December 31, 2011

What I Said I Wouldn't Do....

Have you ever done something you said you'd never do?  I remember making assumptions about what kind of mother I'd be before I even knew what having kids was like.  I vowed I would never, ever lick my finger and wipe off my child's face.  So gross!  Fast forward to years later.  I have a little boy and we're late for a doctor's appointment and I'm about to enter the building but I realize his little face it still showing signs of breakfast.  I can't find my wipes and we're late.  THEN it happens.  There aren't other options.  I lick my finger and wipe his sweet little face so I don't have to bring him to the doctor looking like I never bathe him.  I cringe, but I do it.  Ugh!

I mention this because I am about to do something I said I wouldn't do.

December 30, 2011

What Comes Next....PLEASE VOTE!!!

Do you remember what your response was when someone would ask you what you wanted to be when you grow up?  Though I'm already "grown up" I suppose, my honest answer is a bit complex.  If I could do anything I would do something different every few months.  I'd be a hair stylist for a while, then I'd try dental hygiene.  After that I'd love to work on some sort of creative team for a show and then I'd try out being a make up artist.  The list goes on and on.  I'm not saying I have any natural ability for any of these things, I'm just saying I love variety and I love learning new things.

I don't anticipate throwing in the towel with blogging anytime soon, but I do think about other interests and things I'd like to pursue at times.  I realize that not all of you share the same interest that I do, but I'm hoping you can help me out a little today.  I created a little poll, featuring a few things I'd love to do someday.

Can you vote for which option you'd be interested in?  (If you're in google reader you might have to click over to the blog to vote.)  Let me explain the options a little so you can know what I'm even talking about.

1) (SIDENOTE: Music is what I used to do before blogging and kids.  I released a few albums and pursued that for a while.  You can look up Cheri Magill on iTunes if you're curious.)  I miss music and I've always thought it would be fun to do an album of music for children.  Something along the lines of Laurie Berkner, but a bit more pop/hip and less folky.  The goal would be for it to be music that you as an adult aren't annoyed by.

2) You guys know that crafting for boys is kind of my specialty.  I've often thought it would be fun to pursue doing a book on crafting for boys.

3) An acoustic hymn CD.  I realize not everyone here is religious, but this is something that's been on my goal list for years.  I'd love to come up with some creative renditions of old hymns and record them.  Think Sarah McLaughlin does hymns.

4) A coffee table book.  I think it would be cool to combine service ideas with beautiful photography and make a coffee table book to inspire us to reach out to one another.

5) None of the above.  I don't expect any of you to jump on the bandwagon with every crazy idea I might have.  Feel free to vote for this is you have no interest in any of the above options.

I'm curious to see what interests we have in common.  Can you please take two seconds and place a vote on the poll below?  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!  I really appreciate your help and insight.  We'll be back to the regular crafting posts next week.


December 29, 2011

A New Shop and a New Series

So, after meaning to make the switch for a while I did it.  My shop it now a big cartel shop instead of an etsy shop.  It doesn't look like much yet.  I still need to upgrade it a bit, but you'll now find me HERE.  I think it'll be a better fit for what I need.  

I also added a new printable in the shop.  It's meant to be printed BIG like the Anyway quote.  Here's a low resolution preview.  It can be ordered in black with white writing or white with black writing and printed up as an engineer blueprint for $2.99.


In other news, I'm going to start a new series mid-January.  It'll be short and sweet.  It's a week long series called "Just Like New."  


December 28, 2011

Wake Up Wednesday - new year changes

Last week's challenge was to remember the reason for the season.  We had a great meaningful Christmas. If you missed it, you can see the short video we made about it HERE.  (It's the second video of the post.)

I've been thinking about Wake Up Wednesday a lot lately.  I've thought about ways to change it and things to try out.  However, the more I think about it the more I just keep coming back to leaving it as is.  WUW has helped me stretch and grow in a different way this past year and I'm definitely not done stretching or growing.  So, here comes another year with new challenges.  

I will probably recycle some of last year's challenges.  It's hard to think of 52 new ideas that everyone can do.  I try to think of things that don't cost anything and that aren't ridiculously hard to do.  If YOU have any ideas for challenges will you let me know?  I could definitely use some more ideas.


The challenge for this week is .......

December 27, 2011

Some BIG, BIG News!

I have some news that I've been really excited to share for a long time.  However, I wanted to wait until the details were firm before saying anything.  Let's play a guessing game, shall we?

Clue: I have to fly to New York for this.

Clue: It's the first name you think of when you think of crafting.

Clue: It rhymes with Gartha Bluwart.

December 26, 2011

Best of 2011

Last year I rounded up my favorite projects from the blog to post at the end of the year, so I thought it would be fun to do it again.  Here's my favorite project from each month.


JANUARY


I seriously love Picnik - not just for photo editing.


December 25, 2011

Sunshine Sunday - Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!  I thought I'd share two little things with you today.

Here are the boys singing a short Christmas song.


This one is a bit of our Christmas activity footage with me singing over the top.  It's nothing professional.  I recorded everything on my iPhone, but I thought it would be a fun keepsake for our family to remember this Christmas.


I hope your Christmas is wonderful.  Thanks for dropping in.

December 24, 2011

Soapbox Saturday - giving

As I get older, I seem to learn the same things over and over again, but on a deeper level.  This Christmas has already been special and meaningful.  My word and goal for the new year is "GIVE."  I've been thinking about it a lot.  Christie at A Lemon Squeezy Home posted this video a few days ago and I've watched it a billion times since and showed it to everyone I know.

I thought you might like it too.  It's simple and short, but makes you feel the joy of giving.



Merry Christmas.

Thanks for reading my blog.

December 23, 2011

YOU Roared

It's been far too long since we had a round of "You Roared."  Here's what some of you have been up to in the last few months!

Here are a few versions of the Tohoku Tote.  This one is by Roslyn.

December 22, 2011

The 12 Skirts of Christmas

Today I'm over at Kelly's place - Sewing in No Man's Land.  She's been doing a little series - the twelve skirts of Christmas.  Here's a peek at what I made.   If you come by and say hi you'll get to see the second top I made to go with the skirt.  Let's just say it might involve coconut shells.  Hee, hee.  See you there.  The post is right HERE


Thanks for dropping in.

December 21, 2011

Wake Up Wednesday (2011 in Review)

Last week's challenge was to go caroling.  The boys and I headed over to our elderly neighbors house to give them that remote control car and sing a little.  I brought my guitar.  I felt a little weird just showing up with my guitar, but they were so happy that we came and sang.  It was SO fun and I'm really glad we did it.  I love how a little music can bring so much joy.  

Since this week is Christmas, this week's challenge is.....

December 20, 2011

Monogrammed Blanket

Rex has two awesome teachers at his preschool and I wanted to make them something special for Christmas.  I decided to buy a comfortable blanket for one teacher and monogram it for her.  I like semi-homemade gifts because they don't take as much time as fully handmade, but they still have a personalized feel to them.  I purchased this blanket at Target.


Then I cut a freezer paper stencil.  (If you haven't tried freezer paper stenciling you can watch my video tutorial of it HERE.)  I ironed on the stencil and painted the letter black, using my Tulip soft fabric paint.  

December 19, 2011

The Fairy Blog Mother Visits Again

A little less than a year ago I had Erika (aka, The Fairy Blogmother) makeover my blog.  She was awesome to work with.  She knows what she's doing, she's kind, and she's got a great eye.  So, when I got an itch to switch things up again I dropped her an email.  She's been really patient, working with me over the last month or two to get things just how I wanted them.

You might notice there are some new things floating around.  If you're reading in a reader you can click over to see the changes.  Here's the run down.  Erika let me design things I wanted to and then put everything together to make it work (which is the part I don't know how to do).

1) New header.  (I wanted to use this picture of my boys and I needed some blank space in the header which I'll explain later.)


December 18, 2011

Sunshine Sunday - cousins, sleeping 'staches, and lashes

I am grateful for all the cousins we live close to.  Our kids have sixteen cousins within 40 miles of us.  Crazy, huh?  I remember how much I loved seeing my cousins when I was little.  There was just that extra cool factor about cousins.  Last week some of the cousins put together their own nativity play for us.  It was pretty cute.


I am always touched when an older cousin is kind to a younger one......  

December 17, 2011

Soapbox Saturday - Serve



This post is sponsored by Serve from American Express. Sign up for Serve and receive $10 credit towards your first use. Comment below within the next 7 days for your chance to win an extra $100 credit to your account!
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One night a week I have Girl's Night Out.  It's my one time away from the kids.  It usually involves my sisters and mom and a dinner that I didn't have to cook.  When we go to a restaurant, I hate to ask for separate checks for all of us.  I feel like it's annoying to the server.  So, usually one person pays, and the others people try to give cash to the person who paid.....but who carries cash these days?  Often you're short a few bucks and it's really hard to remember to pay each other back.

Now imagine that you we all had a way to pay each other back easily, at that moment, without cash, and it would only take seconds.  That's what Serve is about.  Serve (powered by American Express) lets you do that with your smart phone.  You can easily send each other the money that very moment.  No more awkward asking someone to pay you back later when they forget.

So, we tried it out.  We headed out for a nice dinner.  My mom even broke out the big jewels for the event (but that's a whole other story).


Then at the end everyone whipped out their phones to make the transfers.


 Here's my personal opinion.  The idea is pretty clever.  The sign up is quick - unless you get "selected" - kind of like you might be at the airport.  One of us was selected in the process of signing up and didn't continue on to fully finish opening the account.  It seems that they randomly select people to have to enter more info - like your full social security number (which has to be scanned in from a legal copy of it) which I don't like to give out easily.  I even called to figure out why, but they couldn't explain why.   However, if you're not "selected" then the set up is quite easy and fast, like I said.  You also get $10 for signing up.  It's all quite easy to use as well.

You can read more about the details HERE and decide if opening a Serve account could be helpful to you.

Remember to sign up for Serve and receive $10 credit towards your first use. Comment below within the next 7 days for your chance to win an extra $100 credit to your account! Official sweepstakes rules and regulations may be found by clicking here. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

December 16, 2011

Feature Friday - Popsicle Stick Puzzles

A couple of months ago I saw these simple puzzles on Made:


And Dana got the idea from this one from Saltwater Kids:
I loved the idea and thought they'd be fun and easy to try out.  I grabbed a bag of colored craft sticks so I wouldn't have to mess with the spray paint (and since the colored ones were only a few cents more).  I figured if I really wanted the boys to use them, I'd probably need to draw some Super Hero signs on them........

December 15, 2011

Etched Super Hero Glasses

Have any of you seen those Super Hero glasses at Target?  They are a bit pricey.  My sister bought the shot glass ones for her kids.  (Don't worry - they think they are just cute tiny glasses.)  However, she said the images are coming off in the dishwasher.  


Do you remember having a favorite cup or glass to drink out of as a kid?  We had these little A and W mugs that I adored.  So, my sister Leca and I bought some inexpensive glasses at Gygi and got out her etching cream.  For under $5 these were born:

December 14, 2011

Wake Up Wednesday

Last week's challenge was to give a gift to someone who you wouldn't normally give one to.  We have this sweet eldery couple who lives across the street.  I mentioned them once a while back.  They are in their nineties and they have a basket full of paper airplanes that they fly off their upstairs balcony inside.  
The husband also gets out his remote control car when the boys and I stop over.  So, I planned on giving them an AirHog remote control car - the kind that drives up the walls.  

December 13, 2011

A Few More Gift Ideas....

Before we get started today let's announce our Shine Winner:

Drop me an email and I'll get you hooked up.

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It's getting closer to Christmas and if you're like me you have a couple people on your list that are tricky to buy for.  Today I'm going to share a few pretty things that make great gifts.  I haven't been paid to write about them.  I just like them and think you will too.

1) ANYTHING from Paper Coterie.  I ordered this book for someone in my family and it turned out really well.  I love this company.  Their products, service, and quality are top notch.  They also have great books to start from.  Look at these pretty designs.  You just add the pictures......


December 12, 2011

Neighbor Gift Idea - Santa 'Staches

I guess my husband's recent 'stache has resurrected our mustache fettish around here.  I was trying to think of an easy, inexpensive neighbor gift idea and I wanted to use the mustache molds we had somehow.  My sister suggested making them white like Santa.  So, the Santa 'Stache Gift was born.


They are super easy to make.  And to get them ready to give out I put them in a little plastic bag and added a little tag.......

December 11, 2011

Sunshine Sunday - static and 'staches and boxes


1) My husband lost a bet and will be sporting this 'stache until the end of the year.  Nice.  It makes me laugh every time I see him.  2) Rex gets severe static in the swings we have in the playroom.  I took a picture of it just so he could see it himself.  Sweet.  3) The boys met Santa at the grocery store.  It was our first encounter with him.  He asked Rex what he wanted and Rex was so star-struck that he wouldn't say anything.  4) I was just playing around with my camera phone because it was fun.

Have you every read the Birthday Box?  It's a funny short children's book.  The little boy gets a birthday present, but he thinks the box is the present rather than what's inside of it.....  

December 10, 2011

Stuffing Our Stockings at Dollar General

This post brought to you by Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.

This week I was really fortunate to partcipate in a "Stuff Your Stocking" Challenge through Dollar General.  I was given $25 to fill stockings.  I wasn't sure how far the $25 would go, but it was more than enough for my boys' stockings and even left a little for mine :)


Dollar General carries lots of great items for stocking stuffers and their prices are amazingly low.  I stocked up on markers, crayons, and all sorts of art supplies for the boys.  I still had money left so I added a puzzle, a little candy, some gum, and batteries for toys that will  be opened on Christmas morning.  Then I still had money left so I asked Santa to grab me a bunch of fun gel pens.  (I love colored pens and one of you readers mentioned that glitter gel pens were super fun.  I couldn't resist.)


So, now we are all loaded up and ready for the man in red to make his appearance!  If you still need to fill up the stockings I highly recommend making a stop at Dollar General.  They have lots of things available online as well.  Deck the halls, fill the stockings, and don't forget to leave some cookies for Santa.  I hear he really likes frosted sugar cookies.  Yum!

Visit Sponsor's Site

December 09, 2011

Feature Friday - All About Utah

Do you have a friend who always has the latest scoop about the best stores, latest products, best restaurants, and every other bit of information you can think of?  I have a sister like that.  Her name is Aleca, but you can call her Leca.  Leca moved to Utah about six months ago (yahoo!) and somehow she already knows the hot spots a billion times better than I do.  I can never tell her about any place or product because she already knows.  Seriously.


So, a little over a month ago I started thinking about how great it would be if she started a blog about Utah.  When you want to find great stores or restaurants it's SO nice to get a heads up so you can know what the prices are like, see what the building looks like, and get the inside scoop from someone who knows.  You need information.  You need Leca.........

December 08, 2011

CHARITY fundraising on GROOPDEALZ today!

(You'll find today's regular post below.)  

I wanted to let you all know that today you can order my Mother Teresa Quote file for ONLY $2 through GroopDealz.  AND every dollar goes straight to help Kami (from No Biggie) and her family. They recently lost their sweet baby after she was born extremely prematurely.  Now they have huge hospital bills as well.  If you haven't ordered the print then today is the day.  Remember, you can print is huge for around $2?  It's an easy Christmas gift.  Here's a picture of it:


Click HERE to go order it.  There will also be an upcoming easy shop to benefit her family.  I'll keep you posted.

Paper Ornaments

I wanted to share a couple of paper ornament ideas today.  The beauty of paper ornaments is that they are really inexpensive, but still beautiful.


I used Aleene's Tacky Dot Roll for everything I made here.  Dry adhesives are PERFECT for these projects because they aren't messy and you don't have to wait for the glue to dry.  I also pulled out some textured paper I'd been saving to make the ornaments........

December 07, 2011

Wake Up Wednesday and a Giveaway!

The last Wake Up Wednesday challenge was to set a goal for the New Year.  Last year my goal was to stretch outside of myself.  This year my word is GIVE.  I'll tell you more about this as the New Year starts.  I have some ideas to add to Wake Up Wednesdays and I think it's going to be cool.  Sorry for the vagueness.  I'll explain soon.

This week's challenge to to give a gift to someone you wouldn't normally give one to.  We all have our family lists of people to give to, but wouldn't it be neat to surprise someone else with a gift?  It could be a cashier at your favorite store.  It could be someone from work.  It could be an elderly neighbor.  The point is to surprise someone who might not know you care.  It doesn't have to by pricey.  It could be something homemade and simple or even a thoughtful card.
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Now before you go we have a fun giveaway from Ashley at the Shine Project.  You've heard me talk about Ashley a few times.  She's an awesome, upbeat girl trying to do some good in the world.  She's been working a lot of months to start a scholarship fund for underprivileged students at Cesar Chavez High School in Arizona.  You can read more about the project HERE.  Many of you have joined in to help in the project.  Thank you!

Today Ashley is giving away a Shine necklace....

December 06, 2011

Graco Paint Sprayer Review and a Desk Makeover

I have always wanted a paint sprayer.  To me, the difference between professional and non-professional job on a project is in the brush strokes.  When I got the chance to try out the Graco HV2900 paint sprayer I was super excited.  Here's what this baby looks like.  
My thought was that I wanted to re-do my cabinets, but I wanted to try this out on a smaller scale first.  I bought an old ugly desk for $20 to use as a sewing desk.  I don't have a great before picture, but here's a while-sanding-it picture.  (If you're reading from the blog click "READ MORE" below the picture to see the transformation.)


December 05, 2011

Personalized Cards for other occasions

This year I received a credit for 50 free Christmas cards from Shutterfly.  Let me be honest.  I don't really have 50 people to send cards to.  I really only send them to close family and friends.  I knew it would be a waste to print up 50 of them so I started to brainstorm.  I decided to take the family photos that the amazing Katie Dudley took for us and make some other types of cards.

I thought you might like this idea too because sometimes when you order cards, the price drops substantially when you order more.  So we went with this for the Christmas card front:


And as a bonus, their cards let you use another picture on the inside.....

December 03, 2011

Sunshine Sunday - drawing, mini-us, and projects

Art was always one of my very favorites subjects in school.  I love to draw.  This week Rex took a sudden interest in drawing and it kind of got me excited.  We practiced drawing dogs and bears and even Santa.  My favorite is when he draws people though.  He drew this one for me a couple of weeks ago.  It's Rex and Mommy.
This picture is my husband when he was little.  

Sponsor Saturday

It's time to remind you of the awesome sponsors I have here and the cool stuff they sell.  I truly love these shops (or they wouldn't be here :)

So here's a look at some of my favorites:

Head on over to the Little Gentleman's Closet for your Christmas ties.  Great quality and lots of pattern options.  We have two ties from there and we love them.



December 02, 2011

Five Finds Friday

It's been little while since I did a 5 find Friday, so here are a few things I found this week that I really loved.

1) Mandi from Tidbits from the Tremaynes is super cool and talented.  Well, her dad is too and she just posted this kitchen island he made.  It's draw-dropping awesome and clever.  You have to click over to see everything it does.  It's not just a pretty island.  WOW.  I think he and my dad could be good friends.  Go see it HERE.


December 01, 2011

What is a Favicon and How to Make One

Back when Erika (my Fairy Blogmother) made over my blog in January (which she's helping me do again currently) she asked if I wanted a "Favicon."  At the time I was thinking, "Hmmmm.....I don't think I need an enchanted bird."  I didn't know what a Favicon was so I googled it.  Now I'll show you what it is and how to get one.

Behold!  The favicon!

  
Yeah, it's that cute little square next to your URL and Blogger has made it super easy to have one now.

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