Jan 16, 2013

Pink and Orange One year old's room

I have been in the process of re-decorating A-Cake's room. Before it was just pinks and white. But I thought that it needed some more color. She is one now and I thought it was a little too babyish. So I added in some orange. I love the orange that I added. I didn't add a ton, but just enough to give it some pop and more dimension. I think it is now a room that will grow with her through her toddler and early years. 
(Please excuse the pics, some are a little blurry, its hard to take pictures in her room. She is either sleeping in it or destroying it)

This photo wall collage is above her book shelf
I also wanted way more pictures. She needed a picture of Jesus, the temple, and our church's leader. I also wanted a few more of her and a family picture. I think frames can be expensive and I am cheap, so I just bought all of these frames at all a dollar and painted them. The stickers are just wall stickers, I have seen them at the dollar store. But my Aunt gave them to Analiese for her birthday.

This is her collage over her crib.
I love these pictures, they are her at 7 months. She has grown so much since then. The big silver frame is from Ikea, but I bought it brand new in the plastic wrap  for really cheap at a thrift store. I thought about painting it, but I ended up just leaving it. The other two picture frames are just frames I bought at a garage sale, I actually think the lady gave me them for free. They used to be white. The DREAM letters I bought when we were first married at a craft store. They had the vinyl on them and everything, when I bought them. The frames were black so I sanded those suckers down (which took forever, that black paint was crazy!) and painted them pink. 

I bought this shelf at a garage sell ($0.50!). It was this really hideous yellow. I didn't even sand it, it had plastic veneer over it and the paint went on pretty easy over it. 

I love the pictures that spell out O-N-E, that we took for her one year old photo shoot. I had to hang those up. And the I re-arranged the wall by her dresser a tiny bit. I added the footprints (that used to be above her book shelf)over here. And before it only had two flower lights, the other one was over her crib. But she has surprisingly long arms and pulled the flower light down on top of her one day in her crib (luckily its really light plastic) but it had to be moved and I thought it looked cute all of them together. 
We are in an apartment, so that means no painting. If I could paint, it would be a super duper light pink and then on the wall with her crib I would have stripes of the really light pink and then either white or darker pink... someday! 

Here are a couple before pictures of her room before. This is at a different place so the furniture was switched around a little bit, but you can see the decor change. I love her new decor 100X better! 
You can see all the before pictures in a previous post HERE.

Jan 14, 2013

Sesame Street Quiet Book

Miss A-Cakes loves herself some Sesame Street.  She has many Sesame Street stuffed animals, outfits, DVD's, and books. 
So when I set out to make a quiet book I knew it had to be a Sesame Street one. I saw a few quiet books on Pinterest that were Sesame Street but they were all really short. I wanted this to be a really big book to keep her entertained and to help her learn. Also since she is only one I had to make sure it had activities that she was able to do, but also some that would grow with her and challenge her. So I set out on the biggest crafting thing of my life. This book took several nights a week for like 2 1/2 months. It really took forever! If you are better at sewing, it probably wouldn't take so long for you, but I am a crappy sew-er so it was very time intensive. But She really likes it, I gave it to her for Christmas and she looks at it every day. And the other kids that have played with it absolutely love it. In fact Analiese got into a fight with one kid over it, they both did not want to share it. So that made all my time worth it. 
This is the front and the back of the book. I didn't have a pattern or anything for the book, so everything was cut out free hand, so please don't judge my characters. One little girl at church knew immediately who was on the cover there, and it really helped my spirits! 
The cover doesn't do anything special. It just has Elmo and Cookie Monster's face on it and the Sesame Street sign. I just used a glue gun on it to glue everything down. I didn't want to sew all the details on the faces down, so that was easier. I used foam letters that I bought at the craft store for the letters on 'Sesame.' 
The back is a page to color with dry erase markers on. I sewed a piece of plastic to the white felt. I should have doodled on it, but I forgot. A-Cakes is too young to color, so she hasn't used this page yet. 
I didn't want to bind the book so I just used 3 giant rings to hold it together. I think its easier for A-Cakes to turn this way and that way I can take out a page to wash it, or add a page if I wanted to. 
The one problem was that a hole punch was too small for the felt to fit through, so I had to just cut holes in the pages and then I sewed around the holes. I did it last, so that made it harder. I think I would  cut the holes out in the beginning. 

The top pages are a counting bead page, the other page is a page that you brush the guy's hair and brush his teeth. You can also braid the red strips or tie a bow. 
The lower pages are Super Grover with the foam letters in the alphabet and then the second page is Elmo with a fish tank. There are a few animals and the child needs to decide which one is Dorothy (Elmo's pet fish) and put Dorothy in the bowl. 
I tied everything down, she is young and would lose the pieces or put them in her mouth, I zigzagged and double stitched those things on way tightly. They are on there pretty good. I glue gunned the rest of the stuff on. 

The top pages are a felt house with windows and doors that open up with pictures inside and then the other page is where you feed Cookie Monster cookies. 
The bottom pages are a page with big bird, he has feathers all over his face and then snap on flowers. 

The top page is the felt house again with the windows opened. I sewed the pictures onto the felt. There is also a picture of my husband in the door. I didn't want the pictures to get ruined by drool or shaking her sippy cup really hard (which she does on a daily basis) so I sewed plastic, plastic from those photo album pages, onto the pictures.  A-Cakes loves looking at the pictures. 

The lower pages is Abby Cadabby, who is a fairy. I used yarn for her hair and wrote poof out of the foam letters, I was running out of letters because I had used most of them on the alphabet page. So poof was one of the only magical word I could make. Then there is a zipper pocket that you can put treats or crayons, or the dry erase markers for the coloring page. 

This page is Murray, he has a segment on Sesame Street called 'Murray had a Little Lamb' so I used this stuff that is kinda like what they make those boa's out of, but you buy it by the yard for his face. And then pom pom's for the lamb.  The other page is A-Cake's favorite, you match the shapes and colors together. She really just likes to rip them off the page because she likes the velcro that I put on there. 

For the pages I used a piece of felt for each page and then sewed the two pages together. The only problem I had with this, was some parts that I had glue gunned were too close to the edges and my sewing machine had a hard time going over the glue gunned parts, I bent a needle on the cover and I had to sew the alphabet page on by hand because it had too much glue near the edges. 

Cutting out all the little pieces and shapes and character faces free hand took a long time. But it turned out really good (even if some of my characters look slightly demented, poor Big Bird...). I just had to tell my self that she is one and does not notice the faults, she will just have fun with it, and she really does. It was worth all the time! 

Dec 13, 2012

Simple Wood Nativity

I love nativities, but holy cow, they are expensive. I someday would love to have a collection of them, so when I saw all the different simple wood natvities on Pinterest I had to make one too. I loved how they were wood, because that just seemed so perfect. Christ was a carpenter, and of course a very simple and humble man, he wouldn't need anything extravagant. So I thought the simple nativity fit well. 
It was pretty easy to make, I made 7 of them so it took more time making that many. I am giving them out as gifts to some family members, like our moms and such. 

To make these you need: 
1- 6" 2x2 piece of wood for Joseph
1-5" 2X2 piece of wood for Mary
1-3"x2" piece of furring strip. For baby blanket
2- 1 1/2" ball knob For adult heads
1- 3/4" furniture button for baby head or 1/2" depending on how big your wood piece, see below.
1 popsicle craft stick
1 wood star
long piece of Jute
paint of desired colors
Wood glue

You can get the 2x2 pieces at a hardware store. I got mine at Lowe's. They come in really long pieces and so you just have them cut it if you can't yourself. They charge $.25 for each cut and about $1.50 for the whole long 2x2. I got lucky and this really nice old man who worked there cut the pieces for me for free. So I got enough wood for 7 nativities, and one extra long piece that was too short for the machine to cut all for $1.50.  I forgot to get the wood piece for Jesus' body. But I found these like wooden gift tags at Joann's for a dollar for 7, so I cut those so that they were just rectangles and not tags. But the tags were a little wider than the wood piece in the original picture, so I had to buy bigger wood balls for the head. the original picture calls for the smaller button. 

Sand your wood pieces. Paint everything your desired color. I then used gel stain and applied that. Then I glued everything together. I used the popsicle stick to attach the star to the back of Mary. I added the jute and my little tag and was done! I really like how it turned out, I hope everyone I made them for likes them too. 

HERE IS THE ORIGINAL You can find the tutorial for this one over at Learning to be Me.

Dec 12, 2012

Personalized Accordion Cards

{Card for my sister's birthday}

My mom is the master of card making. She whips them out like crazy and has a whole box full of cards she has made, and they are all so cute! But the cutest cards she makes are these cards that open up like an accordion and are super personalized and fun! They are seriously my most favorite cards ever! 
She adds stuff all over them that are fun inside jokes, or good qualities about you and the card totally is a reflection of the person. They do take more time than a regular card, so she only makes them occasionally, but they turn out well worth it, and are soooo much better than getting a generic card from the store, or even a homemade card that could be for anyone. 
So she made a couple recently and I begged her to send me some pictures of them and tell me how to do it. 
So here is how to make one of these great cards!

1. Get a 8X11 Piece of plain paper
2. Fold the paper 3 times equally accordion style. (so you alternate the folds), this means you will have three panels on each side, so 6 panels total. 
3. Cut the top of the paper to your desired height and round the tops on all 2 panels. 
4. Cut patterned or glittered, or colored paper out for each panel, its fun to do each panel different colors or patterns that all tie together. Glue the paper onto the plain white paper. 
5. Add embellishments all over, you can use stickers, ribbon, wire, rhinestones, more patterned paper, glitter, or paper punches. You can also add pictures, or baby pictures of the person if you have those. Add stuff that reflects the person's personality. It is good to add their name, maybe a cute personalized note, and then add words or sayings about that person. Like I said before, their good qualities and inside jokes are always fun. 
You can use sticker letters or print stuff out on your computer or use a combination like my mom does. My mom likes to use an ink pad to color the edges of the card-stock when she prints out the paper. 
Also my mom usually makes a book mark and adds it to the card, on one of the middle panels she makes a pocket out of the cardstock and then adds the bookmark there. I love the bookmarks. You can see the bookmark in the picture below with the Taylor Swift Sticker.

6. While glueing everything down and adding embelishments make sure the card is folding nicely. If you use a thick paper or glitter paper, don't add too much glue or it will make the card buckle. 
7. Use a hole punch to cut three holes in the top of the panels. Then add ribbon to it and tie it off. My mom usually uses 3 different kinds of ribbon or yarn or whatever to add texture and fun! 
This card is based off of Taylor Swift's RED album and Christmas. My mom's friend asked my mom to help her make. The card is a gift for my mom's friends daughter and will have Taylor Swift concert tickets in it. I guess the girl really loves Taylor Swift (who doesn't?)

{This card my mom made for my aunt, so her sister, for my aunt's birthday. The picture shows both sides} 

{This is both sides of the card she made for my sister's 15th birthday. And in case you are wondering what 'Feed me Faster' its an inside joke. My sister got surgery on her nose earlier this year and on pain medication made my mom spoon feed her ice cream and then told her to 'feed her faster' hahahaha, we will never let her live it down.}

 But the whole idea of the cards is to be personal and fun. These are cards people usually only get once or twice in a life time. I still have the one my mom gave me when I was in high school. But living in an apartment makes me keep it in storage, so I couldn't take a picture of it. But she had baby pictures of me on it and everything. I love that card! 

Nov 28, 2012

Lunch Pita Pocket

I love these pita pockets. I make them several times a week to eat for lunch. They are so delicious, and pretty healthy.

Lunch Pita Pockets:
4 slices of chicken lunch meat (I use Oscar Meyer Oven Roasted Chicken) Sliced
1/4 c. spinach, sliced up
1/8 C. onion chopped
1/2 tomato chopped
1 TB Ranch dressing
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pita (I recommend whole wheat)
Slice and chop up all your stuff, put it in a bowl add salt and pepper and ranch dressing, mix everything up. Then put it in your pita pocket, enjoy!

A lot of the times I slice up extras of the tomato and onion and spinach and put them in the fridge so I only have to cut up the veggies once that week. In the picture I have shown two pita pockets, sometimes if I am more hungry I will make more of it and put it in two pockets (so a full pita is used).
Make sure your pita is also the kind with he pocket, some of them don't have pockets, I have made that mistake a couple of times.

Nov 27, 2012

Sesame Street 1st Birthday (on the cheap)

It was A-Cake's first birthday party last weekend. It was a total success, she had so much fun, and man-oh-man she was spoiled. I don't think I have ever seen a kid get so many presents. 
I also can't believe my baby girl is one! It is crazy, I feel like she should still only be a couple months old.  
I don't think parties need to be expensive, some of these parties on Pinterest seem like they cost at least a hundred dollars! I love my A-Cakes, but she is one, there is no reason to spend a hundred dollars on a party she will never remember (I don't think I would spend that much on a party, ever...I'm cheap) 
This party, including the cupcakes and everything was about $30.00 (thats the cupcakes, silverware, plates, etc.)
A-Cakes LOVES watching Sesame Street, its the only show she really watches. I put it on for her in the mornings when I am just waking up. She seems to really love Elmo, so she has quite a bit of Sesame Street products. So I knew that had to be the theme of the party.
I invited 43 people to the party, and most of them showed up, so that was way too many for our apt, so my lovely Aunt was kind enough to let us borrow her house for the party, Thanks Bonnie! 

For the table decor, I used some of A-Cake's Sesame Street Stuffed animals she had (I got these animals at a garage sale last summer, they are baby characters which I think is so cute!)
I also had pictures of her on the table, I already had the 8x10 frame, and the smaller frames I got from all a dollar (thanks Samantha Stephenson Photography for the one year old pics of A-Cakes).

Okay, isn't that plate the cutest? It used to be my husband's when he was little. 
The cupcakes we got at Sam's Club. I don't have a card there, but my momma does and she was in town so she ordered them and picked them up for me. They are so cheap! $13.99 for 30 cupcakes!!

I put candy on the table, pixie sticks and gummy worms and put labels that said: Oscar's Slimy worms and Abby's pixie dust (as in Abby Caddabby). 
As party favors I gave out crazy straws, but just to the kids that were there. I bought two packs of 6 crazy straws at the dollar store, the kids were having fun with them it looked like. 
I also baked cookies, snicker-doodles and my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Because Cookie Monster would be appalled if I didn't serve cookies at a party. 
I got the plates and table cloth at the dollar store, and then the cups and silverware at Wal-Mart. I also bought some soda at Wal-Mart for $0.84 each. I also bought a gallon of ice cream. 
I made pretty much all the decor myself (besides the animals and plate) I borrowed my aunt's cricuit cutter for the letters, but the rest of it, like the characters, I did free hand. 
I made this banner, it was pretty easy to make, I just had to cut out eyes and mouth for each character. I did Zoe, Oscar, Cookie Monster and Elmo. I also added pictures to it so you could see how A-Cakes had changed and grew over the year. I hung it with some yarn and clothespins and used tape on the wall to hold it there. 

The invitations!
I hand cut all these invitations out. Next time I am getting a circle punch at least, I can't believe how many circle eyes I had to cut out, what a nightmare. The invitations turned out cute, I liked them. But I messed up on them, big time. I found the pic on Pinterest, but no where could I find the tutorial on how to make them. But you are supposed to cut a big circle out and then fold it in half, put the information on the inside of the circle. I cut the circle in half. My husband took one look at the picture and said, weren't you supposed to fold it? I was so mad at myself, it was way obvious. but oh well, I doubt anyone noticed, they were still cute. 

I made a happy birthday sign for the door, and then on the walkway leading up to the door I had monster footprints. I also cut out squares and put the letter A and number 1 on the squares to look like blocks. I did a bunch of them and put them all over. I wanted balloons outside, but there is some weird helium shortage, its crazy. 
We had 3 games at the party. Since the party was mostly adults with a few kids I had to plan games that all ages could play. So I hid 3 of Ernie's rubber ducks around the place and the first person to find them won a candy bar prize. Then I filled 2 jars up with candy (jars at the dollar store) and you guessed the amount of candy in them. The closest person won the jar. And then lastly we played 'Guess that Sesame Street Character.' That game was my favorite. We made a slideshow of Sesame Street Characters and you had to guess who the character was. Since it was a lot of adults no one got all of them right. My mother-in-law won! Which is amazing since she hasn't watched it in years, go KERI!! But I gave out a candy bar prize for that as well. All of the games were simple and no one had to participate. I had them going throughout the party so it was just something that they could do on their own time. 

This girl hated everyone staring at her while she ate her cake. Once everyone stopped looking at her, she was fine and ate every single bit of that cupcake with a smile. 

Nov 14, 2012

30 Weird Things about me

I have some quirks that I think are a little bit weird. Well, actually, I think they are perfectly normal, everyone else just thinks they are weird.

  • I dislike most white foods.  The exceptions are whipped cream and mashed potatoes.
  • I probably have worse vision than your grandmother. I am that blind! 
  • Dogs are not my friend. I actually pretty much hate them. I would much rather have a pet turtle.
  • Aqua is the greatest color. 
  • I am one of the few humans alive that actually likes Wal-Mart.  Hey it has everything there in that one store. I rarely have to go anywhere else. Sometimes I even buy my clothes there, yes, I am that person. 
  • I would usually rather have my husband bring me home a big chocolate shake with hamburger and fries than a bouquet of flowers. Hmmm.. Maybe this is why I need to lose 10 pounds?
  • In the past week I have broken 4 of our glasses. In our 3 years of marriage, we have had two ten packs of glasses, we are now down to 4 glasses. 
  • Driving freaks me the crap out!  Really it gives me anxiety, but I have been driving a lot more this past year, I have driven to the airport twice! But I still won't drive downtown. 
  • My usual time span for reading a book is one day. 

  • I played dolls until the 9th grade. I only stopped because some of the boys in my neighborhood saw me and made fun of me. 
  • I would seriously rather clean toilets than do laundry.   And I don't use a toilet brush, I just use a scrubber and my hands, no gloves. And wash my hands forever afterwards. Yes, I hate laundry that much. 
  • When I was a teenager my mom threatened to stop from reading instead of taking away my cell phone or grounding me. 
  • I am pretty cheap, I won't pay more than $15.00 for a shirt. and $15 is kind of expensive. I feel ripped off when I spend that much. 
  • I HATE cheese. 
  • When I eat pizza, I take off all the toppings and put them in a pile. Then I take off all the cheese (which my husband says looks like zombie skin) and then pile the toppings back on, and eat. 
  • I have to Clorox Cleanup my counter about 4 times a day. I have to know its clean! 
  • I don't have a favorite band, or singer. I usually only like one or two songs from an artist. 
  • Calling businesses scares me. I have gotten better at this, but it still makes my stomach do a flip flop. 
  • I don't care for fruity ice cream. Its a waste of calories. CHOCOLATE BABY! Other things that are not worth the calories: White cake, bavarian filled doughnuts, skittles, and starburst.
  • Its a good day if I shower before noon. 
  • I can't match colors to save my life
  • Another food thing I hate, Ketchup, it freaks me out. I won't eat it on anything but hot dogs and hamburgers, I won't eat it on fries, or meatloaf or anything of the kind. I think seeing the gross crusty stuff that gets on the lid skeeves me out. 
  • I have never broken a bone, the most injured I have ever been is slicing a huge cut open in my head when I was 3 at the swimming pool, while I was swimming. How does that even happen at a pool?
  • I don't know how to work ITunes. My husband does it for me, and he is excellent at it. 
  • I won't read a book or watch a movie unless I know it ends happy. I will either read the last page of the book, or read about the movie online to be sure. 
  • My husband and I met at our church during a lecture on how boys need to take girls on dates more.  Lecture worked I guess. 
  • When I was in Elementary I loved bugs. I brought a grasshopper to my 2nd grade class in a mason jar with holes in the top for about a week to take care of it. And in 3rd grade my friend and I looked for slugs around the playground and put them in our pencil box and played with them in class. I had about 13 snails and slugs.
  • Along the same insect line, I didn't always take care of the bugs. I also dissected the bugs. I won't go into detail, but it did involve taking legs off of spiders. Now if I see a Spider I freak out, I have to spray it with spider spray to kill it about  foot away. Spiders seem smart, they know what I used to do to their comrades. 
  • I pee my pants when I sneeze. Usually this problem happens after having a baby, but its always been a problem for me. 
  • When I was younger I played house with silverware and toothbrushes.