Sunday, April 27, 2014

Changing Sides

Have you ever changed sides?  It can be hard to do.  You will feel strange, unsure if you made the right decision.  You might even feel a bit lost and uncomfortable.  It can be a life changing decision and sometimes even permanent. 

Well, when we moved into our new house we changed sides… in bed that is.  I used to always sleep on J’s right side, but due to the layout of our new bedroom I had to change sides.  You see I need to be close to the bathroom, not because I have an incontinence problem, it is just the way it is.  We tried having the bed so that I could still be on his right and be close to the bathroom, but that was not working for me.  So we moved the bed and I just had to change sides of the bed. 

Surprisingly this wasn’t as much of a change as I thought it would be.  I was a bit confused in the mornings why I was where I was, but that could have been due to the new house anyways.  It’s been 3 weeks now and I think we are used to our new sides. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Out with the Old. In with the New!

On April 26, 2004, I closed on my first home.  It was a 3 bedroom condo about 30 miles away from my hometown.  I was 25 years old and scared.  I called my parents shortly after signing the offer to purchase in tears saying I just wasn’t sure about this.  It was so much money and a HUGE commitment.  It literally took my breath away that I was actually BUYING A HOME!

During this time I got married, owned a cat, had a baby, lost the cat (well, he actually ran away), hosted a few holidays and small parties, landscaped, remodeled, and bought two cars. 

Now, 10 years later, I finally sold the condo.  Tonight is the eve of closing on our new home.  It is such a different feeling.  I’m not scared or nervous, just anxious to move in.  It is a beautiful 4 bedroom, 3 bath house in a town MUCH closer to our hometown.  It does need some work, but we are looking forward to making this house our home forever (or at least I never plan to move again if I can help it).

We took the little guy through the house tonight for our final walk through and he picked out his bedroom.  We’ve already bought bamboo flooring to remodel the dining room, kitchen, dinette, hallway, and first floor bedroom.  We have paint swatches and the moving truck is coming with our stuff mid-morning.  I’ve filled out the address changes and even started using the new address this week.  Yep, I’m definitely ready to move in!

Monday, March 24, 2014

30 years ago

30 years ago I was 5 years old. I was in half-day kindergarten and making new friends that I would still be friends with today.   My memories aren’t the best but I do remember the sand table and nap mats.  And I think there was a stuffed animal bee that each child was able to take home for a week.  Becky, Jenny, do you remember this?  Someone also got to be the line leader when we went outside the classroom.  Our teacher was Mrs. Plum.  What a great name for a kindergarten teacher.

I heard that 30 years ago on this day The Breakfast Club was serving detention.  I can’t believe that movie took place in 1984.  It was and still is one of my favorite movies.  It’s one of those that I have to stop and watch if I catch it on tv. 

The Breakfast Club–Trailer

I also saw online that Footloose was released 30 years ago as well.  Another great movie that I have to stop and watch.  Kevin Bacon was on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last Friday and did a little dance before his interview.

Kevin Bacon’s Footloose Entrance

I just checked, and Dirty Dancing came out in 1987, phew!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Baby Shower Cheater Quilt

I love quilts, but I do not know how to quilt.  I was told it was methodical and fun but that it takes time and patience.  I like my sewing projects to be quick and easy so I was excited when I found a blog for a cheater quilt.  It uses a alternative down comfortable with squares already sewn in and you just sew a smaller square of fabric inside each square.

DSC_0090Picture from blog Cheaty Mc-Cheats-A-Lot

I thought this would be the perfect activity for my sister-in-laws baby shower and would provide her with a unique and personalized gift for the baby.  The first thing I needed to find was the comforter.  I couldn’t find one small enough for a baby crib, so I bought a twin size one and cut it in half and sewed up the cut edge.

cut comforter in half

Baby Shower 2013 008

This gave me a comforter that had 24 squares which was just about the number of guests we were expecting.  The next thing to do was cut all the squares of fabric that would eventually be sewn onto the comforter.

Baby Shower 2013 012

I cut the squares about the same size as the comforter squares, then washed and dried the squares (wish I had done that before cutting all the squares), ironed them, and sewed all four sides about a 1/4” to keep them from fraying after they were sewed on.  This took a bit of time but I think it makes it look 100 times better.  This picture above is before washing, drying, ironing, and sewing the sides.

I knew she was having a boy, so I used a gingham blue and green and a polka dot blue and green for the fabric just so it had some design ahead of time.  Next up was taking the comforter and squares to the shower.

Baby Shower 2013 016

I hung up the comforter on a clothes line with the squares attached with stick pins.  Each guest could take one square and design it using fabric markers and stencils.  The stencils were “boy” themed with trucks, cars, dinosaurs, animals, sports, trains, and robots.

Baby Shower 2013 022

After guests were done with their square they hung it back up on the comforter.  The fabric markers were great because they dried so quickly.  But one word of advice is that the markers will bleed through the fabric, so you MUST have a backing in place when they are drawing/coloring.  I pre-cut cardboard squares to go under each square when guests were using the markers.

Baby Shower 2013 023

The last task was sewing on all the squares which was a bit cumbersome.  I sewed each square on one-by-one and the fabric of the comforter was a bit slippery and I had to remove more stitches that I sewed on it seemed.  But in the end it turned out great! 

My sister-in-law gave me her square after the baby was born so she could put in his measurements and name which she kept quiet from everyone. We had two squares without any designs so I kept them in the corners.

Baby Shower 2013 028

I think it turned out great and is something Mom, Dad, and Baby can treasure for years. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Random

I just don’t know what to blog about.  Life’s been busy and hectic, and the weather has been way too cold for way too long.  So here are some random things that have happened.

My mother asked me to make a corsage for my cousin’s baby shower since apparently the price of one at a well known area grocer is $25.  I’ve never made one before, so I looked up a few pictures and a few websites and found a blog with a simple step-by-step tutorial.  I already had floral tape and wire, so I just bought a bouquet of flowers at the supermarket ($6.00) and corsage pins from Walmart ($2.50).  I did have to disassemble it twice before I was satisfied but it turned out quite pretty and I think my Mom should try it sometime.

corsage

I made my own coffee creamer following a post from Pinterest. It is so simple, although I’m not sure on the cost savings.  All you need is a 14oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk, 1-3/4 cups milk (any %) and your favorite flavoring.  I started saving my old creamer containers a few months ago and this was enough to fill 2 containers about 3/4 full. So I made one with 1 tsp vanilla extract and the other with 1/2 tsp peppermint extract + 1 tbsp chocolate syrup.  I would say I prefer the peppermint one over the vanilla, but it's not quite as good as the Thin Mint creamer that I found.  Check out this site to find a bunch of other flavoring options.

We took the little guy skiing which was a bad idea.  He went last year when he just turned 4 and he loved it.  But something this year made him lose it (and I may have also lost it along the way).  I think the problem was mainly that we put him in a 2 hour beginner class with about 25 other kids and he just can’t do 2 hours.  The year prior was only a 1 hour one-on-one session.  Maybe we will try again, but probably not.  While we do have a lot of snow, it just isn’t good for skiing because it freezes too quickly in these Polar Vortexes (not to mention the cost to go).

My friend, Becky, came home for a visit from her family’s 6 month stint in the Netherlands for the holidays.  It was great seeing her.  I wrote her a couple letters and I must say that I miss letter writing.  It is much different than email.  I just write any random thoughts or topics that come to mind.  I often ask questions but I hope she realizes she doesn’t need to respond.  It is just the way my mind wanders.  Anyone want to be my pen pal?

Back in December the little guy had his first school Christmas concert.  It was really great, with one exception.  He is in Catholic school and I went to Catholic school, but at least half of the songs they sang I had never heard of.  They were ALL religious.  I remember singing Rudolph, Frosty, All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, among other kid friendly classics.  Not one of those made it in the program.  The kids were still adorable though.   

QoA Christmas Concert 008

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Weight a minute!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous 2013 and have exciting opportunities in store for 2014.  Did you follow through on your New Year’s resolutions? I don’t make resolutions because I never follow through on them.  I have decided to make one resolution this year though. I’m going to hide my scale and not weigh myself at home at all this year. I tend to weigh myself too often and I let the number on the scale dictate my mood for the day or week.  It is a source of elation and frustration which just stresses me out too much. I know how my body feels and looks without the scale and I hope this will keep one less stressor out of my life. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

I really should have posted this before Thanksgiving, but I let life get in the way and I’m finally getting around to it.  This year we hosted our very first Thanksgiving dinner the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  Everyone brought a dish and we took care of the turkey, rolls, and a dessert.  I also wanted to dress up the house a little, so I made a Thankful Tree and napkin rings both of which were made from nature’s bounty.

The Thankful Tree came from an idea off Pinterest.  We have a wooded area a block away, so the little guy and I went searching for branches.  We also collected pinecones and evergreen tips from the trees in our backyard.  Before using the pinecones I baked them at 200F for 20 minutes to kill any creepy crawlers that made the pinecones their home. After 20 minutes I turned off the oven and left them in there for about an hour to cool (you can take them out right away, I was just busy with other preparations).  I put the branches in a tall vase and then filled it with the pinecones, evergreen tips, and some cranberries. 

Thanksgiving 2013 009

I made tags from white pieces of paper and punched holes in the corner.  Our guests wrote down what they were thankful for and hung them on the tree. Most of the tags hung with just the hole, but some people used the string I provided to tie theirs on. 

Thanksgiving 2013 012

I made napkin rings with extra evergreen tips, pinecones and cranberries.  I hot glued the tips together then hot glued the pinecones and three cranberries on.  I wrapped them around the napkins and that was it.  So pretty and festive!

Napkin Rings

I also made a flower arrangement with a $10 bouquet from Walmart and this pretty white vase.

Thanksgiving 2013 005

Sometimes it is just the little extra touches that set the tone. I never got around to taking pictures of the whole set up, but it was so nice to get together with my family and enjoying a great dinner and company.