July 31, 2011

Sunshine Sunday - my birthday

Yup, that's right.  Today is my birthday.  I am thirty-two.  It feels like a lot, but I am really happy with life at thirty-two.  I still feel young.  I have a beautiful family I adore.  Life is good.  I feel truly content and blessed.  I hope to live many more years, giving myself time to become the person I want to be.  I am well aware of my weaknesses and I am so grateful for time.  Time to grow and improve.  Time to enjoy all the little moments and victories along the way.  Time to stretch.

My husband and I got to celebrate this weekend.  We got time to ourselves and time with the boys.  It was perfect.  He even indulged me as I got out my iPhone to take pictures all the time.  Here we are at a fun little burger joint.


We spent the night up at Snowbird (a local ski resort).  We did some fun activities there and brought the boys back later in the day to play with us.  They loved riding up the chairlift.  We hiked a little at the top of the mountain.  What a view!



Even though it was only one night it felt like the perfect mini-vacation.  We haven't been on an sort of vacation in over a year and a half, so this was really appreciated!  Here's my favorite picture of the day.


I'll be stuffing myself with cake today and then it's back to normal life.  Thanks for reading.

July 30, 2011

Soapbox Saturday - Black and Decker Steam Mop Review and GIVEAWAY!

A couple of months ago I was contacted by Black and Decker and asked if I'd like to review their Steam Mop.  I've never had a steam mop, but my sisters have raved about them so I was excited to try it out.  I received the mop for free, with no other compensation.  The opinions are all mine.


Here's what we liked:

- You turn on the mop and it only takes 15 seconds until it's ready to roll.  (Plus, my kids love how it lights up when it's ready :)


- The swiveling head makes it easy to maneuver around corners.  It's not very tall, so it's also easy to get underneath things with it.  (Hmmm...just like my kids.)


- It only uses water.  I like not needing soap or products with chemicals.  It kills 99.9% of germs with just water.  Sweet.

- It uses little water.  I had envisioned not liking the mop because I thought the floors would get really wet.  The mop just uses a little steam and it evaporates really quickly - a lot faster than my regular mop.


- It comes with more than one pad so you always have one when the other is in the laundry.  Nice.  They are also easy to remove and throw in the wash.

What I didn't like:

- It still takes some work to get the really dirty spots off.  I thought the steam would almost magically remove the dirt, but you still do have to go over the dirty spots a few times.

- Steam mops are okay for "sealed hardwood floors," but to be honest, I'm not sure if ours are sealed or not so I'm sticking to the tiled areas for now.


Overall, we give the Black and Decker Steam Mop two thumbs up.  Now, who wants to win one?

You can enter only ONCE by leaving a comment here about the biggest mess you ever had to clean up.  (No need to get too graphic in your descriptions :)  Please include your email address is your profile isn't linked to it.  That way I can contact you if you win.

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED.
You can read more about the Steam Mop HERE and you can find Black and Decker on facebook HERE.
Thanks for dropping in.

July 29, 2011

Hurley-inspired Bleach Pen Tee


This week I'm posting some older tutorials from guest posts I did when I first started blogging.  (That also explains why Rex will look much younger in the pictures.)  This week's posts will probably actually be new to most of you (because they've never been fully posted here) and I'll get some time to finish some things that have been on the checklist way too long.
Today we're going to be making this manly tee.


You'll need a blank t-shirt, a clorox bleach pen, some scrap fabric, and some coordinating embroidery floss.  Here we go!


1) Lay out your t-shirt.  Place thick paper between the layers of the shirt, so the bleach won't bleed through.  I put a small square-shaped piece of paper in the center, to make sure I left some open space for the main design.  It's just sitting there - not attached. 

2) Draw your plaid lines with a bleach pen and wait until it's the color you want it to be.  Before you go crazy with your bleach pen, you might want to watch THIS TUTORIAL for all the info you need to know.  Rinse the shirt in the sink to remove the bleach and then throw it into the laundry.  Eat some chocolate and surf the net while you're waiting.  (I recommend a Skor bar and some good 'ol craft blogs.)


3) Create your design for the middle.  I wanted to do an "H" like the Hurley one since that's what our last name starts with.  (That way the shirt can be handed down, too.  It's not just for one kid.)  I always use heat 'n bond when applying a knit fabric to a knit fabric.  Iron the heat 'n bond onto the scrap fabric.  Draw and cut out the shape.  Iron it onto the shirt.  I also stitched around it on my machine.


4) Don't forget to floss!  Embroidery floss is one of my favorite embellishments for boys' clothing.  I hand stitched between the bleach lines to add more interest.  I did every other line and used green floss to match the "H" (though it doesn't look super green in this picture).


5) Bribe your child with ridiculous amounts of candy so that he'll let you take his picture.




That's it!  Thanks for dropping in.

July 28, 2011

Silhouette Deal!

I just wanted to let any of you who have been thinking about purchasing a Silhouette know about what's going on.  Silhouette is officially launching their new machine the Silhouette Cameo.  The difference is it'll be 12" wide instead of 9".


The good news?  They are selling all the Silhouette SD's for $175 while supplies last.  (Supplies are actually quite limited.)  Once they are gone they are gone!  Just use "ROAR" as your promo code anytime between today and Sunday (July 31) to get your Silhouette SD for $175.

You will be able to get a 20% discount on all Silhouette products as well, including the new Silhouette Starter Kits! (Excluding download cards and machines).

Just hop on over to the Silhouette store HERE if you're interested.  (And if you don't know what the Silhouette is, find out by clicking HERE and you'll see some of the projects I've used mine for.)

Zipper Tabs


This week I'm posting some older tutorials from guest posts I did when I first started blogging.  (That also explains why Rex will look much younger in the pictures.)  This week's posts will probably actually be new to most of you (because they've never been fully posted here) and I'll get some time to finish some things that have been on the checklist way too long.
Today I want to show you how to do a simple embellishment on a sweatshirt to keep your kids happy.
Here's the deal.  I'm not crazy about in-your-face-character shirts.  While my son loves all sorts of different characters...McQueen, Transformers, and Buzz Lightyear, I'm not crazy about the clothes they make with them on it.  AND, they can be pricey.  So, today we're going to solve this problem with zipper tags.

This is what we're making:


These little tabs make it easy for little hands to zip AND give a plain sweatshirt a little more personality.

 

So, here we go...........

1) Pick out a design or logo and create a freezer paper stencil.  I chose the Transformer symbol.  If you have never done freezer paper stenciling or if you're unsure of how it works, click HERE for a in-depth video tutorial.



2) Paint the area and remove the stencil.



3) Now, laces some ribbon or whatever you have through the zipper.  Place your stencil on one side of it and a blank piece of fabric on the other (so you're sandwiching the ribbon) and sew it all together.  I like to leave excess fabric on while I sew in case things shift a bit while sewing.


4) Trim around the stitching.


5) Watch the little guy beam as he proudly wears his new sweatshirt and sings the "Transformer" theme song.  (Yeah, you know it too...."Transformers, more than meets the eye!")


Thanks for reading.

July 27, 2011

Wake Up Wednesday

Last week's challenge was to be a patient driver.  With my sick little guys we didn't get out as much, but I tried to slow down a bit when we did.  I don't mean less MPH, but rather feeling less rushed.  For me, the lack of patience when driving is all related to the need to slow everything down.  I'm working on that :)
This week's challenge was also inspired by a reader.  The challenge is to try to avoid using a car.  I realize that's not possible for everyone, but I think we can all make some effort.  Ride a bike.  Find some public transportation.  Carpool.  Take your time and walk.  It'll be good for the environment and for our minds.  I'm excited to give it a shot.

That's all for today.  Did you try to be a patient driver this week?  Let's hear about it.

July 26, 2011

Purse Makeover


This week I'm posting some older tutorials from guest posts I did when I first started blogging.  (That also explains why Rex will look much younger in the pictures.)  This week's posts will probably actually be new to most of you (because they've never been fully posted here) and I'll get some time to finish some things that have been on the checklist way too long.

Today I'm going to show you how to take a plain purse or bag and turn it into something like this.  This is my darling sister and model.  It's her purse I revamped.

Here's how the bag looked in the beginning when she bought it.


All you need to do is find a fabric you love.  Iron on some "heat 'n bond" to the back of the fabric.  This will also make the fabric stiff and easy to cut out.  I cut out a shape I liked from the fabric.  Then peel off the paper backing and iron it onto the bag.


For a little extra detail and a more professional look, I added some embroidery floss.  This is super easy to do, it just requires a some time.  If the bag has a lining, be sure to make sure it's laying flat when you are stitching.  You don't want to sew it to the outer layer in a weird way.  If you feel like there's any spot of your fabric that isn't sticking to the bag as it should, just stitch your floss there.  It'll look cute and hold it in place. 

Floss is only $ .37 and it's a fun way to add some extra details.  I love to add it to the shirts I make for my little boys.

Here's the final product.  She likes it!  Victory!

Thanks for stopping by.

July 25, 2011

Bubble Wrap Tee


This week I'm posting some older tutorials from guest posts I did when I first started blogging.  (That also explains why Rex will look much younger in the pictures.)  This week's posts will probably actually be new to most of you (because they've never been fully posted here) and I'll get some time to finish some things that have been on the checklist way too long.


Today I'm going to show you how to make a cool boy t-shirt (inspired by Hurley, Volcom, Quiksilver, etc.) using bubble wrap.  Bubble wrap?  Oh yes, that's right.  We're also going to do a little freezer paper stenciling.  Here's the end product:
Here we go:

1) Start with a blank tee.  I like to get them at Wal-mart for $3.50.  Cut out a chunk of bubble wrap.  Spread some paint on a paper plate.  Use the bubble wrap like a stamp.  Dip it in and stamp it wherever you want on the shirt.  I covered the center with an oval because I didn't want to stamp the area where I was going to write "Bosco."
Here's my chunk of bubble wrap with light gray paint on it, ready to stamp.  (Use the bubbly side.)  I just added a little water to my fabric paint and then applied it with a spray bottle.
Stamp as much or as little as you want to.
2) I got on the computer to make a design for the front.  "Bosco" is my little guy's nick name.  Here's what I printed off:
3) Create a freezer paper stencil.  (Using an exacto knife, cut the stencil.  Iron the stencil to the shirt to seal off the area.  Shiny side down.  For a full video tutorial on Freezer Paper Stenciling click HERE.) 
4) Paint the area using fabric paint.
5) I wanted a little more texture, so I did a little more stamping on top of it with a darker gray.

6) Optional:  I also added some embroidery floss along the neckline for fun and to bring out the green.
...and the final test?  Yup.  He likes it.

So save that bubble wrap next time you get a package and have some t-shirt fun.  Thanks for reading.

July 24, 2011

Sunshine Sunday - health

As I mentioned on Thursday, we were under the weather this week.  Being sick is kind of a neat thing.  (Now, I know that sounds crazy and really, I can probably only say this because I'm all better now.)  It makes you appreciate everything in a new way. 

I am grateful for my normal health.  I am thankful that I can run and play with my kids and I feel more motivated to do so.  I am grateful for my boys and their resilience.  They bounced back well.
I was thankful for "accidental" naps this week.  Rex doesn't nap anymore, but he crashed on the couch the other day and I loved watching him lay there so peacefully.  (Ha!  However, as I'm typing this he's screaming in the other room.  The peace doesn't last long :)
I am also grateful for family and their help.  Rex got to hang with his cousins while Baden and I were stuck at home sick. 
I am also thankful that this week is over.  Ah! 

Thanks for your kind words when we were sick.  I really appreciated it.  I hope you're having a great weekend.

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