Friday, May 26, 2017

From Blanket to Valance

The window in the girls' room had a very dark purple valance on it.  It looked a bit too formal in a kid's room, plus I wanted to lighten things up a bit.  Last year (yes, this is another long overdue post) I bought this cool Ofelia blanket from Ikea.  Ikea sells something with the same name, but it's a different type of material.  The actual blanket I have can be found on amazon.com HERE.  It's more of a gauzy delicate fabric where the one Ikea sells now is a thicker yarn like fabric.  Of course, I wasn't planning to use it as a blanket anyway.  I knew all along it would make the perfect light and airy and oh so feminine valance I'd been looking for.  Just perfect for a little girl's room.


Here is the dark purple valance that I started with.


And here's the new light and airy valance that's in the girls' room now.  I like it so much better.  It really brightens up the space too.


For starters, I took down the old valance and removed the old curtain rod. 


I hung the new curtain rod up a little higher so the valance would hang higher allowing more of the window to show and add even more light to the room.  I'm not too worried about the holes in the wall where the old curtain rod was.  Eventually I'll get to painting the room but for now, the new valance should cover them up.  I just so happened to have this flowered curtain rod so I used that which also added a little more of a feminine touch to the room.  


First I draped the blanket over the curtain rod.


I  used some ribbon to sew loops to hold up part of the blanket.


The ribbon loops were made from the same ribbon I used to make the girls barrette holder.  You can read all about how I did that over at THIS POST.

Adding the loops of ribbon turns it from a blanket into a valance.


I love a good before and after.  In person it looks so much better with the new valance just letting all that sunlight stream in.



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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Baby Shower Book Shower


As promised in my last post, I'm back with more info about the books I gave to my sister as part of her baby shower gift.   The invitations were made to look like a baby onsie, so my clever mom made the book request insert in that shape too.


My mother is quite the poet and came up with this cute saying all on her own.


Reading to your child is a wonderful thing to do, and it can never start too early.  Asking guests to bring a book to the baby shower is a great way to start building your child's library.  Guests brought all kinds of books from board books, to early reading books to classic children's books.  I put several books into a storage basket that could double as toy or book storage for my future niece.  



Below are amazon.com affiliate links of a few kid tested mom approved books we like.


     



If you're wondering what else I included in my baby shower gifts, check out this post:



And here we are one year later, celebrating my niece's first birthday.  


She looked like a princess in her vintage looking lace dress, gold shoes and crown.


Seriously, isn't that crown just adorable?


And yes, she loved every bit of her birthday cake.  





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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Baby Shower Gift Baskets

My niece turns ONE today!!!  Happy birthday to the cutest little girl ever.  

Last year we had a baby shower for my sister and I forgot to post about these gift baskets I made for her.


The first one is filled with books (I'll have another post about that soon, I promise it won't take me a year to write about it), and a few practical items and these cute little diaper babies.


The diaper babies were made by rolling up a diaper, sticking a baby sock on top for a hat and using a marker to draw the face.  



The second gift basket is toy themed.  All the toys are stuffed inside a pink and purple dump truck and wrapped up with some tulle.


Here's the amazon.com affiliate links for a few of the gifts.  Honestly, it's been over a year since I bought these gifts and I can't remember what else I put in there.






If you're looking for more baby shower ideas, you can check out my posts about BABY SHOWER FAVORS and BABY SHOWER DOOR PRIZES.





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Monday, May 15, 2017

Customizing Your Grill and THE BEST Marinade Recipe

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day.  My whole weekend was wonderful thanks to my amazing husband.  He took the boys for most of the day Saturday which left me with time to organize, something I can't do with a toddler around.  I even had time to read a book.  Seriously, I could get used to this.  On Sunday my oldest daughter made me (and everyone else) breakfast.  My husband gave a heart warming talk about mothers in church and then we visited with family.  The weather was perfect,  not too hot and not to chilly.  We got to eat outside and watch the kids play.  Life is good, very, very good.  

Speaking of warmer weather and eating outside, I love to cook on the grill.  It just adds more flavor to your meats.  But not all grills are made the same.  What if your grill doesn't come with a convenient place to store your grill accessories such as the tongs, spatula and grill brush?  Whether you want to store them outside all summer, or just while you are cooking on the grill, we've come up with a quick and easy solution. 

We just used a Dremel to create slots for those accessories to hang from.    


In no time at all my handy hubby made three slots to store those grilling utensils.



We usually keep our grilling stuff inside but when we are cooking, it's handy to have it right where we need it.  No more sitting them on the grill and getting it dirty. 



We love to cook chicken on the grill and have THE BEST marinade recipe.  
It tastes great on burgers too.  Usually when we make it, we don't even measure out the ingredients and it turns out great no matter what.

Here's the recipe so you can try it out yourselves.  Happy Grilling!


THE BEST Marinade Recipe:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp garlic salt
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp black pepper
1/2 cup vinegar
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley 
1/3 cup lemon juice




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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mother's Day Cards

Mother's Day is right around the corner.  Earlier this week I shared a family quote that would make a great Mother's Day gift, and today I'm back to share some homemade cards.

I found this cute Mother's Day card idea on Pinterest.  


It would be the perfect addition to a garden or flower themed gift.


I used four flowers, one to represent each of my kids.



You can see how I simplified it from the original idea shown below that I found HERE on Pinterest.



And here are some more cute card ideas for you.

I found this on Etsy but you could easily make your own

Use your kids handprints to make this cute bouqet.  
Idea found over at The Trendy Treehouse:


This would be such a cute card to get in the mail when you can't give your mom or grandma a hug in person.  Check out A Day In My Life for the details.
 

If you are looking for more Mother's Day card and craft ideas, be sure to check out THIS post from two years ago which includes a nice round up. 


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Monday, May 8, 2017

Family Quote


A while ago, amidst all the political turmoil, I saw this quote and loved it.  


With Mother's Day coming up, I decided to print the quote out on vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo machine and mail it to my sister in laws - all of whom are amazing mothers who love their kids like crazy. 


I did something similar last year with this quote:

Since I just mailed them the vinyl, they could display it however they wanted.  
I  gave them a bunch of ideas of how to use it such as:


All of these ideas were found through Pinterest here, here, here, here, here and here.

And you can read about last year's Mother's Day quote by clicking HERE.


And to all you moms out there - 
Keep up the good work.  You are doing better than you think you are.
I know you may not have had a decent night's sleep in years, you may smell like spit up, your wardrobe consists of black yoga pants and yesterdays tee shirt, you can't wait until the kids can do things on their own and then you miss those days of giving baths and tying shoes.  Being a mom isn't for the faint of heart.  You may come in contact with blood, sweat, tears and lots of other bodily fluids on a daily basis.  Potty training sucks and teenage drama makes you wish for the easier days of toddlerhood.  But when your kids are grown and you have more than a millisecond to yourself, you realize it was all worth it and you'd do it a thousand times over.  Raising kids, raising this next generation, is the most important job on earth.  And it all starts with love.    



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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter 2017 recap

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday.  We had gorgeous weather and played outside a lot.  I am loving this spring weather, having the windows open and listening to the kids playing outside. 

Holidays are a great time to get a family picture since the kids are dressed in their Sunday best.  This Easter I wasn't able to get one with all of us.  The best I could do was individual pictures of 3 out of 4 of the kids.  Oh, well, Mother's Day is right around the corner and I'll try again then.


Since we like to focus on the true meaning of Easter on Easter Sunday, we did all the Easter baskets and egg hunts on Friday and Saturday.  Here are the kids opening their Easter baskets at our house on Friday.  I try to put in spring/summer things like outdoor toys and summer clothes.


Then we had an egg hunt.  In previous years, I've hidden different colored eggs for each kid so each one has to find only their color.  This would allow me to hide eggs in the grass for the youngest kid without having to worry that the older kids would take them all.  This year I didn't bother with that, I just told the older kids not to take the eggs on the grass, so much easier that way.  I don't know how I've accumulated so many eggs.  I hid them all over the yard this year, including the front and sides.  It took the kids a while to find them all and some of them needed to grab another basket to put all their eggs in.


Saturday we went to visit my family.  There were more Easter baskets and egg dyeing.  This year we not only dyed eggs the traditional way, but also with little egg rollers which the kids really enjoyed. 


We tried the toddler friendly egg in the whisk trick.  It worked OK.  This little guy really loved painting the eggs and wasn't afraid to get his hands, and the rest of him, dirty.

I made this cute Peeps Easter Garden Brownie.  I got the idea from HERE.  The original recipe uses a cake, but I used brownies instead and it was delicious.  Finally an Easter dessert that didn't fail.  If you want to check out last year's Easter food fails, just click HERE.


One of my favorite Easter Bunny books is The Country Bunny.  Recently I've been feeling a little like the Country Bunny in the sense that my 'babies' no longer take all of my time and can do some of the work for me.  It's great having older kids to help out with the younger kids, especially babysitting so I don't have to take everyone with me whenever I run errands.  This book has a cute story of how a mother country bunny with 21 children became one of the Easter bunnies.









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