Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goals for 2012

I hope everyone's Christmas was enjoyable. We had a nice quiet day at home, just the four of us and then we went to visit my family in southern Utah. My oldest sure loved playing in the snow!

Also a really cool thing happened - I won a giveaway! I won a Shabby Apple dress! The Mullholland dress to be more specific. It is so cute!

I love starting a new year. It means starting over, having renewed motivation, and trying to be better. It may be cliche, but I'm making my own goals for this year and to ensure I don't fail I'm going to share some of them here with you.

You probably already know the SMART mnemonic for setting goals, but a little review never hurt anyone. 
 S - Specific, the more specific the better. This makes it easier to evaluate if you're on track or not. Ask yourself the five 'W' questions:
  • What: What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
  • Who: Who is involved?
  • Where: Identify a location.
  • Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
M - Measurable, again you need some way to evaluate your progress to keep you on track to your end goal.
A - Attainable, make sure your goal is within your reach. Don't set a goal to run a marathon in 2 hours if you've never run before! It takes years of training to reach that level of athleticism and some may still never be that fast.
R - Relevant, is the goal you're setting worthwhile? If not, then you will find it hard to push yourself to make it happen.
T - Timely, give your goals an end date. Open ended goals will often result in failure if you don't have a deadline. 

So with that review of how to make goals I'm going to share a few of mine with you. I'm just going to share a brief synopsis of my goals with you and not the full SMART versions I've done for myself.
- I would like to lose the rest of my pregnancy weight while continuing to breastfeed. More specifically 12 pounds by May, I'll need to take it slow so I don't affect my milk supply. I plan on regular exercise and using the Cinch system to help me with this. Cinch is the #1 inch loss plan and thousands of people have had success because Cinch helps you burn fat while retaining lean muscle, which helps prevent the yoyo effect many diets have.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Unfortunately I haven't gotten any fun crafts done lately, but I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! I'll leave you with some cute pictures of my boys by the Christmas tree. I don't have a fancy camera, just a standard digital and I just played with the settings to get these. Give it a try, it might take a while to get all the settings right, but its so worth it! Here's a great post I used to help me figure out the right settings.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pinterest Inspired Christmas Topiary

So this post has been sitting in my dashboard for almost a week. Each time I tried to sit down and finish it, something came up, such is life with two kids.

A while back on Pinterest (follow me here) I saw a couple different ideas I really liked. You may have seen them too...

 source: via Pinterst

source: via Pinterest

I love both ideas, but the first one didn't have a tutorial, so here's my version of their idea. Both are made out of tomato cages, but since it's late in the year and I'm not a gardener, there was a distinct lack of said cages. To make my own outdoor Christmas tree I had to improvise.

The hardware stores may not have tomato cages this time of year, but they do have plastic bush/tree stakes. I grabbed three of those, but four probably would have been better considering the planter I used.

So you'll need:
3-4 tree stakes
Christmas Garland (I used 3 from Dollar Tree, each was 15 ft long)
A pot or planter (mine was from Dollar Tree, but you may already have one)
Christmas Ornaments, if you choose
wire and glue, optional

Start by drilling holes in the planter where the stakes are going to be inserted.

Glue could be good too. I didn't use any by you may want to.

Wire the tops of the stakes together and you have the form of your tree.
Next, you'll wrap your garland around the form. Don't pull it too tight or it will bend the stakes inward. You may find that you'll need some wire to keep the garland from slipping down or out of place.

Finally, decorate. I used a string of 100 lights and some spare shatterproof ornaments. I also filled the planter with some rocks from the backyard to keep it from falling over. All in all it cost me about $7.
The little man helped me a little so he wanted to pose with the tree.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reusable Snack Bags

Things here are going great. I think I've gotten into the swing of things, having two boys. Recovering from this baby was actually a lot easier than my first. Our ward had an activity a couple weeks ago where we had a bunch of crafts available to make. Here is one of them I chose to make...reusable snack bags. They were really easy to make and they come in handy when packing lunch and snacks on the go for my little one.

Tutorial to come shortly and I'm also working on a couple other projects. With Thanksgiving tomorrow and my husband home, I should be able to get a bunch done. Here's to being optimistic.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A long time coming...

I hope you will excuse my absence from the crafting and blogging world for a little while. I just completed a very big project and will be taking some time to admire my work ;-D

This little man finally joined us on October 21st, 5 days after expected. 

Our other little man is not so sure what he thinks yet, but he's doing well with the transition so far. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Boo Wreath

I came across this Halloween wreath by Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous a while back on Pinterest and really liked it. It was actually one of the projects for our little church group craft club last month, but I happened to be out of town that day and I’m just now getting around to finishing it.
Let me tell you - cutting burlap, not my favorite. It is super messy! I did appreciate the extra technique Linda gave, made it much easier to cut straight lines.
So as usually I put my own little spin on this project.
I used smaller letters – just because- no reason really. I painted them white and then I found some sparkly paint at Joann’s. I originally wanted to cover the letters in orange glitter, but due to some super cute crafts floating around the blogosphere involving orange glitter, they were all sold out.
wreath boo
Then I used the rest of the foam stickers and embellished it.
Oh yeah, and I used this handy tip for the wreath form. It cost less than a $1! Love it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloween Tree

So I’m really getting my money’s worth out of this project. I think it’s such an easy way to decorate and it doesn’t need much. I took this Easter Tree and turned it into this Fall Tree, now I’ve updated it for Halloween. I got these little foam stickers at Joann’s for a couple dollars, maybe $2 a pack.
halloween tree
halloween tree2
All I did was stick them back to back with a little loop of ribbon in between.
halloween tree3
halloween tree5
halloween tree6




Super simple, me likey!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Little Man Tie

My best friend is getting married next summer so when I came across a tie that match her colors perfectly - I just couldn't pass it up (plus it was only $3).

 I decided to sew it down into a tie for the little man. I used this tutorial for making a man's tie into a boy's. Here it is sized down.

Instead of doing as the tutorial and using elastic, I wanted something a bit more significant and sturdy. I used this tie as an example for the part around the neck.

I started by using this spare fabric from the middle of the tie.

Laid it out and measured how much to cut. I cut it about an inch longer than the purple tie to allow for seams and so he could grow into it and wear it longer.

Opened it down the middle by removing these stitches.

Removed the white innards.

I cut the innards in half at first, but ended up taking it down a bit more later. I decided I wanted to keep this inside the tie to make the neck strap really strong. I played around with what it would be like without this and it didn't feel like it would stand up to the abuse a 2 year old boy might put it though.

Cut the tie fabric about in half.

Ironed it flat to prep it for sewing.

I sewed the tie fabric right sides together (with the innards set on top) into a tube. After turning it right sides out, I finished it by top stitching and closing the tube on the end. It was a bit difficult to turn it inside out with the white stuff in there too, but it worked out.

Finally, I just sewed on some velcro. I made the piece extra long so it can adjust to fit for quite a while.

To attach it to the tie I just hand stitched the strap to the back of the knot.

I was so excited when I finished I had to go try it on my model right away. Only thing was he was asleep. :D I tried putting it on him while he slept but it ended up waking him - oops- but he was a good sport and even tried to give me a
Love this cutie!

He did much better at smiling on Sunday before sporting his new tie to church. Boy is he getting so big - he's going to be a big brother soon!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bring on Fall!

I can't wait for fall; cooler weather, pumpkin baked in everything, and not being pregnant anymore! :D Only 5 weeks left!

We got a sneak peak this weekend, it was only in the 80's. Yay!

On to the crafting....

Remember this Easter craft? Well I've taken it and made a fall version. 

I found the leaves and pumpkins at the dollar store. shocker, right? 

 I glued the leaves back to back with a little hot glue. 

Then glued ribbon in between the two leaves and a loop of ribbon on the pumpkins and gourds. 

 I actually changed the branches from the Easter egg tree when the live ones died.

Since we're living in a house this year and not an apartment, we might actually get kids trick-or-treating! I'm excited for that and a porch to decorate. I already found a few pumpkin decorations at a garage sale. Stay tuned for how it turns out and other cute decor ideas I already have cooking.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dry Erase Calendar

Just about a week ago I hosted the craft club at my house. I showed them a bunch of little organizational tips and found some more online. Then I demoed this dry erase calendar. There are many examples out there and this is just my version of all that I've seen.

I stared with a poster frame. It was inexpensive and on sale at Joann's so I picked one up, I like it was $6. I wrapped the backing in wrapping paper and taped it to the back side.

Then I created a calendar grid in Microsoft Publisher. I've seen examples where the grid is drawn directly on to the glass, but I'm not fully committed to this frame - if I come across a nicer one at a garage sale or goodwill I can still move it to another frame.

Since I chose a dark paper, I had to insert some white paper where I can write the month and a piece at the bottom to write notes.

It fits perfectly on this little nook wall on the way out to the garage and up the stairs. My husband likes that I don't need to ask him if he needs anything at the store. He just writes it at the bottom and I add it to my list.

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