Monday, August 31, 2009

Teacher Gift

Mr. G starts pre-school tomorrow and he'll show up with this just to put him in Miss Julie's good graces.He spent about 20 minutes picking out a fragrance - I felt like it gave him a little ownership of the gift, so I waited. We picked out hand soap, a trick I used in my 1st grade teaching days. I always had super smelly soap in my classroom so I could smell if the kids washed their hands or not. I do that with my own kids now, and my parents did that with me. We wrapped it in cellophane, to make it look fancier. I traced G's hand and wrote "if you ever need a hand - don't hesitate to call," and then my phone number, which I will not post here. I did not make this up myself, I never do. I got the idea here. Now he'll start out the year on the right foot, er hand.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Grateful Sunday

I am grateful for:
  • tucking my little ones in to bed at night and hearing them sing me a song
  • my Games magazine that comes every month
  • a worn in pair of Levis (it HAS to be Levis, not anything fancy) and a white T shirt
  • our trampoline
  • I can french braid my babe's hair - but she is still my baby
  • a great day at the temple this past week
  • pre-school starts this week
  • the freckles on G's nose

I can just keep going on and on. I'm in a great place right now - feeling so blessed. Have a great week.




Friday, August 28, 2009

Random


I love playgroup. Today, it was my turn to host. The G's little friends played for a couple of hours and although they played outside, somehow, the inside is like a tornado - and only half of them were here. Oh well, a tornado that is totally worth it.

Not every toy is on the floor


I just bought this from the Container Store- and it has changed my life. More than I liked to spend, but totally worth it.


Fridays are our cookie days. I'm making one batch of these - and another batch for the kids.

I think I have decorating schizophrenia - I can't seem to concentrate on finishing anything before I'm off dreaming of something else. Sound familiar to anyone?

Have a great weekend - the weather could not be more beautiful here!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Trying To Hold On To Summer . . .



. . . as long as I can. I am so not ready for cool weather, sweaters, shorter days - you know, fall. I have completely loved this summer and haven't done everything that should be done in the summer. We haven't made ice cream yet. (OK, that's the only thing that I can think of that we haven't done).

Fall will come and I'll embrace it and love it, but for right now, let me enjoy my summer while I still have it.

One of my favorites of summer is all the produce! We've had plenty of dinners where all we eat is fruit salads, veggies and dips, corn on the cob, etc. They are my favorite - you don't do these simple meals in fall or winter. Yesterday, I spent the day canning my peaches. Call me a geek, but I think they are pretty, blurry and all.



I followed these instructions. I've used them for the past 3 years and it couldn't be easier. I don't go nuts and can bottles and bottles - just enough for our family. I'm not a canning expert and they aren't perfect jars, but it is something I enjoy doing, so I do it. I can in the smaller jars, because that's what fits in my biggest pots. I think because I make this project small, it isn't overwhelming. I'm not slicing 30 pounds of peaches and spending weeks doing it. That being said, I do want to do one more batch. Then, when there is snow on the ground, we can open a bottle and imagine sitting on the porch with peach juice dripping down our chins after dinner, watching Daddy mow the lawn.



Labor Day is in a week. What are you doing as a last summer hoo-rah?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Grateful Sunday



I am grateful for:




  • my home - love my floor plan, love my neighborhood, love that the school is up the street, the church is down the street and the park is 3 houses away.


  • running


  • My Cool Friend Cheryl - we've got some fun things planned!


  • Project Runway began


  • downtime spent cruising the inspirational blogs


Friday, August 21, 2009

Easy Peasy Drawer Organizers

We all have "junk drawers" - right? Little secret - I hate junk drawers. This drawer is in my kitchen desk and I hate using it. There are sequins, coloring books, markers, hooks, the cap for a bike pump, a couple baggies of "treasures." I have drawer organizers in every drawer, except for this one. It is only 1 1/2" deep. I've tried for 2 years, the don't make organizers that shallow.
Since it's back-to-school, organize the desk, get ready for homework time - something had to happen with this drawer.

I read this somewhere and take no credit for it. I used a Costco cereal box and measured 1 3/8" all around, cut it out, stuck it in the drawer and labeled it. I did reinforce the corners with packaging tape. Worked so well, I did a couple more from other empty boxes waiting to go in the trash.




You could, if you wanted to, make these boxes really pretty, but I didn't. You could modge podge them (is that a verb?) or paint them or something else.
Now, the drawer is ready. Having a place for everything helps junk from being stashed in here- and that makes me happy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Wrapping Station


I've said before - with three kids, we have a lot of birthdays. In the month of August, we have had 5 kids parties, and about 5 grown up birthdays.

I made this little space for wrapping presents:




It's in my laundry room.




I bought cheap hooks and dowels at Home Depot. I painted the ends of the dowels white, but when I finally get around to painting this room, I'll change that. I also stick twine, that I use all the time, on the end of the hook.




I like to keep gender neutral wrapping paper. I always have brown paper and white available and usually the clear. My kids hate it, they like the bright Dora or Star Wars but I'm practical like that. Under the counter, behind the curtain is a box that holds tissue paper, ribbons, boxes, bags, etc.



It gets used a lot. Just thought I'd share.

Monday, August 17, 2009

10 years!!


Happy Anniversary! Four different addresses, three different companies, three babies in three different hospitals, lots more gray hairs and wrinkles. Lots of ups, and not many downs! He's my constant-my dearest friend.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Grateful Sunday


Today, I am grateful for the love I feel from family and friends. This love gives me a sense of confidence, of knowing who I am. I feel different from many people around me, yet confident that different is good. Sometimes, I think it's hard living your life trying to be/do what you feel good about when it seems as if you are surrounded by those who question you. I am grateful for my husband who loves who I am and encourages me to be strong, rather than cave to the pressures I sometimes feel.
Have a great week
Laurel
PS - I've spent the better part of the past hour trying to figure out how to make images big. Can someone help an html challenged girl out?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Smells


That's a funny title - remind me to come up with a better title sometime during the day.

I'm pretty picky about the way my home smells. It started when I was blessed with a boy. I love the guy, but he is stinky - always. He's only 4! I became obsessed with trying to make my house not smell like smelly children. I've tried so many things, and honestly, I'm tired of spending money on candles and what not that don't really work.

What I do love is Bath and Body Works Scent Ports - especially Fresh Linen. Tom likes vanilla. I have them in my foyer, my garage entrance, and my bedroom. I even have a portable one in my car! I love it when someone walks in my home and says it smells good in here.

This is what I use and love. What works for you? How do you combat the odors?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How Did I Get So Lucky?



I am so excited, I was contacted by CSN Mattresses to review a product! It's coming soon. As I was checking out their website, I was so overwhelmed by all the choices they offer, much more than mattresses. So, while you are anxiously anticipating my review, go check them out. What catches your eye?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Grateful Sunday

It was a great week at the MacDougall house!
I am grateful for
  • our kind neighbor, who just decided to show up two nights this week with gloves on and spent hours with Tom moving bricks from the driveway to the backyard.
  • I started teaching piano lessons again this week after a two month break. I loved it, I have such great students.
  • School started this week - second grade, here we come!
  • I ran a half marathon yesterday and shaved 5 minutes off my time from last year - that's even including stopping for a bathroom break in the middle of it. I feel great today and am excited for my next race.

Have a great week

Laurel

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pleated Kitchen Towel




I'm linking up to Kimba's DIY day:


After I got so much bloggy love for my pleated pillow, I started to look at pleats in a whole new light. I suddenly thought everything needed pleats.


This week I added pleats to the bottom of a towel I hang in my kitchen, just because.







Super easy, here's what I did:



  1. I wanted my pleats to be about 2" long. I needed a bit more for seam allowance, then doubled it. I cut strips of fabric 5" from selvage to selvage-


  2. Fold and press the selvage ends 1/4" long.





  3. Fold in half (hot dog way) and press.



  4. Find center and mark with a pin. Mark 1" away from center. Keep marking until you get to the end. I used a marker.



  5. Fold lines to meet: If you were to number the 1" marks "1, 2, 3,....," then mark #1 would meet the center, mark #3 would meet mark #2, mark #5 would meet mark #4 and so on. Press pleats as you go.














  6. Sew pleats to the bottom of the towel. I pin at every pleat. I had planned to sew 1/4" allowance, but decided to just sew right above the hem of the towel. When I was pinning, I noticed that my pleats were longer than the towel. I just cut it off about 1/4" longer than the towel, folded those edges in and sewed. Finish the edges of the pleats. You could do this before you even started ironing, but I forgot. I pushed the towel out of the way and zigzagged the edges.







  7. Press towards the towel and stitch.

For extra fun, I monogrammed "yum" - my daughter's idea. My whole house is browns, creams, whites - you know neutrals. I love the colors of the cream towel. But, for extra fun, I did the same thing on a white towel with a fun polka dot pleat. Just depends on the look you want.






Hang it in your kitchen and smile with all the compliments you receive. I have about a million friends who have just had or are having a birthday within a 2 week span. How cute will this be with a new bowl and salad tongs



For those of you non-sewers, I have some extra that I've added to my empty etsy shop. Hopefully, I'll get that up by tonight. Now that school is starting again, I think I might take some time to add things in there. I think.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lined Drapes




I love this shower curtain, really I do. I just couldn't bring myself to go through all that work for myself. Especially after I. said, "Can you make me some really fluffy girly drapes to go in my room?" I love that she asked me to make them -instead of buy them. That just pleases me to no end. Not sure why. So, I decided to save this for her room.


It only took a week and about a million trips to Lowes and a million holes in the wall that had to be spackled and painted, but I got my drapes done. For some reason, hanging the hardware is always difficult for me.



My sister told me if I did the drapes in white, I hadn't found the right fabric. She's probably right, but after trying out so many fabric swatches, I couldn't find anything I loved. Unless, it was way out of my budget. After looking at about a million inspiration pictures, I noticed that I am always drawn to white linen. So, why fight it.

I looked around for a tutorial on lined drapes. Didn't find one I liked. They were either too technical, or not special enough. If I'm going to spend time and money on these, I'm going to make sure they're nice. I have so many other projects, I don't want to hate these next year.



I tried to make my own tutorial for you, but I was sewing white linen and white lining. The pictures all looked the same. I've got some drapes to sew for my dining room, so those should take better pictures - if you are at all interested. This room has been a challenge - that window brings lovely light, which can be a good and bad thing. So difficult to take a decent picture of. I sewed little hooks on the inside. When it is night, we'll shut the drapes and hook them to keep them closed. In the morning, shove the drapes behind the finial/holdback and let the light come in!

One more thing to check off on my Master Bedroom re-do. I'm trying to do this all by myself, with a little budget every month. I've painted, gotten new bedding and sewed and hung the drapes. The blue painter's tape was where I thought we could run a chair rail, but it needs to be up another 2". We'll get to that when it is colder outside and Tom will work on projects inside. For right now, next up is to take care of the orangey night stands and make a headboard.
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