Jan 31, 2010

Love Dove Stuff

Not like I am some expert by any means on relationships or marriage counseling or anything like that but I definitely feel strongly that it is super important to keep the spark alive between husbands and wives. I have seen how crazy life can get with children and work and activities and it is so easy to just put your relationship with your spouse on the back burner. I mean heck you see each other everyday and you sleep in the same bed at night, you talk about schedules and lunch menus what more do you need.
Well I recently read about this idea in a book and thought it sounded like something that would be great to do with my husband. We are good at trying to keep little traditions between the two of us and so I thought this year it would be great to add another one.
You start by making a his and her's jar. I made mine out of formula cans (those cans-so handy for so many crafts-which they should be after you pay so darn much to purchase them). I just covered them with some scrapbook paper.

Inside you cut 52 strips of paper (1 for each week of the year) and yes I know it is February. We still decided to do 52 (we just filled ours out last night). You keep your can and give the "HIS" one to your husband. On each strip of paper you write something that you want to have the other person do for you or with you (rub your back, go for a walk, take you on a date, buy you flowers, dance in the kitchen etc etc). He does the same on his. We wrote the word BONUS on 5 strips of paper to account for the weeks we missed with Jan. Then you will swap jars. Then once a week you will each pull a strip of paper out of each others jar and will have to do whatever your spouse asked for. If it says BONUS then you will pull out another strip.
Here are the rules we set up:
-We will pull out strips on Sunday.
-We will have the whole week to accomplish the request
-You have the option to put it back and pull out another one if the paper says something you know you can't do that week (maybe it is seasonal, or you just know it will not happen. We want to be successful at this not make promises we can't keep).
-We will put the papers on our mirror in our bedroom where we can see them all week to remind us
I am looking forward to the year and fun little extra moments with my husband that we might not make time for otherwise.
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Cheerleading skirt from a t-shirt

The Girls State Basketball tournament is coming up in a few weeks and small fry is as big of a fan of all the girls on daddy's basketball team as they are of her. It blows my mind that my flesh and blood gets all wild and excited when daddy asks her if she wants to go to watch basketball but it is the truth, she just seems to love it. So I have to get this years cheerleading outfit ready. This was last years.

So far I have got the skirt made for this years outfit. I made it out of an old t-shirt. It is one of those things that will look cute no matter how much time it took to make and whether or not it is perfect so I didn't spend a whole lot of time or money on it, or worry too much about perfection on the project. Here is my t-shirt.
I cut off the back side of the shirt.
And from that I cut a rectangle. I pressed this with my iron.
Because I didn't want to worry about hemming it, I sewed a couple of rows of ric rac around the bottom edge.
I also cut out our towns letters from felt and attached them with a plain stitch on my machine.
Then I folded down the top about an inch and a 1/4 and sewed around that bottom edge of that leaving a small opening. I threaded my elastic through the opening and then sewed the ends together to gather the waist. I then sewed the opening closed.

And this is what the final product looks like. My letters are a bit big but oh well-they will be easier to spot on the little green cheerleading machine. Pictures to come soon including the t-shirt to go with.
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Jan 30, 2010


I need to pick someones brain. I need a catchy Valentinesy phrase to go with Kleenex tissues. (I will show you why when I find the right phrase). They are going to be from small fry so it has to be something kinds of cutesy and all I can come up with are:
"I 'tissue' were my Valentine"
"I 'pick' you to be my Valentine" (which is kind of gross)
"Don't 'blow' it. Please say you will be my Valentine."

Anyone else got anything better?
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Jan 29, 2010

Heart Garland

It has dawned on me that February is fast approaching and my grand plans of doing something special for each day prior to Valentines day may not happen if I do not get my butt in gear. So I have put my brain into Valentines mode and have been trying to come up with some fun and new ideas. Oh the blogs out there are chalked full of cute ideas. I wish I had the time and money to do one of each thing. Anyway here I am adding my first idea to the mix. A valentines heart garland.
All you need for this are some scraps of fabric and a sewing machine plus a little bit of ribbon.
First (and this is the most important step) fold your fabric accordion style with the right side of the fabric out creating 4 layers. This will allow you to cut two sets of 2 hearts at once with the wrong sides together which is just how you want them for sewing.
Second: cut out a heart pattern on cardstock. I traced mine from a template. Then pin onto your fabric. Cut around the outside of the pattern with pinking shears. This will make it so that you don't have to finish any of the edges (making this a quick and easy project).
Third: with wrong sides together sew a V through each heart. You can just carry your stitch over from one heart to the next without stopping and cutting threads in between. For your V start at the upper fat side, sew down to the point, pivot and sew back up to the other fat side and onto the next heart.
Like this.
You can see the V better in this one. Continue sewing them together until you get a garland as long as you want.
To add hangers, fold a piece of ribbon in half and place on the back side of the end heart. Sew over the ribbon (I went back and forth a couple of times).
Here is what it looks like hanging. Don't you love how the sign above the heart garland says "Deer Hunter" Only when a man truly loves a woman will he let a heart garland hang from the windows of his "hunting room".
A better look.
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Cloth Diapers for Sale

Is there anyone out there that would be interested in purchasing these reusable, super adorable, cloth diapers? I bought these to sets when I was pregnant with small fry and I had nothing but the best of intentions on saving the environment and being the best mom in the world by using cloth diapers. So I did some research and got a set of Kushie's reusable diapers and a set of Bum Genius reusable diapers and then I was going to get more of which ever one I liked better......then I went into labor and had small fry and was instantly overcome with a deep and I mean deep sense of overwhelment and those cloth diapers were the FARTHEST thing from my mind. Keeping her alive was top priority and disposable diapers helped with that priority the best. Besides that she was so tiny and I could have fit her whole body in one leg hole of one diaper so they got tucked back in my change table never to be remembered until now. They have not been worn, washed or even touched except when I got them out of the box the first time as a first time pregnant lady and almost burst into tears at how cute they were. I paid $50.00 for just one set on them and I think $40.00 for the other. I would like to get them out of my home and into the home of someone who will actually use them. So I would like to sell the whole lot for $45.00 (or best offer) and that includes the cost of shipping them to you. You can pay via pay pal or send me a check. First come first served.

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Jan 28, 2010

Party Question

I don't know if this ever happens to any of you but I have a sales party etiquette question. Here in our town (which is very small) we have these parties where people sell stuff (Pampered Chef, Scentsy Candles etc) and you know how they work, you go and then you are supposed to buy something and help the person who hosted it earn points to get some big prize and then sign up to host a party yourself. And when there are only so many people in town to invite you end up getting invited to a lot of them. I never buy things at those parties because I can't afford to usually. I never know what to do though because I keep getting invited and I appreciate the invites but if I go to one then I will feel obligated to buy something that I don't really need or want and then I will feel obligated to go to another party and I can't afford to buy something from everyone. So I just decided to not to go any parties at all. I don't know if it is okay to go and not buy something? I am not against these kind of parties because I know that is how a lot of people make a living or make extra money. But for example, I got invited to a Pampered Chef party last week and then another one next week. I got invited to 4 of them last year. That is a lot of stuff to buy. I got invited to I think 5 Scentsy Candle parties and got asked at my door by Cheerleaders to buy some stuff too. I also got invited to a "sleepover" party which was for tasteful lingere and sex toys. I told my husband that I just wasn't mature enough to even go to that party so I didn't have to worry about that one. So what do you do? Should you feel obligated to go, obligated to buy, do you have to stay away if you can't afford to buy? Any opinions?
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Jan 27, 2010

Stuffed Manicotti

Are you in need of an idea of a recipe that you can make ahead of time and then put in your freezer to have to pull out when needed? Try stuffed manicotti. They are supper easy to make, they freeze well and are really easy to prepare from your freezer. Plus because the shells are sold in large packages, if you have a smaller family like mine you can get a couple of meals out of one box.
Here is a quick recipe:
Stuffed Manicotti
1 package manicotti shells
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese-divided
2 cups ricotta cheese (or if you can't find it small curd cottage cheese works)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese-divided
1 tbsp minced garlic (or a bit of garlic pwd if you don't have minced garlic)
1 egg
2 tbsp dried basil (parsley works nice too)
2 jars pasta sauce (this is only if you are going to eat the whole amount in one meal. 1 jar of sauce is plenty for half the noodles)
Boil noodles according to package directions but don't over cook. In fact undercook them because they will cook more in the oven when you bake them and they will be easier to handle if they are a bit firm. Also when they have completed boiling drain the water and run them under cold water to make them easier to handle when you stuff them. Mix cheeses in a large bowl along with garlic, egg, and basil. Stuff each shell with mixture. If you are going to have them to eat right away then pour part of your sauce in the bottom of your pan. Put your stuffed manicotti's on top of the sauce. Pour more sauce over top and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
If you want to freeze some of these to use later then do this: stuff them and put them back in the little plastic tray they came in like this (see picture)

put them in your freezer to get firm over night and then bag them up the next day. I had never thought of using the little tray before but it worked awesome when I tried it this last time. To serve them then you will want to bring them out of your freezer ahead of time and let them thaw, then prepare them the same way you would if you were making them fresh. I would bake them slightly longer to make sure they are cooked thoroughly though.
Serve these with Chicken Parmesan and you will be super mom (or wife) for the night!!!

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Jan 26, 2010


It has been a slow craft week at my house, so you will have to enjoy some small fry and sweet pea pictures for now. This past Saturday was a big basketball game and so it was all things basketball at our house and small fry was super excited all morning. It was just one of those days when everything seemed to go right. She was the cutest doll a mother could ask for and was so happy all morning and even all day at basketball games and she was still going well into the evening: singing, dancing and cheering. What a great day. She even entertained many a fan at the game during half time dancing to the music on the side lines. I am waiting for the day she runs out to center court and does her own little routine with not a care in the world. Here are a few snapshots of the cheerleading action as she warmed up at home before the big game.

Sweet Pea even got in on the cheering when we got home from Basketball. She grabbed onto those pom poms and was just waving her hand as hard as she could. GO PIRATES!!!!
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Jan 25, 2010

Fleece Sweater Dress

It seems like repurposing is all the rage right now in the blogging world and I have a stack of shirts and sweaters that I can't/don't wear but can't part with either but I haven't been brave enough to try to turn them into something else. But I have been reading the blog Make it and Love it for a long time now and she is the repurposing queen and she never uses a pattern and so I decided that I should just give it a try. My first attempt was with an old acrylic sweater that I made into a jumper dress for small fry. I haven't got a picture of her in it yet because the day she wore it to church is the day she also threw a huge fit over a York Peppermint Patty that ended with the peppermint patty all over the dress so you will have to wait to see pictures of that one but you can check out this one for now.

For this jumper I used an old fleece sweater that I had. Here is what I did. (This is sort of a tutorial but there are no measurements cause I took none, I just cut and sewed-so what I am saying is YOU CAN DO IT TOO)
1. Start with your sweater laid out flat like this.
2. I cut a tapered rectangle like shape (is this an actual shape-I'd ask my husband but he is snoring on the couch right now-maybe it has a real name) anyway it is a rectangle that is angled in at the top and out at the bottom. I just cut hoping it would be big enough to fit small fry and I was lucky cause it was just barely big enough. Measuring might help.
3. Sew your side seams together and fold under about an inch at the top and sew around that edge as well.
4. For the straps I cut two rectangles (this shape I know for sure) out of another piece of the sweater. I did get a bit of a measurement for these. My daughter held still long enough for me to throw a piece of fabric over her shoulder and then she was off again (she's a busy girl).
5. Fold them in half length wise and sew the side seam (I sewed a 1/4 inch seam). Turn the strap right side out and topstitch along both sides of the strap using a 1/8 inch seam.
6. Pin in place along the front of the dress. I had mine hang down inside a bit more than an inch. This way when I sewed along my stitching line that was already there I would catch the strap piece. I then sewed along the top as well.
7. Repeat with the other strap on the front and both straps at the back. I positioned my straps closer together in the back to help prevent them from falling off her shoulders.
8. Lastly I added a pocket and a yo yo flower with a button. Fleece is so nice to sew with because it doesn't fray and so you don't have to worry about any of your edges. It was done in less than 30 minutes.
And she loved it.
She loves the pocket. Notice the felt food Ravioli in her pocket. That is what she always wants to put in it.
And the dress is great for twirling (a favorite activity)

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