaway from Dana at Made
(Saturday and Sunday will be my regular posts.)

Monday (Nov 8) - Ali from Ali Foster Patterns
Tuesday (Nov 9) - Amy from H is for Handmade
Wednesday (Nov 10) - Katy from No Big Dill
Thursday (Nov 11) - Sachiko from Tea Rose Home
Friday (Nov 12) - a look at Etsy stores that sell handmade items from upcycled supplies
(Sat and Sun as normal.)

Monday (Nov 15) - Your turn!  Link Party for you to share something you've refashioned!

Did I mention I'm really excited?  Feel free to grab a button if you'd like.  Here it is!


Now, let's take a look at what you guys have been up to!

Mariane from Cook You Some Noodles made a headband from the Autumn Bloom Belt tutorial.  Doesn't it look gorgeous on her?

Dana from the Black Eyed Susan made a pretty version as well.

Kristi from Lolly Jane Boutique made a lamp with hers.  Isn't that fun?  I love the colors she picked.

Lucia has perfected the Autumn Bloom flower as well.

Next up we have some some Upcycled Boy Hats.

Check out this adorable version over at Drastic Fantastic.

Britta from Britta's Boutique make this darling girl version.

Lisa made this one for her grandson.  (Those have got to be some of the sweetest cheeks I've ever seen.)

Felicia made this one and she made an equally cute scarf to match it!

Stacey made this one for her neighbor.  I have to show you both views because it's SO cute.  Can I be your neighbor Stacey?

Gina Marie from Two Little Chick-a-dees made the Billabong-inspired tee.

Aubrey used freezer paper stenciling to make this tee for a friend who's expecting.

Check out these freezer paper stenciled leggings from Schwin and Schwin.

Erin made the Baby Playmat for her newest niece.  She did an amazing job.  I know from experience that this sucker was a LOT of work.

Brenda threw a great Little Man Tea Party.

Michelle made her son a Respect the 'Stache tee.

Kelley made the Upcycled Brimmed Beanies and the Retro Pointed Bow Ties for her boys.  Three boys and an awesome old truck.  I love it!

And, last but not least, Autumn from Graceful Rantings of a Clutz made this bold, fun version of the Dainty Leather Clutch.  I love her blog title and her funky choice of fabric.  Fun!

Great work everyone.  Thank you so much for sharing your projects with me.  It is so fun to see different versions of all the projects.  Way to go!

AND, thank you for reading my blog.

October 28, 2010

Last Minute Halloween Treats

I had a Halloween event last night at church and I was in charge of bring the treats.  If you're bringing the goods to any parties this weekend, I've got a few simple ideas for you here.

My mom came over and showed me how to make these cute little owl cupcakes.  You can't really tell from the picture, but the beak comes out at you and it's make of cut up Starbursts.

We also made what we decided to call "Crow's Feet."  These are really easy to make and they are freakishly good.

Just put a bunch of pretzels on a plate.  Place a Rollo on each one and microwave them until the chocolate barely starts to melt.  Press a pecan onto the top.  That's it!  They really are seriously good.  They have that salty-sweet combo that's so tasty.

I wanted to do one more super simple thing for those who might not like chocolate, so I threw some tissues over some suckers.  Add a twisty-tie and two dots for eyes.  Little ghosts.

For the drinks I put a scoop of lime sherbet into each cup of Sprite.  (Sorry, no picture.)  It foams and looks green.  Kind of fun.  I also printed up some labels to put in front of each food item and then antiqued the edges with an ink pad.

If you want the labels yourself just click HERE to get the PDF file.

Thanks for dropping in.  See you tomorrow.

October 27, 2010

Guest Posting at Sew Dang Cute

Hey everybody.  We're heading out on a little trip today.  I'm over at Sew Dang Cute, where I'm doing a guest post about paint.  There's also a fun competition going on over there called "Crafting With the Stars."  It's a fun one to watch.  Anyhow, let's head on over.  Click HERE.

And just on a sidenote, I wanted to say thanks.  Yesterday I was having this kind of a day.

All your kind, thoughtful comments about the craft room re-do helped me feel a little more like this.

So, thanks.  Really.

October 26, 2010

The Craft Room - the final chapter!

Hooray! I finally totally finished the craft room and today I'm going to take you on a little tour. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I wish I could have you all over to see it because it's heard to get a good video or picture when it's a naturally dark room. The colors always look a bit off. Anyhow, here it is!

Here's a quick BEFORE photo.  Yeah, not so pretty.

And here's the finished look.

It's done!  That means I can start Rex's Super Hero room.  I'm really excited to get that one going. 

Thanks for stopping by.  See you tomorrow!

October 25, 2010

Behind the Scenes: my two machines

Today's post comes from a reader's e-mail:

...Now on the main reason for this email and that is I would love to know what kind of camera you use. Your photos are always so great and I'm ready to buy an upgrade since I have a baby on the way (I'm 4 months). Maybe you could do one of those posts where you show some of the behind the scenes stuff you use all the time like the model of camera and sewing machine you use. I always find those posts helpful if I'm inspired to take up a new craft based on something I've seen in a blog.

Well, today I'll give you a quick run down on the machines I love - my camera and my sewing machine.  I'm not going to bog down this post with big technical terms.  I'm just going to give you a brief explanation of what I have and what I like about it.

My current camera is a Nikon D5000.  I've had it for almost a year.  Before that I had a Nikon D40.  If you're looking to purchase your first DSLR, I highly recommend the D40.  I also recommend buying it in a location where they offer free classes to help you learn to use it.  While they have a well-priced bundle for cameras and lenses at Costco, I was really glad I was able to sit through some classes when I first bought a DSLR.  They often have bundled specials as well (like a camera bag, the camera itself, the kit lense, and a zoom lense all at one reasonable price.)

The D5000 adds the ability to record video, but I haven't been extremely impressed with the video quality.  The D5000 gives you more pixels, higher ISO, blah, blah, blah.  Like I said, if you're just beginning then I really recommend the D40.  I think it's smart to buy a camera and completely figure it out before you upgrade.  I know a LOT of people who buy the nicest one they can find and never really even figure out what to do with it.  Pace yourself.

I love Nikon, but I know a ton of people who love Canon.  I think you can be happy either way.  If you think Santa might be bringing you something like this for Christmas, then do your homework.  There are a reviews galore on the world wide web.

On to my sewing machine.  You have to understand that I am highly influenced by my mother here.  She is am amazing seamstress.  She has always told us that Berninas were the only way to go.  I think she whispered it into our ears while we were sleeping at night.  Only Bernina!  Singers are horrible!  Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit and that actually sounds a bit freaky.  Sorry.

The down side is that they are a bit pricey.  I have the Activa 220.  It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but it's a real workhorse.  It's easy to use and easy to thread.  I haven't had any problems with it.  It's about 3 years old.  I love it, but I haven't tried a lot of other machines to compare it with.  My mom argues that she can sew through layers of denim or a thin layer of chiffon and never have to adjust the tension.

Well, that's my quick machine rundown, but I want to get some ideas from you.  Would you be interested in an "Behind the Scenes" series?  I mean you can ask any real questions you want or request to see something in my home.  Ask me to take a picture of myself without make-up...ask me what I'm horrible at...ask me to be an open book.  Maybe you're thinking, just zip it and show me the crafts, lady.  I just wanted to throw out a new idea.  I know that sometimes blogs seem perfect and polished like a first date and sometimes you want to see more or really know the person behind it all.  Let me know what you think.  Thanks!  I'm going to stop blabbing now.  Have a fabulous day!

October 24, 2010

Sunshine Sunday - Autumn and Cheesecake in the Mountains

We went on a family hike this past week.  Autumn in the mountains is amazing.  There are places where it looks like a volcano errupting, with the orange running down the mountainside.  There are these gorgeous patches of bright yellow towards the top.  The pictures don't really even do it justice.  Have I mentioned I love autumn?

Rex did all the hiking himself.  No requests to be picked up.  He was pretty proud of himself.  Here he is flexing his giant muscles at the top of the climb.

We wanted to have a treat at the top, so we packed cheesecake.  Random?  Yes.  Tasty? Oh, yes.

The boys were happy to help out.

This was our view on the way down.  Rex did a lot of running.  I love watching his tiny little body against the massive mountains.

I love the yellow everywhere right now.

I'm also grateful for the temperature.  It makes playing outside perfect.

Chalk on our driveway makes me smile.

This little guy here is saying a lot.  He likes to say "I try."  He's learned to say "ouch" everytime his brother even gets close and my personal favorite is hearing him say, "Costco."  Yeah, we go there a lot.

I hope you've been enjoying the cool crisp weather and the crunchy leaves under your feet.  Thank you for reading my blog.  See you tomorrow.

October 23, 2010

Soapbox Saturday - Three Scoops of Love

Today we are welcoming a fabulous new sponsor.  Her name is Jamie and her shop is called Three Scoops of Love.  I want to take you on a walk through her shop here and show you some of my favorites.  She has some really beautiful, unique pieces I love.

This is what she calls the "Best Day Ever" key chain.  If you have a husband who doesn't remember your anniversary this might be your ticket.  I love the idea of the calendar with a date circled.

I thought this "Bun in the Oven" necklace was absolutely ADORABLE!  What a fun gift for someone who's expecting.

I love this tree.

I really liked the combination of these three things together.

Take a minute and check our Jamie's other lovely, thoughtful pieces right HERE.  You can do a little Christmas shopping.  Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you're having a great weekend.


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