Friday, December 24, 2010

Angry Birds

The family has become obsessed with Angry Birds. I downloaded the free app without realizing what I was doing. I thought this would be something for the girls to occupy themselves with when we are somewhere and they are ready to lose it. But little did I know the obsession that would also involve my husband. We actually have bought the apps, which we never pay for apps. So that in itself is pretty amazing. The girls and Thomas are constantly asking to use my Ipod Touch in order to play the game. They are in competition with each other to get better scores. The three of them have no idea what is going on around them when they are playing Angry Birds.

Bells went off in my head when I found a tutorial for making your very own Angry Birds. I knew this was the perfect gifts to put in their stockings.

If I had more time I would have made a variety of the birds and pigs. But if you are interested there are tutorials for each of the birds and pigs.

You can find the pig and blue bird here

The yellow bird can be found here.

The patterns were easy to follow and I am using my junior high sewing skills. (Shout out to Mrs. Whiting for providing those skills.) I did get a free motion foot for my sewing machine and that was a whole experience learning to use it.

Now the area I had difficulty with was closing up the seam and sewing on the beak. My hand sewing skills are non-existent. I made something up and it looks okay. Of course I found a tutorial after I finished all three. So I linked up the tutorial hoping others will not have the frustration that I did.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reindeer Cake Pops

Two years ago, I discovered Bakerella's site for cake pops. I fell in love. I wanted to make every variety. Then I discovered she had a book. I ran out to get it the week it came out. My first cake pops were the Hello Kitty version. Last night I decided to make the reindeer version for the teachers at work.

 I had fun making them. It was just time consuming making over 70 cake pops, but not hard.
 Rudolph and regular reindeer were made.
 My dad made a board to hold the cake pops which was a real help. The board says "White Sox" for my husband. My husband actually makes cake pops every week for his student, but doesn't decorate them.
We had a snow delay today, which never happens for my district. The girls didn't have school due to the snow. So they came to school with me. Cake pops were eaten at lunch, but there were quite a bit of leftovers due to people not being there because of the weather. I believe I am going to use the leftovers as presents for the neighbors.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Decorations

I love Christmas. I love the decorations. But every year I feel overwhelmed with the clutter. This year we did things different. Our tree was put in a corner instead of in front of the window. We have so much more room this way. We spread the decor throughout the house instead of only in the living room. I think that has made the largest difference.  So on to pictures of our decor...or at least some of it.
Our tree....I would like to change the angel to something that matches better...meaning silver instead of gold, but I haven't found anything in the after Christmas sales yet. I have been looking for a couple of years. I will find one, I will like it, and I will not pay full price for it.
 The ornaments hanging below the tree have since been moved because Princess, our cat, liked to play with them in the middle of the night.
The ornament Melodye made in Kindergarten. So simple, yet so precious. Ever since I have been doing this project with my kindergarten kids. The kids are so proud of their creations and I assume the parents love them just as much as I love mine.
I went to a local craft fair this year. (Side note...I was not impressed with the craft fair. This was the only booth I liked out of the whole thing. In fact my dad and I talked afterwards about how the craft fair seemed to cater to crafts from the '80's.) But I did love the work of this lady, but she only seems to do local craft fairs. How I wish she was on Etsy. But this was an early present to my dear husband, who just loves the White Sox and has passed that love on to the girls.
The stuffed animals and noisy ones were moved to the basement on the shelf. This is where the girls spend the majority of their time playing Wii. So why not have their decorations with them and keep the noise away from the rest of the house. Win, win situation I think. 
This centerpiece was made out of a candle holder and bowl from Ikea. We put this together during the summer/early fall, but haven't put anything inside of it. Couldn't make up my mind what I wanted. Melodye and I decided to take ornaments off of the tree and put them in the centerpiece. I am so glad that we did. It looks festive and has actually given me ideas of what I can do at other times of the year.
The nutcrackers are a staple in our house. This is Melodye's collection. Some have broken through the years. They are well loved and played with like dolls. I love when a collection is used instead of collecting dust. The third one from the end was her first nutcracker. I know it's hard to see, but it's navy blue. We picked up at Walgreens that year, probably in 2003. Melodye slept cuddling with that particular one for many years. She would even wrap her blanky around it and she did not share her blanky with any other doll. She carried that nutcracker everywhere she went. That particular nutcracker was probably the cheapest, but my favorite by far because of the memories connected with it. (I really think I need to find a picture of her and that nutcracker and make a scrapbook page.)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Visit With Santa

Wednesday we took the girls to see Santa at Bass Pro Shop. This was well worth the time. We had never been before, but had received recommendations many times before. This was the best set-up I have seen. When you arrive, an employee gives you a card with your time and tells you to come back 10 minutes before your time and to stand in either the left or right line. While you wait for your time, there are crafts, games, and activities for the kids to do for free. The girls loved shooting the guns, racing cars, and writing letters to Santa. They didn't do the craft, a snowman mask, during the wait.

 While waiting in line I took pictures of the girls and they were willing which is amazing anymore. While taking these pictures, I realized that Melodye's glasses are quite crooked. Guess we need to take them in to be fixed. Luckily we bough two pairs this time.

So I took individual pictures of the girls, but Mel's didn't come out due to the crooked glasses. I asked the girls if they wanted to wear something else to see Santa. but they told me no and just wore their clothes from school.

 Melodye has loved nutcrackers since she was really young and Barbie and the Nutcracker movie came out. She has been collecting certain ones ever since. (We make her be picky so we aren't overrun with nutcrackers.) So of  course the girls had to take a picture with the nutcracker. After the crafts were cleaned up, Brooke decided she wanted to do one....sorry charlie I asked you earlier.

I love this photo of Brooke and Santa chatting. Melodye asked me not to take a picture of her and Santa. I respected her wishes even though I didn't want to really. The family took a picture with Santa, but I will not be posting it here. Santa had a reindeer next to him and this stuffed reindeer looks like he is "goosing" me in the photo. Needless to say, that is not a good photo.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Dotty And Nice Christmas Card
Shop Shutterfly for unique, personalized Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

This is what we ended up making as our Christmas Card.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Cards

Working on my master's program this year has left me with not enough time to do the things I would like. Isn't that always the story. But I feel I need to start anew and focus more on the things I enjoy. Things like taking pictures, learning to actually use my camera, scrapbooking, crafting, knitting, new things in my classroom, and the basic thing is that I just need and want to create. I have made sure that I have spent time with my family even if that means I have spent the time after bed doing homework and operating the next day on 3 to 4 hours of sleep.

Where this is going....normally I try to make my Christmas cards. I don't think that will be happening at all. I resigned myself to doing photo cards. Of course I still need to take pictures to use. I have looked at some, but have not been totally thrilled with them....until today. (Such drama there.) But seriously I found out about a deal that Shutterfly is currently having for bloggers. If you blog and post about Shutterfly and their cards, they will be giving out 50 (yes you read that number correct, 50) 5X7 photo cards to the blogger. The cards are amazing. And just the style I have been wanting to create. You don't believe me or think it is too good to be true. Well here is the link. Now to see some beautiful eye candy.

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 I love the colors and the Happy Everything...covers everyone no matter their beliefs.

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 I love the colors, the polka dots, and the asterisk above the Happy Holidays. 
In fact I bought some address labels that are similar. Hmmm that may be why I like this one.

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I like the idea of a whole photo card depending on the photo. 
I like Christmas being in different colors and another asterisk as the bottom.

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I like the list on the side. 
A nice way of adding journalling to make this sort of a scrapbook page.

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Of course I love this because of the colors, asterisk, and polka dots.
I am sensing a recurring theme with the cards I have picked.

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 I like the colors, patterns, asterisk, and the black background. 
Simple yet busy at the same time.

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I like this one for the three picture slots. 
The brown background is nice along with the little Christmas tree.

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 I like the whole photo look with the tag and ribbon look. 
Just finding the perfect picture that will fit around the tag is the problem.

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I like the polka dots, black background, and colors.

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I didn't realize until I was typing this, but I really am leaning towards the same colors, polka dots, possible black or white background, and the asterisk. Now I just need to take the pictures and maybe that will help me decide.

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At the same time I am also considering getting cards for New Years. Every year we have family over for New Years. I also try to do cute cards, but I think these are just adorable. Take a look.
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I like the blue and the square shape of this card.

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I love the black background and the countdown numbers.

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Of course if you are interested in cards that will benefit others, Shutterfly has those also. The cards can be purchased that will benefit Livestrong, American Lung Association, and Heifer. The cards can be found here.

Happy Holidays and enjoy looking at all the possibilities at Shutterfly.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Desk Chair Redo

I have not jumped off the face of the earth. I debated on deleting this blog and did for a week or so. I decided to put it back up and keep the organizational and craft things here. My hits are generally on those items thus my decision to continue those things. I am not going to make any promises, but will do the best I can for posting. I am currently on a week break before I am back to setting up my classroom. I am also working on my masters and will finish this spring which means my life has been crazy. If anyone EVER considers taking three master's level classes in a 8 week summer session...don't. It has been crazy, but my wonderful husband made it possible. While doing all of this schoolwork, I desperately needed to complete a craft project.

I decided to work on the desk chair my girls use. Let me tell was disgusting.

See... disgusting. I hated seeing this thing, but never thought to recover it until this summer. I used dish towels that I purchased at Target last year. I have used these dish towels to make curtains last year. I wish I had bought more so I could do more projects, but alas I did not.

We went with the darker towel on the seat to maybe help with the staining. The girls have also been told that they are not to eat in this chair, but we will see how long that lasts.  This project took about 20 minutes including gathering materials and cleaning up. I wish I had done this earlier, but at least it is finished now.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cleaning, Project 365, Scrapbooking, and Grandmas

Well, I did it. I went into the scrapbook room to clean. Let me just say that a layout I did on Halloween was still sitting on the table covered by a pile of stuff. It got so bad that the girls just started putting things on the floor when I asked them to put something in there.

More than one I have wanted to create something, but I didn't want to do the work necessary to make an empty spot on the table. I even had Christmas presents that I hadn't put away yet. Now the room is not organized completely, but then I honestly don't know if it ever will be.

After putting things away, I actually made a layout.
The journalling says: Why do I go so long without creating something? I love to craft, I have a space, I have lots of supplies, but I don't create. I love how I feel after i create something, but I still don't do it often enough. Why? So hopefully with this new clean space, I will actually go in there and create. Even organizing my pictures would be wonderful.

Project 365 March 1 and March 2 did not occur. I do not know what happened. I thought I had only missed one day, but it actually was two. The way I see it is that this is my project. If I miss a day, I can extend the project that much longer or I can use more than one picture from another day. Less stress that way.

I did take pictures today, but I can't decide which one of these two I would like to be my picture.
I feel blessed to have this quilt. I can remember my grandma telling me about this quilt and seeing it on her bed. All of the patterned fabric was from my grandma and her sister's clothes growing up. I am not sure who actually started the quilt. But I do know that ladies who were in the nursing home with my great-grandma helped finish the quilt. My grandma loved this quilt and wished that she could sew. In fact she wished she could sew beautiful clothes like a girl that she grew up with was able to do.
After my grandma died and my grandfather was going into assisted living, their house was put up for sale. Family members were allowed to take a few things after the auction happened. Different people wanted different things. I didn't plan on taking anything. I went so I could take pictures of my favorite parts of the house. I did get those pictures and I have scrapbooked them. While I was taking pictures, I noticed the quilt on the floor. Different people were either walking right by it or even on it. I don't think they realized what it actually was. At that point, I asked if I could have it. As you can see, I got it.

I do have plans for it. The quilt was made into a bedspread. I want to cut the ruffled sides off and bind the quilt. Now I have to figure out what fabric to use for the binding and actually complete the binding. Then I want my family to use the quilt and know where it came from. I miss my grandparents and this quilt makes me feel just a little bit closer to them.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Late on the Program

I keep telling myself that I am going to try to participate in Project 365. So far this year, I have taken one picture and then take a few days off. Well I have taken pictures for the last three days and I think that is a great start to completing the project. By doing this project, I am hoping to take more pictures of who we are as a family, but also improve my picture taking skills at the same time. In the process, I will blog more often. At least that is how the plan is supposed to happen.

So now to my first three days of Project 365:

Day 1/365: February 26, 2010 - Melodye performed in her school's 4th grade musical, The Nightingale. (She is in the silver and blue dress.)

I had to include a close up picture of Melodye. Look at those eyelashes. They are amazing. She is blessed with my eyes and her daddy's eyelashes.

Day 2/365: February 27, 2010 - Maddy stayed the night with the girls. Melodye was reading to Maddy and Brooke. I love when I find them doing this. I need to learn the controls of the camera so I can take this kind of picture without them knowing that I am doing it.

Day 3/365: February 28, 2010 - You know there are girls in the household when you find My Little Pony's in the medicine cabinet.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tutorials on the To-Do List

I am wanting to try the following three tutorials. I thought maybe some of you would like to try these also.

1. A Grocery Cart Caddy - I so need this. I usually end up having the coupons all wrinkled from being held in my hand. Plus the fabric that was used just makes me want to create also.

2. Apple Butter - and homemade on top of that. Mmmmmm I can taste it already. I just need to get the supplies and find a day that I can really focus on doing it correctly.

3. Envelope Clutch - Functional and just so fashionable looking. We are just getting ready to start the envelope system. We will see how it goes before putting the time in to create this.

 ***** I tried to add pictures of each tutorial, but I am getting an error message. Each time I click on the photo icon, I get a message that the link cannot be found. So trust me the links are worth going to and spending time to look at the finished products.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SwagBucks Recommendation

Search & Win

Well, I have been trying out Swagbucks. I wanted to try it out before blogging about it. After becoming a Swagbucks member, I downloaded the Swagbucks toolbar. Now I do all of my searches through Swagbucks. Searching will earn you swagbucks. Most times it is 1 swagbuck but can be higher. Sometimes there are codes that can be entered to earn free swagbucks. The swagbucks can then be traded in for prizes. I am trading my swagbucks for Amazon gift cards. So far I have earned $10 in Amazon gift cards. I have done this in only a few months time while doing my normal searches online. If you are interested go to swagbucks through my referral links so that I will get referral credits. I would appreciate it. I am trying to see how much I can earn towards Christmas presents.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

These stamps are just too cute to pass on sharing. The site is 2 Cute Rubber Stamps.

It think my favorite might be the turtle sundae digi stamp, but that is hard to pick.

The stamps are quite cutesy, but in a good way. Right now the site is offering the first 50 people who follow the site by February 22 through Google Connect a free digi stamp. It has not been posted which stamp will be the free one, but from what I have seen it really won't matter because they are all adorable.

Here are some other favorites:
Owl Miss You ---Oh, I love the glasses on the owl.

Mermaid and Friends---Perfect for those girly girls.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February Goals

Sorry there are no pictures in this post. My laptop, where I had all of my pictures, had to be rebooted back to factory settings. I am still trying to get things reinstalled. I am getting what I can done without stressing myself out too much.

I have 5 goals for February. They are listed below here.

1. Exercise more than 12 times in the month.

2. Organize scrapbook room.

3. Read at least four books this month. I have really been slacking in my reading and that really makes me sad.

4. Complete a budget and stick to it.

5. Work on February Lady Sweater.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

January Goals Update

Last month I set goals for January and here are the results.

1. Complete Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred ---- Completed 12 days throughout the month, also shoveled snow 2 days which equals 14 days of working out. Almost 1/2 month completed, not the 30 days, but still better than the months before with no workouts. I did lose 8 pounds during January.

2. Do not eat out for the month ---- This was a fail. We went for 1/2 the month, and then things happened that got in the way with us eating at home. The way I figure it 2 weeks is beeter than what we have been doing previous to this.

3. Savings Account ---- did not occur, but we have made the decision that our tax check and any extra pay from tutoring will be going into the savings account.

4. Cleaning and Organizing ---- not bad cleaning wise thanks to my wonderful husband. Organizing did not happen. We both started tutoring twice a week which means that we come home, eat, and get the girls ready for bed. Thank goodness Mel gets her homework done at drama club practice.

5. Work on February Lady Sweater ---- Did not happen at all.

I do like this setting goals for the month, but I think I need more specific goals which are easier to keep track and measure. So now to come up with goals for February.

Blue is For Nightmares

Blue Is For Nightmares (Blue Is For Nightmares, #1) Blue Is For Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Stacey is at boarding school. She starts having nightmares predicting the death of her roommate. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but Stacey has had nightmares before that correctly predicted the murder of someone close to her. The problem is that the nightmares are not as clear as she needs in order to find out who is the villain. Who can she trust?

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