Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Might I Suggest a Product?

Well, this is my blog, so I guess that was just a rhetorical question.
I highly suggest getting a Mat Cutter (this is the one I own):
Years ago, Tom bought this and I didn't really even know anything about it. He decided he wanted to make and mat frames for our home. Well, he made one frame and he was done, but the mat cutter has been used countless times! I think it was about $100, which doesn't sound very inexpensive, but have you ever paid for custom framing?? With a mat cutter, you can take any print and make it fit any mat. For example, I got this print from John Golden:I thought it was great, but the print measures 6x10 ( I think it was more like 9 3/4" for the printed part). Frames generally do not come in that size, neither do mats. I tried a couple frames and hated it. Above is an 11x14 frame with the mat that came with it. It doesn't fit. I got out my mat cutter, and by now I have a lot of scraps of mat board. Fifteen minutes later, I was done.All you have to do is measure and cut:I like a lot of mat and I can cut a mat for a 4x6 picture and put it in an 11x14 frame and I think it looks so Pottery Barnish. The photographer for our wedding gave us countless 5x4 prints, which we loved, but sat in a box because I didn't know what to do with it. I can purchase 4x6 frames or even 5x5 frames, but nothing that I wanted. Out comes the mat cutter and viola:

I had to take that picture fast, not a lot of free time today, so I apologize for the poor quality - but you get the idea, right?

I also like it because I can get all my prints to look cohesive through the house, just by using the same color mat board. It makes everything look way more custom and expensive than it really is - and isn't that the name of the game?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Grateful Sunday

We had a great day! I am thankful for:

  • no meetings - which meant we started the day off with everyone in our bed giggling and cuddling - so fun.
  • I. finally lost her top tooth - it's been a month. She has a huge gap because her lower teeth haven't grown in yet, but she is so excited.
  • M's bows stayed in her hair the whole Sunday. She usually rips them out and since she has fine baby hair, her hair then just sticks straight up. Today, she didn't even touch them.
  • Too blurry - let me see if I can find a better one:
  • Our dinner conversation. Every Sunday, Tom asks everyone "What was your favorite part of Church?" We got this from the Pimentels and have been doing it for years. We have the best conversations and really get to see what goes on in our kid's classes.
  • Perfect weather for a Sunday walk.
  • Ballet dancing to Tom playing "Johnny Cat." It's classic.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thanks Sissy

My sister just had all these white vases that didn't work for her style, but I can sure make them work for mine. I don't really like the fake greenery that so many people put ontop of their cabinets, so I put these up here. I think it might be the start of a collection.



Organizing Hair "Stuff"

Before:

If you have girls, you probably have all the hair junk that comes with them. I. is getting old enough to want to do her hair herself. When I walked into the kids bathroom to clean it, it was a mess. I'm not even into the whole hair thing that much. I have friends who have ten times more hair stuff than we have. Obviously, our system wasn't working. After seeing a different solution blogged about here and here, I decided to try it. I put it on the back of the door, which we never close. It looks pretty, so we'll see how it works. Here's the after:

And, because I'd like it stay that way, of course I added labels:

I got so ambitious, I started on their drawers:Oops, I need a label:


AHH - now I can relax a little bit. By the way, I know I'd be dreaming to expect the drawer to stay that way, but here's to hoping.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Grateful Sunday

  • Great weather - we spent many days at the park and are expecting more great weather this week. Yeah for Fall.
  • My kids are beautiful. Yes, I know I am biased.
  • Sleep
  • My sister - she's awesome and ALWAYS makes me laugh.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Halloween Towels



I was inspired by the sign on this post. So, of course, I got out my machine to see what I could come up with. I'm trying to make some pillowcases to go on couches and have been just playing around with different sayings and fonts. I made this as a practice, and didn't love it - but liked it enough to not throw it away. So, this is the end result:

I just zig-zagged it onto a towel and think it looks very cute hanging from my oven. Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

G's Room

My sister lives far away - that's the worst thing about living in Denver. She's got a beautiful home and I wish we could decorate together. We can't, so I'm using my blog to show her what I've done (I mean we've done):

This is the view from the landing - I don't really like walking right into the bed, but G likes being able to look from his bed into our room, so this is where it will stay. I let him get out his Halloween pillow and blanket. We just made the "headboard" this weekend using this. I think his favorite part is jumping from his bed to the beanbag. I'm so glad we used the extra $$ to make his extra puffy. I made the pillows, the blanket, the beanbag, the bedskirt and the drapes.

Here's another view:I moved Tom's grandparents armoire in here and it holds a lot of his clothes. He does have to use the stepstool to reach, though.This is the traintable that Tom made - it turned out awesome. It's larger than the Pottery Barn ones, because G plays with Geotrax so much and they are bigger. He uses legos a lot on this. Our neighbor had an extra mat that she just brought over. G doesn't like it, but I'm afraid of scratching the table. Tom tells me it's OK to play on it, but I just like the mat to protect it.And here's my baby - my assistant. PS - Can I call her my baby if she is walking, or do I have to start calling her my toddler?PPS - I need to get some of the bedskirt clips talked about here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Welcome Fall


Brisk mornings, sunny afternoons, park days without getting sweaty, no boots or mittens. I always love the change of seasons.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Grateful Sunday

Today, I am grateful for:



  • my kids play really well together. It is so satisfying to watch them all laugh just playing with each other. I have hopes that we'll always be that way and happiness will come from within the home and that is where they want to be.

  • my husband took Thursday and Friday off from work - a 4 day weekend NEVER happens at our home. We finally went to the DMV to get our license, and ran a bunch of errands together. It was raining, so although his plans to work in the backyard were thwarted, it meant we got to spend more time with him - it was, well, awesome!

  • We spent family movie night with our dear friends and the mass chaos was super fun! We got out the beanbags, blankets, pillows and told everyone to get cozy. I couldn't get a good picture, the movie must have been too good - this is the best I got. Don't they look happy?

I have so many projects I have been working on, and I LOVE reading blogs to find more projects. This is the best time of year - all the fun holiday seasons are beginning. Come on fall - we can hardly wait.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I think there has been a mistake . . .

I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be my house:
I think I'm in love with Sadie Olive. I saw her house in a magazine I picked up at the grocery store and have been drooling over it. Everything is my style - there isn't a thing I don't like about it. Then I found out she had a blog and posted even more pictures of her house. I'm obsessed and have spent too many hours looking at every detail and reading all the sources and planning how I can make my house have this much style. Like I said, I think I'm in love.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Organizing Your Refrigerator

OK, before I start, I want to let you know that I know it's before 6am and I'm getting ready to write a post on my fridge - I get it, it's not normal. So, now that that is out in the open, I'll begin.

Emily commented a long time ago about organizing her fridge and asking what I do. So. . . here's some pics of my refrigerator (I didn't stage these at all, just snapped):

Remember, I never professed to be perfect.

Yes, I label my fridge. I had a system, but it was just in my head. I got so tired of always moving the food around to the right shelf and no one else seemed to get it. Now, it has labels and food goes where I want it to go. Lovely - it makes me smile. With 3 little ones, I'll take all the order I can get.

My top shelf is labeled "sweet stuff" and "eggs."



Next shelf has a lazy susan - another idea from MeckMom. The yogurt doesn't get lost in the back. We eat a lot of yogurt and it doesn't always fit, but when the lazy susan is empty, I pull from the back. I also keep my sour cream in a squeezy ketchup like thing - see it behind the blueberry yogurt. That has been a good thing in our family. The shelf is labeled "dairy."



Next, is all my leftovers. The bottom shelf is things that don't fit anywhere else.


The top drawer is labeled "meat/cheese/tortillas." The next drawer is "fruit." The bottom drawer is "vegetables." I keep that plastic rug pads (you know, you put it under your rugs to keep from sliding around) at the bottom of each drawer, so I can pull it out and wash it easily.


As for the door:I need to get milk, I always need to get milk. The top compartment is "butter", then "milk". The first of the shelves is labeled "basic condiments" on one side and "salad dressing" on the other. The very bottom, AKA M's favorite play place, is labeled "condiments" - soy sauce, dijon mustard, etc.


I've had this system for over a year, and it works. I don't have a very large refrigerator, so on days that I Costco shop, it gets stuffed, but for the most part this is what it looks like on a very average day. My kids put the groceries away when we get home from the store and they do a really good job at it. Also, it's easy to look and see what I need quickly - that's what I need in my life. This works for us and thought I'd pass it on.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Grateful Sunday

Again, so much to be happy about. I think about this post all through the week, it's really improved my outlook - sorry if it bores you. Tom worked all week and all day Saturday, makes life not as fun, but we're getting used to it.

Today I'm thankful for:



  • it is a commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy, otherwise my husband might work on Sundays also.

  • We love Denver and have ended up in a great neighborhood. I feel very blessed to be where we are.

  • I finally got the girl's bedding all done - next up is a headboard similar to the one found here. (Hope that link works - it's my first time.) You can't see the bedskirt very well, but I assure you that it is cute and matches the crib skirt perfectly. Also, paint needs to be done, but that's a winter project.

  • This rocking chair, my father-in-law made for me after I had my first baby, and the pillows I made just because.

  • My piano students had a great week - makes me like my "job."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Well, she did it

My girl started first grade today. She goes all day, takes a lunch, and is with someone else for a large part of the day. This day has been a long time coming. See, I used to teach first grade and although I loved it, I always wanted to be on the parent side of it. I can't believe now I have a first grader. In one way, I wish I could teach all over again, I have such a different perspective as a parent now and I feel sort of sorry for those students who dealt with me. They seemed to like me, but I'm so much more empathetic now. We love her teacher, Mrs. Rossi and I am kind of hard to please when it comes to teachers. We met her yesterday at a "Goal Setting Interview" and both Tom and I left saying that Mrs. Rossi is perfect for I. and this is going to be a great year. She had a great day (the morning charts worked just like I expected).
After the day was done
We had a High School Musical Dance Party version waiting for her when she got home, and she loved her napkin in her lunch ( I saw some other mom who did this throughout the year and kept all of them). Here's to the start of a great school year!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Morning Charts and a Quick Project

We are morning people and we wake up very early (at least it seems early to me). I wasn't always this way, but now I am a MacDougall, which means 9am is late. However, this summer I've let the kids stay in their PJs, an we've lounged around until after M's nap to get going. I"m a little nervous about school, so I made these charts for us. I'm a geek and love to check off things, and my kids follow suit. I talked to I. about all the things that needed to get done before we left for school. Then I let them pick up some paper to back it with. My chart helps me get through the whole day, not just the morning. It has my weekly plan for exercise, cleaning, scripture reading, and meals. I usually fizzle out by Thursday, but Mondays are always great. I totally copied these from others and made them fit me, so if you think I'm stealing your ideas - I guess I am. I need to get them laminated and here's a little tip: find out if your local school district has a "work room" or whatever they might call it. It is much much more affordable to laminate there - Kinkos and the like is robbery compared. I also go to Lakeshore Learning to laminate.Also, for a quick project, I used this tutorial (http://joysofhome.blogspot.com/2008/08/under-five-bucks-under-five-minutes) (by the the way, how do you put a word and not the whole link? Help?) and spent less than $2 to jazz up my desk, or as Tom puts it "to get more stuff." However you look at it, I like it and it makes me smile seeing it and it took no time at all.
Here it is smiling back from my desk, which apparently is crooked:
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