Friday, December 28, 2012

A New Christmas Tradition... Homemade Cocoa

Since we were solo for Christmas this year I decided to add some new special traditions. One of the easiest and most received was this delicious homemade hot cocoa. Little Man wasn't particularly impressed but he was pretty distracted with his newly delivered green Ybike! Next time I make it gonna mix it up dark chocolate chips and maybe add a chocolate dipped candy cane stirrer! Yummy! Or maybe I will serve it as a New Years drink with a little Kahlua.... 

Of course, I made a few changes! The recipe is linked below but my version is as follows:

5 tablespoons semi sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups 1% milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini marshmallows

Dump everything except the marshmallows into a saucepan.
Put the pan on the stove and turn on the heat to medium.
Stir continually with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes. Dont let it boil!
Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows.

Makes 3 servings.

The Recipe

Linking up with Serenity Now

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

I hope that everyone has had a very Merry Christmas! We had a very quiet day with out little family! We have started some new traditions and spent lots of quality time together just enjoying each other. It was just what the doctor ordered after the last few months of chaos. I love that thru technology we have also been able to share this special day with our families who are not here with this us today!

And here's a little peak at what our day looked like!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We are alive and almost moved in!

It's been a crazy month or so around our household! We sold our house (buyers put a contract on it sight unseen!), found a new house, hubs started his new job, moved out of our house solo, moved in with my parents for a few weeks, and finally last Friday closed on our new house!

I am in love with the area and our new home (minus these pesky few boxes that remain!) 

Unfortunately, we are still lacking in the Internet department..... So until then I will remain MIA!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A big week coming up...

We only know how to do things at one speed..... SUPER FAST! So tomorrow, the movers are coming and packing up the first house that the hubby and I purchased together and the only house that either of our kids have ever know. Then on Tuesday our stuff will be loaded up and shipped off to our new city!

It's very overwhelming but luckily it's happening so fast that I am not having a chance to get too sentimental. I do have plans to spend the next couple of weeks doing room by room tours on the blog of our now old house. We had some professional pictures done for the marketing of the house so it works out great to get one last view of everything!

And what then? Well, we found a house and I am beyond excited!!! So excited that in 3 short weeks, I will be decking the halls of our beautiful new home with garland and a Christmas Tree and..... I could go on forever!

In the meantime,  best return to this:

Friday, November 9, 2012

We have a new house!!! Just kidding....

Here I am another week passed and no blog posts! It makes me sad but I have come to grips with the fact that something had to give....

So what has happened since we last chatted? We took a quickie road trip to our new city, found an incredible house (that was way too big for us, but had the most beautiful hand scraped wood floors and built ins), had an accepted offer on the house, had a counter back on the house, a six hour car ride home with some very unhappy kids (thanks to missed naps to sign papers since we had an accepted offer), and then we decided against the house as it was starting to feel quite like a bait and switch..... in addition to inspections, moving plans, and general life. I literally wake up each morning and have no clue what day it is!

But I am taking a step back and enjoying this all! And unfortunately, blogging is taking a very back burner but it makes me a little less stressed having one less thing on my plate.

On the positive side, I see LOTS of design DIY in the very near future on our new house.... once we find it that is!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Some simple sparkle for the Holidays!

Happy Friday! I have one quick post to share....

I lucked out this week and escaped to get a pedicure while the hub stayed home with the kids. For real heaven - and it's been nearly a year since I last went! I decided to get a little crazy and do a polish on my hands too.

Pretty unexpected.... but loving it! Yes - I am rocking glittery nails. It's the color shown below and I for the life of me cannot remember what its called but I think that this might stay thru the holiday season!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Candy Hangover....

I am sure that like me, most of you are suffering from the dreaded candy hangover! Little Man had a blast trick or treating and we in turn had lots of candy to choose from once he went to sleep. Don't worry - he is allowed one piece a day to enjoy the holiday (any more than that and I try not to imagine the sugar high!)

So in light of that.... I am heading off to bed while the kids nap! Here is what our day yesterday looked like!

Little Man helped dressed Fia as a Pirate to play! 

We go all out for Halloween themes... more pirates! 

And you guessed it, a pirate pumpkin! 

With his trusty pirate hat protecting our front porch. Arrrggghhh matey! 

Practicing his counting and organizing skills on his Halloween candy! 

My adorable Jake and parrot! I loved making their costumes! 

 Quite the diva.... striking a pose!
Little Man is in for it very soon. Sis is already keeping him in check!

Hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

I heart Felt!!!

Many months ago I found this adorable cork board for less than $10 in Home Goods. I also found out that week that we were moving so I refrained from hanging it up! I guess that everything happens for a reason, since I was inspired to enhance the cork board and I think it works even better now!

My sister had plans to make a felt board for her daughter so we made a trip to Joann's and she got lots of cool colors to use. I was still focused on Halloween costumes and bought boring primary colors (and lots of it!) The next day, the costumes had been completed and Little Man was dying for something new to play with and I knew just what to do! He helped me make his new toy.

Lots of Felt
Hot Glue Gun, Scissors, Cutting Tool
Corkboard or Picture Frame
Print outs to create felt pieces
Accessories for felt pieces (pom-poms, eyes, etc)

 What a great assistant!

1. I opted to make a day and night felt board so we used blue and yellow as our background. Your choice on colors. I also think that doing a 4 seasons one would be super cute! Glue the felt to the board. I opted to cut it down to size after gluing using a craft blade.

2. Take a sheet of green felt. Cut it in half lengthwise. Then fold that piece in half. Now in the middle cut jagged edges to make grass. You are basically cutting zig zags in the middle.

3. Use your craft blade (or razor blade) to trim off the excess felt from the background.

4. Hot glue the green grass over the background.

5. The base of your board is now done! It's time to make some felt pieces! I used a clip art program to print out some basic shapes, letters, and animals. I then traced them onto the felt and cut them out. I added eyes, pom poms, layers, etc!

Here is what it looks like when finished. I have added some more felt pieces almost daily as we think of new objects.... a whale, a dinosaur, and a bat! Little Man loves his felt board and I love that it he was able to help create it!

Linking up at Serenity Now

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Roping up a Quick Drapery DIY

One thing I have learned thru the process of selling our home is that things move fast. You get an hour of notice for a showing, you can get an offer in less than 3 days of being listed, and you can be back to square one, just as fast! So when my phone rang last night at 6pm (after a full day of no showings and letting the kids tear up our neat house) I fully expected a showing request for 7pm.... Thankfully, the call was for a showing in the am and I would be able to spend a little more than an hour getting the house cleaned. Aaaahhhhh! The small blessings in life!

I adore Little Mans room... But I have been aware that some parts of the room were making the room feel smaller. I had 3 tasks on my list to help the room look larger in the hour we had before bed time.

1. Down with roman shade. It was making the room look way too dark.
2. Out with the rocking chair and table. With 2 twin beds, the room was looking over crowded.
3. Take down the drapes over the closet. The dark navy was also making the room appear small.

The hubby made quick work of moving the chair out and I got started on removing the roman shade and drapery hardware from the closet. then, I popped the folding doors back on the closet. Things were starting to come together but the window really needed some help. I had planned on putting the drapery hardware from the closet back over the window (where I had removed it from just a few short months ago!) but with the window until bedtime quickly closing, I decided to improvise!

Here are some quick before shots:

View into the room with the roman shade

View towards the closet

Above the window after we got a little crazy with the Spackling! The big spots are from 
patching up the hardware (and now I need hardware up again!)

Screw in Hooks
Tape Measure

1. Measure out the space that you need covered. For us, it was 2.5 inches down from the ceiling and 2.5 inches past the window. Mark your spots.

2. Screw the hooks into the wall. I chose to do 3 screws to ensure that it could hold up the fully lined black out drapes (they are really heavy!)

3. Stretch your rope out and knot it about an inch wider than the space you are looking to cover. This allows for the rope to slightly hang from the hooks. If you want more of a hang tie it wider, less of a hang tie it the exact length of the hooks.

4. Feed your drapes thru the rope and then wind the knots around the end hooks and thru the center hook.

And now for the after shots....
The room feeling bigger and brighter without the shade.

What a huge difference it made getting rid of the chair and bringing back the closet doors!

Linking up at Serenity Now.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

MIA....House on the Market & Sleep Regression

If you had asked me awhile ago how I thought things were going, you would get a very different answer than today! The house has been shown like crazy (we are talking almost daily), 2 offers (that both had finance issues), and my wonderful little sleepers are not so wonderful at sleeping right now! I fear the the sleep issues are a result of the schedule changes from showings. Naps have been skipped and bedtimes pushed back to allow the house to be shown at 1pm or at 7:30pm at night. It's been brutal all around and I am ready for it to be over! Did I mention that I am back to falling asleep within 2 minutes of sitting down? So I find myself waking up at about 4am after several hours of sleeping while sitting up in the rocker in Fia's room after her night time feed. Yeah - It's been great on the neck and back too!

No naps and late bedtimes also mean that get zero time to do any DIYs! Not that there is much I want to do in the way of Home DIYs. I have closed the book for this house and there will be no more money or time dropped here! Thankfully there are plenty of kids crafts and seasonal decorations that I can work on!

Tomorrow, I will debut a super cute and easy one kiddo kraft that can easily be switched up year round!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Polly wants a Tutu... Part Tu

Yesterday I completed the main part of Fi's Halloween costume, the tutu. It is adorable and I cannot wait for her to wear it! But I wanted to add something more to make it more of a costume than just a tutu and also to make it more obvious that she is a parrot!

I started on the parrot part. I thought that adding a parrot applique would help to solidify what she is! Do you know how hard it is to find a parrot applique? Thanks to a sale on felt at both Michael's and Joann's, I decided to make one! Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow felt and I was ready to try it out.

I googled parrot applique and found a cute one I liked to use as an example.

Then I cut out the body and traced it backwards onto the red felt. I did the same for the beak on the yellow felt. I free handed the wing feathers and cut those out too.

Here it is all hot glued together (minus the blue jewel for the eye)!

This left me wondering where I should put this adorable little parrot? I was planning to have Fi wear a headband so that was a definite option but I also liked the idea of putting on the body of the costume. What to do???? Before I get ahead of myself I need to get that costume body finished!

I had three options: the crocheted top, a long sleeve onesie, or a DIY red knit top. I had issues with each of them! The crocheted top was impossible to find in red. The only red onesie I could find was screen printed. And well - the DIY I would have to make! Here is what it is all looking like....

The crocheted top... Made using 2 crocheted red headbands with the satin ribbon and parrot as accent.

The DIY Top... Using a stretchy red, knit. I simply hand stitched a band of fabric so it was gathered. Then I added the satin ribbon near the tutu.

Again the DIY Top... with the satin ribbon and the parrot applique. 

I have pretty much decided against the onesie, unless we randomly get a cold evening on Halloween. I am loving both of these options. But am still stuck on which one! And then should the parrot go on the costume or on the headband... or both??? I could easily make another one.

Headband with just feathers. 

Headband with feathers and parrot applique.

What do you think??? Crochet or Band top? Parrot on costume or headband or both? Can you tell that she is supposed to be a parrot?

I am linking up today at Serenity Now!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Polly want a.... Tutu!!!

So you might have guessed that my little lady is going to be a parrot for Halloween! It wasn't really my choice.... Little Man is dead set on being a pirate and initially Fi was going to be a pirate too. Then we started on the Jake and the Neverland Pirates kick. And a Parrot it was!

Thankfully for me, I found tons of adorable and girly Parrot inspiration pictures (mostly involving tutus! YAY!) So I set off on making a frilly parrot tutu costume for my little girl.

First off, there are a ton of no sew tutu tutorials out there and they all seem pretty similar! I did pick up a couple of helpful hints that I want to pass along though.

1. Make sure to measure the waist of the tutu wearing little lady. If creating a ribbon based tutu (like mine) then add about 6-7 inches in ribbon length per side to tie it together. If the waist is 20 inches you would need a piece of ~34 inch ribbon. It also helps to tie a knot in the ribbon where you want the ties to start. In the above measurement example you would tie a knot at 7 inches and 27 inches. This will keep your tulle in place.

2. An unused paper towel roll is a great manequin when creating your tutu. It also happened to be the perfect size for me!

3. Make sure to measure the length you want your tut to be. I skipped this step the first go around. I went with the standard 24 inch tulle length per most of the tutorials. But I wasn't thrilled with the way it looked. Luckily I just untied the tulle, cut the 24 inch pieces down to 12 inch and I was much happier!

4. It is much cheaper to buy the tulle from the bolt. This means that you need to cut it down to size. But I saw this very helpful tip that helped me cut all of my tulle in less than 5 minutes! Huge win! Take your piece of tulle, cut it to the length you need (12 in my case) and roll it up like you would a roll of wrapping paper. Then simply make cuts along the roll at 6 inch intervals.

Let's get started... here's what you need:
Tulle - using 6x12inch pieces (3 yards for the actual tutu)
Accent Bustle Tulle - 6x24 inch pieces (I chose 2 colors, 1 yard each)
Ribbon - your length will vary (I chose 3 colors of ribbon to accent the bustle too!)
Feather Trim (to make your tutu more parrot like!)

1. Tie your ribbon around the paper towel roll

2. Take a piece of your tulle for the main part of the skirt (red). Fold it over lengthwise, and knot it around the ribbon on the paper towel roll. You are threading the length of the tulle thru the loop you created when folded in half.

3. Repeat about 50 times until you have a tutu that is the desired size.

4. I veered more for an advanced tutu with a rear tutu section. I found no help online on how to make this happen. But I found that it's pretty easy. Using your longer strips of accent colored tulle, you again fold the strip in half lengthwise but you knot the tulle around the ribbon this time so you have a loop on the top of the ribbon and the length sticking out below. (demonstrated below on a sample ribbon... would be done at the back of the tutu)

5. Add about 10 bustle pieces to the back of your tutu. You can also use ribbon and other embellishments to make it look even prettier. I did some blue and green satin ribbon and red feathers.

Now stand back and admire your work! I don't want to totally spoil the surprise so I am saving the actual photo of Fi wearing it until I have finished a few more enhancements! So here is my lovely paper towel model wearing the parrot tutu with bustle!