Thursday, April 28, 2011

a little something, something

Did you know that Mother's Day is next weekend. Gasp, I know, do you have anything yet? Well, just in case you are scrambling I have got you covered. Please enjoy FREE shipping - by using the above code (little tip, it can be used on anything in the shop) and 15% off my Mom's Personalized Notecards and ALL my recipe cards. Yep, be panicked no more. Just jump on over to the shop and I got you taken care of (another secret, the date says it starts tomorrow - which it does - but if you are reading my blog or a fan on facebook, then you get to shop early. Whohoo)! :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Outfits

Easter would not be complete without darning new outfits - a tradition I carry on from my own childhood. This was the first year that I did not make Douglass Charles' outfit - and we had to forgo anything that resembled a Jon Jon or was smocked - so sad! But I must say, I thought he looked absolutely adorable in his "big boy" Easter outfit and he was quite proud of himself.

Charlotte was elated about getting to wear her Easter dress - which made me so happy (seeing as I poured so many hours into her outfit). I am enjoying this while it lasts. I know there will be a day all too soon when she will prefer something much more grown up and not always to my liking. :)

My camera died before I could capture any photos of our first Easter Egg hunt at home. The kids had so much fun and Doug and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them participate in this tradition.

And lastly, lest you think that our Easter was only full of bunnies, candy, cookies, and pretty clothes, this was the first year that I was able to really discuss the true meaning behind Easter with the kids and I felt Charlotte was able to understand a bit about it. I look forward to the years to come when the death, burial and resurrection of our Saviour can be a subject with more understanding. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Cookies

I have been wanting to do a cookie decorating party for quite some time. I always think about it around Valentine's Day and it never is a good time - with Douglass Charles' birthday being just a few weeks after. I found some Easter cookie cutters a few weeks back and I thought, why not do one for Easter. So... we did.

It was quite simple, with just a few neighborhood friends invited. Everyone brought their favorite sprinkle/decoration and I provided bunnies, tulips, eggs, and butterflies to decorate. My mom also sent Jesus necklaces with beads for the kids to make.

We had a wonderful time and I was thoroughly entertained by the fact that boys and girls do cookies differently. The girls litereally assembled for 45 minutes. Griffin and Douglass Charles "decorated" and then immediately ate their creations, both being completely finished in about 15 minutes. Then they were off to play.

Thanks to our neighbors for joining in the fun. It was a great start to a fun Easter weekend!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!

This is truly how I felt yesterday - celebrating the resurrection of my Savior and little friend's birthdays - not to mention all the fun we had with the kiddos this year. Hope your Easter was full of joy. More pictures coming soon. And if you are wondering... this is DC being thoroughly thrilled over his new bubble maker from the ole Easter Bunny. BIG HIT!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Basket Favor Tutorial

So we are having a few neighborhood friends over this Friday for a little Easter cookie decorating fun! I got a wild hair last week to put together some favors for our friends all while looking at the numerous yogurt cups I needed to recycle - and this fun project is what I came up with. Isn't it cute? It was so much fun!

I had hoped to include the kiddos in on creating it, but regular glue wouldn't hold it together and I think you would agree a hot glue gun and two toddlers aren't a good mix. I will say, though, that they love them and I am struggling to keep their little paws off these favors - they really are the perfect size for little hands to play.

So... scroll on down, so that you, too, can enjoy our little Easter favors.

What you will need:
Cleaned yogurt cups - we used the small yoplait containers, but you really could use anything from a fruit cup to a pudding cup - just wash on the top rack of your dishwasher to disinfect.
3 inch whole punch (or just cut your own circles - you will need five per favor)
Scrapbook paper
glue gun

Step 1: Cut your ribbon (I just eye balled it. Honestly, the length of the ribbon will depend on the size of your container) and glue both ends to the sides of the cup.

Step 2: Cut five circles and start placing them around the container like the photo above. Manipulate the "petals" to wrap around and hug the container closely. It is okay if the paper tears a bit - especially when placing the first petals.

Step 3: Once you have covered the outside, take your last petal and glue it on the bottom. Then glue each side up around the bottom. I then folded the corners and glued them to the sides.

And there you have it, your completed favor basket.

Fill it will jelly beans, or in our case - paper grass (which is just shredded scrapbook paper that I put in our shredder) and a sweet little peep. Honestly, I think these could be used for just about any kind of small favor - so don't be surprised if you see them again. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

oatmeal cookies

If you know me, then you know that I love cookies. You may remember my post here about my finally mastering the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I am not prejudice to any type of cookie - really - but oatmeal is also one of my faves. Not the crunchy kind. No, I am normally the chewey, soft kind of girl.

I happened upon this perfect recipe a couple of months ago when I had a TON of oats (that I basically got for FREE on sale and with coupons) and needed to use them. I have made them several times with raisins, craisins, and chocolate chips - all DELICIOUS. So... if you are a sucker for an oatmeal cookie, this recipe will not dissapoint!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups quick cooking oats
1.In a medium bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.
2.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie with a large fork dipped in sugar.
3.Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, April 18, 2011

a confession

I must confess that I have been feeling a bit down lately about my business. I really shouldn't be. I did my taxes for last year and I actually made money (the first year I have made a profit, YEAH!) and my little promotion last week was awesome, but in all reality, I feel discouraged. I have so many creative ideas, places I want to go, designs still in my head wanting to make their way onto my computer screen. I want a true bonofied website, more fun products, photographs that capture the true essence of my creations. But... I'm just not there.

I guess it is good to dream, right? To want more for myself, my business, my "brand." Sometimes I feel stuck in a rut, I feel like my line is a little lifeless right now, a little lost, a little without direction. I have ideas of how to fix this, how to make it better, but they all require time. Time that I really don't have.

I get frustrated with the pull that I have to be wife, mother, friend, and business person. Right now it seems that the business side of things has to take a backseat. Let's face it, my two little ones are home with me all day everyday and it just isn't worth it to me to have them watching television - or something of that nature - while mommy tries to build this little creative business of mine.

So I am thinking about simplifying, being a little less all over the place, and find a true direction - and sticking with it. It is time to clean "shop" so to speak, discover what my customers are truly looking for, really do what I love, and find a balance that works for me and my family. And the biggest thing, realize that sometimes God's timing is better than mine and the dreams I have for myself may come true, just not today.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

{occupying my time}

Once again, I do not have a Scrap It Saturdays project to post. My goals of having something to work on for each week were a bit lofty, but most of my goals usually are. I am currently working on something, but it is not quite ready - mainly because I have been working on this little piece for my sweet Charlotte.

I purchased fabric for this dress back in January and started putting it together over six weeks ago. Yes, should you think I just crank out all this stuff with little ones in tow, cook, coupon, and attend to all the responsibilities of being a wife and mom, most all my sewing projects start months out from when I need them. They get worked on during my "spare" time. So, seeing as Easter is just a week away, Scrap It Saturdays projects were put on the backburner while I put this sweet dress together. It is all but done with only the buttons to sew on and the button wholes to make.

So, just in case you wonder why I have been slacking with my scrappy creations, I think I have had a pretty good reason of something else occupying my time. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The First Spoonful!

I am still catching up on orders from my little promotion. I don't know what I was thinking doing this during our Spring Break, but I obviously wasn't thinking. Thankfully our week was very low key and I have been able to keep up, but I will rethink my timing next year. :)

So, now you understand the reasoning for such a random post - my lack of time. If you know me, then you know that I love, no, ADORE Jif Peanut Butter. So much so that one of my very favorite things to do is to get the very first spoonful out of a new jar - Ahhhh, divine! There are no crumbs, mixed in jelly, or other possible nastiness to ruin that wonderful creamy taste. There really is nothing like the first spoonful.

And if you think this is crazy, my little addiction has gotten a little better with age. Ask Doug! When we were first married I would open up a new jar before the old one was finished just so I could have that first bite. And yes, it DROVE HIME CRAZY!

Please tell me I am not the only one with a crazy addiction/obsession. What is yours?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Scrap It Saturdays: Finished Easter Basket Liners

This project could not be more easy - or more fun. Don't allow yourself to be weirded out about not having an actual pattern. I will try to be detailed enough in my description to put you at ease. And by the way, my liners are by no means perfect. So here we go...
What you will need:
1/4th yard of fabric
trim (rik rak, piping,ribbon)
measuring tape
sewing machine
bucket or basket (one that is not really wide at the mouth)

Your first step is to measure the circumference of the bottom of your bucket or basket. Just draw a circle around the bottom of the basket onto your fabric. Once done, cut it out about 1/4 inch away from your markings.

Second, measure the length of your circle (mine was seven inches) and multiply that by two (14 for me). You will use this length to measure out the "side" pieces of fabric. To insure that your fabric is tall enough to fold over the top, just set it inside your bucket/basket and see if it will fold over. Remember you will have to leave a little at the top and bottom for seam allowance and a hem on the top.

Third, placing right sides together sew your long pieces together at both ends (the shorter ends, not the longer ends) and iron down like the picture above.

You are almost done with your "pattern." Now you will take that circle you created and cut one more piece. Place your cut circle on another piece of fabric and draw a box around it - with the lines bumping up to your cut circle. Cut this out and discard your circle - your new square will become the bottom of the liner.

Now you will want to add trim to one side of your long pieces that you have sewn together. I find that it is much easier to add the trim now, rather than waiting until the end when the "liner" is already assmebled. First, you will want to do a zigzag stitch over the edge you are adding the trim to. Once completed fold the good side to the bad and sew your trim on like the picture shown.

Once that is completed take your sides that are sewn together and your square bottom and pin right sides together. This is the trickiest part. You will use your unfinished edges and miter the corners like the picture. This looks intimidating, but just fold the fabric in and make sure your edges always line up. You will be forced to fold if you are going to do this. Then sew together following the edge of your box. Once you have rounded all corners you will have an inside out bag.

You can stop here if you like and just make it work. I happened to use buckets where the plastic handles could be removed. The "botton" that was holding the handle in place is about the size of a small button, so I marked both places and made button holes. If you don't have this option on your machine (or just don't want to fool with it) you can always cut small slits into the fabric and accomplish the same task. They may eventually fray or rip, but it will work for this season. Once your button holes/slits are completed place the liner back in the bucket, button the fabric in place and add your handles back on. And your project is complete.

If you are worried about time - and this is for a sewer who is a bit more experienced (but not much) - it only took about two hours for me to do two (Yes, not bad if you ask me and I also engaged my kids. They LOVED it!)

If something is confusing or you need more explanation please comment below. I will be happy to try to answer your questions.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday's Find

Yes, please! I will take one of everything. I truly love this shop and how darling is this cake stand? I am such a sucker for handpainted ceramics and local gal, Jeanette Zeis, does not disappoint. Check out all her wonderul things over at her shop Jeanette Zeis Cermanics and happy looking!

Oh and don't forget, only two more days to Stock Up and Save. See my shop for more details and check back tomorrow for my Easter Basket Liner tutorial! Should be fun!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Springtime & Breaking Even

I captured these photos a couple of weeks ago. These lovely blooms are gracing our backyard at the moment (all but the daffodils as the kids decided to destroy them). I love the Spring time, the new growth, the warmer temperatures, the sunshine. I always feel like everything is more alive - even people. We are no longer stuck, cooped up in our homes. It is just a happier time to me.

With warmer temps come new clothing for the kiddos and if you know me, I LOVE shopping for clothing - regardless if it is for them or myself. I have mentioned before that I shop consignment sales for the kiddos. I find I can get great clothing for very little money. But if you are familiar with consignment sales, they normally occur before the clothes are actually needed.

Febrauary was abuzz with several sales, and well, February is not the best financial month for us to purchase clothing. We are normally catching up from the holidays AND our bills seem to be some of the highest - as this is one of our coldest months (not to mention illness). So I am not ashamed to say that we just didn't have the moola to purchase the kid's clothes.

This was quite a place of worry for me. Thankfully we had been graced with a little money from various relatives for Christmas, but the money I had was supposed to be for me to spend on well, me. Doug and I talked about it and I decided I had no choice but to set a budget, use my Christmas money, and just hope I made enough from what I was selling to break even (and later pay me back the difference.}

To say I was worried about this was an understatement. I am not disastisfied with my choice to stay home or my husband's choice to be a public servant, but lets face it, extra cash for extra things just isn't there, so my Christmas money I am pretty stingy with. :) I was greatly convicted while worrying way too much over this that I hadn't once prayed and asked the Lord specifically to work in this situation. Feeling a bit guilty I went to the Big Guy and not only asked for what I thought we needed, but asked for a bit more - that I would break even and if He thought to see fit, actually MAKE some money for future clothing purchases.

Guess what, He did it! Yes, not only have I made back all the money I spent, but I to date have made $26.00 over what I have spent - and I'm not done yet.

So next time you get to worrying about something and think it might just be too small to talk to the good Lord about. Think again... I am always humbled by the way God chooses to work in my life - even the little things. Here's to breaking even (and then some.)

Monday, April 4, 2011


This beatiful place is less than an hour from my childhood home.

Oh what I would give for some seafood... this looks delish!

Photos courtsey of Coastal Living

I absolutely, positively love Coastal Living Magazine. I also absolutely, postively don't like it. Why? Oh does it make me want to head south, be near the shore, soak up some rays, enjoy the sound of the ocean and smell the gulf's breeze.

Growing up only an hour from the gulf coast I took it so for granted, now, six hours away, I can't wait to get down there again. In the mean time, I will have to live vicariously through the pages of this beautifully photographed publication and dream of beach days - that I hope arrive sooner rather than later.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Scrap It Saturdays: Easter Basket Liners

Have you seen these adorable baskets in Pottery Barn Kids for Easter. I drool over them every year, but I certainly don't drool over the price. So... I decided for this Scrap It Saturday project to set out to make something similiar. Now I don't boast they will be this cute, but it will be fun, serve the same purpose, and mean more because you made it (not to mention the money you will save). :)

If you are like me I have all sorts of fabric scraps - some small and some are actual yards of fabric (yes, I know, I said yards. Sadly, I purchase fabric and sometimes it never gets used). This is one of the projects where you will need at least a quarter of a yard - depending on the size of your basket/bucket. So... get to scrounging around in your fabric bins and find something you would like to use as a container (I found some for $1.00 a piece at Dollar Tree) and check back next Saturday for the directions. You won't want to miss it!

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's That Time Again...

Yes, some of you may remember by bi-annual Stock Up and Save Promotion - and I know some of you wait for it. :) If you aren't familiar, this is how it works. For every set of notecards (flat or folded) you purchase, you receive six FREE notecards of the same kind with your purchase. A little side note: this cannot be used for custom orders, existing orders, invitations, bagtags, calling cards, or labels, gift tags, cupcake toppers - just notecards. So... stock up today. You have until the 10th to get your order in. It will be a while before another one passes you by!